BRISTOL, Tenn. - Five-time Bristol Motor Speedway winner Jeff Gordon definitely liked the reconfigured surface at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile last August.
As a matter of fact, it reminded him of the kind of racing he saw at BMS in 1993, the year he joined NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series on a full-time basis.
“I remember seeing guys like Darrell (Waltrip) and Davey (Allison) run that high line back in 1991 or 1992,” said four-time Cup champion Gordon. “I was watching them from the spotters’ stand and it was so cool to see them running right up against the wall. It was hard to pass, so you would see ‘slide jobs’ when they got a run.
“That’s essentially the same kind of racing we had here in August. I had so much fun racing that way that night.”
Gordon finished third in last year’s IRWIN Tools Night Race and now has 16 top-five finishes and 22 top-10’s at BMS. He also has five poles and in 40 starts has led 2,647 laps.
As far as Gordon’s concerned, grabbing his sixth win at BMS is certainly a goal, and something that can be attained by going the “old school” route on Sunday in the Food City 500.
“As soon as (tire) rubber was laid down in the top groove and there was more grip up there, we started putting all four tires up in that lane,” said Gordon. “But with that lane being the preferred line, you had to make sure you completed the ‘slide job’ and gained the position.
“If not, you lost a lot of spots before you were able to work your way back in line.”
And that could lead to the same kind of helmet-tossing reaction that has come to be a trademark for frustrated drivers at BMS.
“Definitely,” said Gordon, who is 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. “With guys probably lined up behind you ready to take advantage of any mistake you make, you have to be sure to complete the pass.
“I saw some fender rubbing - and some fired up driving - last August. I’m sure the fans would love to see that again this weekend.”
Practice for both the Food City 500 and Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300 Nationwide Series event take place during Ford Fan Friday March 15, starting at 10:30 a.m. Qualifying for the Food City 500 is set for 3:40 p.m. while qualifying for the Grit Chips 300 is Saturday at 10:35 a.m.
The Food City 500 goes green just after 1 p.m. Sunday while the Grit Chips 300 is Saturday at 2 p.m., followed by the DRIVE4COPD 125 K&N Series race.
Special half-price ticket packages for fans 15 and younger are available for March race weekend. March race weekend ticket packages, which include the Food City 500 and Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300/DRIVE4COPD 125 doubleheader start at $99 for adults. A package in the Wallace Tower for both Sprint Cup races also is available for $99, while packages for fans 15 and younger are available for the March races at half price. Lower-row seating for the Food City 500 is available with tickets starting at $70 for adults and $37 for children 15 and under.
Tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader start at $40 for adults and $22 for kids 15 and under.
Purchasing tickets to the Food City 500 enters the guest in the Bruton’s Big Bristol Giveaway in which 10 lucky fans win a new Ford Mustang.
BMS season tickets, which include the Food City 500 and IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup races, as well as both Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300, the Food City 250 and the DRIVE4COPD 125, also are on sale. Pricing for all four races begins at just $175 in the Wallace Tower.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 866-415-4158.