Casey Mears, driver of the No.13 Geico Ford Fusion for Germain Racing will be starting on the pole position for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway thanks to rain during qualifying. He posted the fastest lap during Friday’s practice with a speed of 122.209.
The rain left a lot of things unfinished, as drivers Scott Speed, Kelly Bires, Reed Sorenson and J.J Yeley had to pack up their things and head home, as they will not be participating in tonight’s famed night race at the 0.533 mile track.
Since qualifying was rained out, the drivers order is determined by their practice speeds and for the go or go home drivers, that means they miss the race altogether.
Danica Patrick is making her fourth career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS). She was as much as 5.5 miles off the pace during practice but is starting 43rd based off of owner points. She will become the first woman since Janet Guthrie in 1977 to enter a NSCS race at Bristol.
“It’s not going to be an easy day for her by any means, but it’s not supposed to be,” Stewart said on Friday. “We picked the hard tracks. You’re going to have to run them at some point, so it might as well be while she’s not racing for points this year.”
Stewart said he just wants Patrick to finish the race, that there is no expectation for her besides that.
“At this point in time, it’s about gaining experience,” Patrick said. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I’m sure [these hard tracks] will help in the long run.”
Full starting lineup for tonight’s race at Bristol can be found below.
|15||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota|
|16||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevy|
|28||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevy|
|29||22||Sam Hornish Jr.(i)||Dodge|
|32||26||Josh Wise #||Ford|
|38||33||Stephen Leicht #||Chevy|