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Here are the songs drivers picked for intros at Bristol

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Driver intos at Bristol Motor Speedway often are among the most anticipated all year because drivers get to pick the song to be played for their introduction.

Here is the list of songs drivers selected for today’s driver intros.

(List is based on starting lineup with pole-sitter Kyle Larson listed first)

Kyle Larson                “Hypnotize”                             Notorious B.I.G.

Chase Elliott               “Record Year”                         Eric Church

Martin Truex Jr.          “Flatliner”                                 Cole Swindell ft. Dierks Bentley

Brad Keselowski         “Where Are We Runnin”         Lenny Kravitz

Joey Logano               “Let Me Clear My Throat”       DJ Kool

Ryan Blaney               “Living the Dream”                  Sturgill Simpson

Kyle Busch                 “The Way I Am”                      Eminem

Jamie McMurray         “Thunderstruck”                      AC DC

Clint Bowyer                “How Country Feels”              Randy Houser

Kevin Harvick              “Tip It On Back”                      Dierks Bentley

Jimmie Johnson          “California Love”                     2 Pac

Trevor Bayne               “Run Devil Run”                     Crowder

Ryan Newman             “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”          Luke Bryan

Erik Jones                   “Takin’ Care of Business”       Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Kurt Busch                   “Walk This Way”                     Aerosmith

Denny Hamlin               “Jump Man”                            Drake & Future

Kasey Kahne                “Somebody Else Will”             Justin Moore

Aric Almirola                 “Hard Workin’ Man”                Brooks & Dunn

Dale Earnhardt Jr.         “Miles Apart”                           The Dangerous Summery

Austin Dillon                  “Ain’t No Mercy                       Rick Ross

Matt Kenseth                “The Shortest Straw”              Metallica

Daniel Suarez               “El Mariachi Loco”

Ty Dillon                        “No Problem”                          Chance the Rapper

AJ Allmendinger            “My Name is Human”             Highly Suspect

Paul Menard                  “Rockin’ in the Free World”     Neil Young

Chris Buescher              “Heavy is the Head”                Zac Brown Band

Michael McDowell          “Nothing I Can’t Do”                Tedashii feat. Lecrae

Danica Patrick                “Fight Song”                            Rachel Platten

Landon Cassill                “Electric Body”                                    A$AP Rocky

Cole Whitt                       “Believer”                                Imagine Dragons

Matt DiBenedetto            “Dream On”                            Aerosmith

David Ragan                   “Pickup Man”                          Joe Diffie

Corey LaJoie                   “Gimme Some Lovin’”          The Spencer Davis Group

Gray Gaulding                 “JuJu on That Beat”                Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall

Jeffrey Earnhardt             “Seal the Deal”                        Volbeat

Timmy Hill                        “My House”                             Flo Rida

Derrike Cope                    “Jungle”                                 X Ambassadors

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Stage racing adds another element to racing on short tracks

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Even now, Chase Elliott can’t believe he won the second stage at Martinsville Speedway earlier this month.

Running second, Elliott was set to finish there until Ricky Stenhouse Jr. bumped Kyle Busch out of the way to get back on the lead lap. Stenhouse’s move sent Busch up the track and allowed Elliott to nip Busch, win the stage and earn a playoff point.

Stenhouse’s bump did more. It changed how drivers view stage racing. Now the leader has to be more aware as they run up on lapped traffic late in a stage what could happen. And those cars in danger of being lapped have an additional ploy they can use to try to stay on the lead lap.

I was blown away that that even happened,’’ Elliott said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I’ve gone a lap down a lot at Martinsville. And I can’t say that, man I’d have to really think about it a lot to move the leader out of the way to try to get my lap back. So, I don’t know what the situation was there, if there had been history. So it’s hard for me to really get involved. But it surprised me.’’

There was a bit of a history. Stenhouse recently told reporters that he was running in the top 10 at Atlanta and Busch was a lap down. Busch ran Stenhouse hard. Stenhouse eventually got by him but wore his tires and was passed before the stage ended and didn’t score any stage points. 

That experience and how strong his car was at Martinsville led to Stenhouse’s decision to move Busch. It worked. Stenhouse went on to finish 10th.

With the series back at a short track this weekend for the first time since that race, the bump and run might be used throughout the field at the end of a stage, especially with the lower groove likely the preferred line.

“I think you’ll see that here at Bristol as well, just depending on if things play out,’’ Stenhouse told NBC Sports. “It might be for 10th and 11th to get points or it might be for the win or for cars to stay on the lead lap.’’

It wouldn’t surprise Kurt Busch if there was such contact toward the end of a stage.

“I think that moment at Martinsville is a perfect definition to the stage racing,’’ he said. “It creates opportunities for many different things to happen, whether you’re a lapped car or you’re the leader. 

“Short tracks, superspeedways, road courses, those are the three types of tracks that I thought would be impacted the most by stage racing.”

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Sunday’s Cup race at Bristol: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

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Jimmie Johnson looks to win his second race in a row. Joe Gibbs Racing seeks its first victory of the year. Kyle Larson will look to win from the pole. There will be many more challengers in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Here are the particulars for today’s Cup race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Kerry Earnhardt and Kelley Earnhardt Miller will give the command for drivers to start engines at 2:07 p.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled for 2:13 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 500 laps (266.5 miles) around the .533-mile, high-banked oval.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 6:30 a.m. The drivers meeting is at noon. Driver introductions are at 1:20 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Todd Smith, lead singer of Selah, will perform the Anthem at 2:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 2 p.m. Its coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at goprn.com. PRN’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 53 degrees at race time with a 86 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Carl Edwards led 276 laps on the way to winning this race a year ago. Dale Earnhardt Jr. placed second. Kurt Busch was third. Kevin Harvick led 128 laps en route to winning the August race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. placed second and Denny Hamlin was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

Kurt Busch wants to see Marco Andretti drive in Daytona 500

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Kurt Busch said Friday that would love to see a former teammate get a ride for the Daytona 500.

