Bristol Checkered and Black Flags

R.Stenhouse Jr.

There were smiles and frowns after the weekend’s racing at Bristol Motor Speedway. MRN’s Pete Pistone puts Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the first category. (Photo: Getty Images)

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There were smiles and frowns after the weekend’s racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Checkered Flags

Kevin Harvick
He started 24th but had no trouble passing plenty of cars on his way to the front and a second win of the season. This could be a sign that the 2014 champion is rounding into form as the 2016 regular season winds down.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The way Stenhouse has run at Bristol the last few seasons should have been an indication that another good performance was a distinct possibility. He turned one in, for sure, and started one spot behind Harvick on the grid to finish one position behind in second place.

Chris Buescher
The underdog story is alive and well with Buescher and Front Row Motorsports. His fifth-place finish moved Buescher into the top 30. Coupled with his Pocono win, he’s now on The Chase Grid. It’ll be fun to watch if he can maintain that spot over the last three races of the regular season.

Bristol Motor Speedway
The work that was done to the racing surface to improve competition paid dividends. The addition of VHT to the inside line gave drivers two options and brought back some of the “old” Bristol fans have longed for, together side-by-side racing the track has produced in recent years.

The Fans
Tested again by “Mother Nature,” the Bristol fans fought hard to keep their spirits up and enjoy the weekend despite wet weather. The place was filled nicely on Saturday night before the rain hit and unfortunately, many couldn’t go back the next day. But kudos to those that were in attendance either day over the Bristol weekend.

Black Flags

Kyle Busch
A bad weekend all the way around for Busch, who was involved in an incident with Brad Keselowski late in the XFINITY Series race. He called Keselowski a “dirty” driver after the dust-up. Then on Sunday, Busch led 256 laps before a mechanical issue finally sent him spinning onto the apron of the track before getting hit by Justin Allgaier. Busch called Allgaier and his spotter “idiots” and “morons” afterward while also criticizing his JGR team for parts failures.

Kurt Busch
Tough day for the older Busch brother, too. He was a bit too aggressive and spun out before suffering heavy contact from Keselowski, who had nowhere to go.

Kyle Larson
His Chase hopes took a big blow when Larson was caught up in a multi-car accident. He finished 24th and with Buescher’s top-five run, fell off The Chase Grid.

Martin Truex Jr.
Copy and paste another weekend where Truex had a strong car with nothing to show for it. Also a victim of a multi-car accident, Truex finished 23rd.

Weather
Also a copy-and-paste job. Wet weather has become a near-regular occurrence. Hopefully, the skies will be clear this coming weekend at Michigan International Speedway and Road America.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.

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