Mears on Pole, Patrick starts 43rd, Speed, Bires, Sorenson and Yeley go home

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.

Car# Driver Manufactuer
1 13 Casey Mears Ford
2 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge
3 16 Greg Biffle Ford
4 20 Joey Logano Toyota
5 43 Aric Almirola Ford
6 31 Jeff Burton Chevy
7 27 Paul Menard Chevy
8 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota
9 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford
10 18 Kyle Busch Toyota
11 24 Jeff Gordon Chevy
12 5 Kasey Kahne Chevy
13 29 Kevin Harvick Chevy
14 78 Regan Smith Chevy
15 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota
16 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevy
17 17 Matt Kenseth Ford
18 38 David Gilliland Ford
19 39 Ryan Newman Chevy
20 51 Kurt Busch Chevy
21 14 Tony Stewart Chevy
22 55 Brian Vickers Toyota
23 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota
24 34 David Ragan Ford
25 36 Dave Blaney Chevy
26 1 Jamie McMurray Chevy
27 99 Carl Edwards Ford
28 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevy
29 22 Sam Hornish Jr.(i) Dodge
30 98 Michael McDowell Ford
31 30 David Stremme Toyota
32 26 Josh Wise # Ford
33 83 Landon Cassill Toyota
34 19 Mike Bliss(i) Toyota
35 23 Scott Riggs Chevy
36 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota
37 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevy
38 33 Stephen Leicht # Chevy
39 49 Jason Leffler(i) Toyota
40 87 Joe Nemechek(i) Toyota
41 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota
42 32 Ken Schrader Ford
43 10 Danica Patrick(i) Chevy


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