Then, just a few hours later, that same former teammate went out and recorded the fastest speed in Friday’s IndyCar practice session at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

Coincidence?

Busch wants to see Marco Andretti – who was his teammate in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 when Busch finished an impressive sixth-place – to try his luck at Daytona in a NASCAR Cup car.

“I’d love to see a guy like Marco come and run Daytona,” Busch said during Friday morning’s media availability at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I think that would be a huge event for him, for our sport.

Kurt Busch at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2014 Indy 500. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“It’s tough for our cars though because they’re so big and they’re so heavy. They move around so much so go to a track that either A, what you’re used to, which is a road course, or, B, where the driver has the least amount to have to learn or to conquer or to – I guess the key word is master.

“I can’t master an Indy car in one race. Fernanado Alonso has a better chance of doing that. Alexander Rossi, the kid won the Indy 500 last year. Did he master the car? No. But he mastered enough of the certain sequences it takes, and I think Marco would do real well at a Daytona-style track because he loves the draft and he loves to be around other cars. That’s what I would think would work the best.”

If the younger Andretti does race at Daytona, he’d follow in the footsteps of legendary grandfather Mario, who won the 1967 Daytona 500, the elder Andretti’s one and only career win in NASCAR competition.

As for Alonso, Busch was asked about the news that the two-time F1 champ will race in this year’s Indy 500.

“I don’t have much advice for a Formula 1 world champion,” Busch said. “I think he’ll be perfect for the situation. I think he’ll do really well, he’s a racer, he gets it.

“It’s a perfect time in his career to make the attempt at the Indy 500 without having any other oval type experience that we know of. He’ll prepare well. I saw that there was a test session for May 3, which is more like a rookie orientation, and the Andretti group will do a fantastic job for him.

“They treated me really well with a respect of my background.  They’ll do that with his and the thing that blew me away still, and I guess that would be my advice to Alonso, it’s hard to prepare but for the month of May and the amount of times you’re on track, grandstands are empty, and then you come out there Sunday morning and you feel the Indiana natives’ respect for their track and it’s their world stage that they’re standing on for the day.

“It’s impressive to be there on Memorial Day Sunday at Indianapolis. That would be my advice. It’s hard to get used to that amount of people and the amount of pageantry and the celebration that’s going on Sunday morning.”

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No doubt about it: Dale Jr. is back to his old self, drivers say

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With apologies to The Who, meet the new Dale Jr., same as the old Dale Jr.

That’s what some of Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s fellow drivers said during media sessions Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

When asked if Earnhardt has gotten back into the groove after missing the second half of the 2016 season (18 races) and a slow start in 2017, Kurt Busch and seven-time and defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said there’s no question.

“My little brother was out for 11 races in 2015 and you could see a little bit of the rust the first couple weeks, and I think we all saw that with Junior the first couple of weeks,” Kurt Busch said. “But by Vegas and especially with what he did at Texas last week, he’s back.”

Earnhardt finished fifth at Texas, his best result since a runner-up finish at Pocono in June

While Earnhardt had time away due to concussion-like symptoms, he also needed time back behind the wheel to return to his old self.

“There are things that you need to do personally and then there are things the sport has done while you were gone because there are notes that we have from nine months ago that we look at and kind of giggle like, ‘Oh, wow. We ran that setup? We haven’t done something like that in a long time,’ ” Busch said of Earnhardt.

Busch then added, “For him to take off half a season, yes, there’s things he needed to do, but also the team was evolving and he needed to adapt to those setups as well as what he needed to do personally. Yeah, you’re right. We see things on track and he was making moves at Texas and I’m like, ‘Yeah, he’s back.’”

Someone who has an even closer perspective on Earnhardt’s comeback is Johnson, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.

Earnhardt said during Speedweeks in Daytona that he acknowledged his comeback could take time.

“He is right with that,” Johnson said. “When you miss that much time from the car, the sport changes. Your sensitivity to what you feel in the race car kind of fades and to be as sharp as you need to in order to find five-hundredths of a second to be competitive it’s tough and it takes reps.

“I see where he is coming from and why he made that comment in February. I can’t say that it’s crossed my mind watching him this year. He seems very comfortable in there, but to go to Texas two weeks ago and for him to run as competitive as he did at a treacherous track, I mean your sensitivity to the car and sliding the tires needed to be as sharp as ever.

“I think that is a great indication of him finding that last little bit and he is ready to go to Victory Lane.”

One other way Johnson knows Junior is back is he’s returned to his previous role as a practical joker, including how he ribbed Johnson for having to take intravenous solution after winning at Texas.

“Yeah, the three IV bags did wonders,” Johnson said. “After leaving the media center … I started my off-weekend quickly that night and proceeded to chase out the pain with as many margaritas and beers as I could down in Mexico.

“I recovered well, but unfortunately came back sick from Mexico and I’m just on the tail end of that now.

“If you are going to play, you are going to pay, I guess at the end of the day (laughs). I just started catching wind of (Earnhardt’s) harassment. I’m waiting for my moment to strike back.”

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