The NASCAR Monster Energy Series heads to Thunder Valley in Bristol for the first of two races this seasons. Featuring some of the highest banks on one of the NASCAR circuit’s shorter tracks, the conditions should provide for exciting racing and nip-tuck passing where sometimes the only way around a car could be through it.
Chase Elliot sits on the pole and is the eight different pole sitter in the first eight races of the season. Ryan Blaney will start from third despite setting a track record in qualifying on Friday. Blaney has led a total of 221 laps in his last two races at Bristol and has three top-five finishes in 2019.
MORE: Watch the Food City 500 live & on demand with fuboTV (7-day trial)
Kyle Busch is the driver to watch as he has had a dominant start to the season. The No. 18 car leads all active drivers with seven wins at Bristol Motor Speedway. His tenth place finish last week at Texas was his worst performance in any of the sport’s top three Nascar Divisions. Busch will start from the 17th position.
In non-racing related news, Darrell Waltrip announced on Thursday his upcoming retirement from Fox Sports in June. Waltrip is a Bristol Motor Speedway legend, having won 12 times on the track, including seven consecutive races from 1981-84. He is known for his iconic, “Boogity! Boogity! Boogity! Let’s go racing, boys” call and will wave the green flag at Sunday’s race.
Sporting News is tracking live lap-by-lap updates and highlights from the Food City 500. Follow along below.
NASCAR at Las Vegas: Live updates, highlights from Food City 500
Caution flags: 2
Lead changes: 5
Lap leaders: Ryan Blaney (55), Chase Elliot (39), Erik Jones (10), Denny Hamlin (7), Clint Bowyer (2)
(All times Eastern.)
2:48 p.m.: Wow, it literally can’t be any closer as Ty Dillon beats out Clint Bowyer by a nose to win Stage 1. It’s his first ever stage victory.
Ty Dillon wins Stage 1 at Bristol! @CocaColaRacing’s Joey Logano finishes P4.#OrangeVanilla pic.twitter.com/6qjqRvG6yx
2:41 p.m.: Ross Chastain makes contact with Daniel Hemric, sending Hemric spinning into the wall with seven laps left in the first stage.
2:37 p.m.: Kyle Busch is back in the top 10 despite the early wreck.
2:34 p.m.: Denny Hamlin is the only racer to not get new tires yet. Could be at risk of going a lap down if he can’t make it these final 40 laps of stage 1.
2:28 p.m.: Erik Jones surrenders the lead in lap 69 as he heads to pit road with a loose tire. Ryan Blaney takes the lead.
‘@erik_jones down pit road with a loose tire. pic.twitter.com/S4OTqF0LpW
2:23 p.m.: Chase Elliot is back on the track, but he’s having trouble with his power steering. Could be a long day on a short track.
2:16 pm.: Another caution as leader Chase Elliot is hit in the back and spins out. Second caution in the first 40 laps.
The leader spins! @chaseelliott goes around while leading at @BMSUpdates! pic.twitter.com/fI9sCdCXW7
Take a look at what happened to @RyanPreece_ and @chaseelliott early in Stage 1. pic.twitter.com/YjYrsr0fps
2:09 p.m.: Green flag is out again, but Aric Almirola’s day if over after leaving pit road to have work done on his car.
2:02 p.m.: What a start… a wreck on lap 1 and a caution. Kyle Busch’s rear looks pretty damaged.
Just as the green flies, the yellow is out! @KyleBusch and @StenhouseJr involved in the accident. pic.twitter.com/WRiSLvCWlL
2:00 p.m.: Kevin Harvick failed pre-race inspection and will be sent to the rear for the start.
1:57 p.m.: Engines have started. Hopefully the rain holds off.
Almost time. pic.twitter.com/1DXRCAq0Gx
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