Here is the Bristol Race Report. The current 2012 NNS points leader, Elliott Sadler, continued to add to his lead Saturday afternoon, as he won the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway and now leads Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., by 25-points in the standings. This was Sadler’s second series win of the 2012 season, his seventh series career win and his second series win at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Battling a tight racecar, rookie Cole Whitt finished 16th in his first outing at the bullring with the No. 88 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet. In was a great learning experience for him to drive in a race that featured Sprint Cup giants like Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski. While Cole finished outside of his usual top-10, he did manage to stay ahead of three-time Bristol champion, Kyle Busch, who finished 17th.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored a top-five finish to spearhead the JR Motorsports effort. Earnhardt Jr. wheeled the TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet inside the top-10 by lap 100 and drove to 6th before the final caution. The caution forced the No. 5 team to choose between a four-tire or two-tire pit stop. Ultimately, the team opted for a two-tire stop, giving Earnhardt Jr. enough track position to finish 5th and leading to his seventh top-5 finish at Bristol in Nationwide Series competition. Danica Patrick, sporting the “lucky-themed” No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet, accomplished her goal of finishing the 300-mile race with a 19th-place effort.
Cole Whitt’s Thoughts on the Race
“It was frustrating for me out there today. Our HendrickCars.com team expected a lot more than a 16th-place finish. We were tight from the beginning, and after we went a lap down, we just could never get it back. Track position is everything here. We’ll just have to move on from this one. It’s going to be a long season, and I have to keep that in mind. I’ve got to thank HendrickCars.com for coming on board for this race. I wish we could have done a better finish for them.”
Race 4 of 33: Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Track Specs: .533-mile oval / 300 laps
Weather: Cloudy; 74 deg.
Race Winner: Elliott Sadler
Whitt’s finish: 16th