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Bump & Run: Who are drivers worth watching?

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A newspaper headline recently asked: Is there any driver in NASCAR worth watching these days? What do you say?

Nate Ryan: Yes. The premise of the headline seems flawed (though maybe I need more context to understand the story). There are several drivers “worth watching” in NASCAR for their impressive skill sets and verve on track. Besides being one of the greatest drivers in the world, Kyle Busch is worth watching because there’s the potential of him doing something mesmerizing in every race.

Dustin Long: Yes there are drivers worth watching. Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch rank toward the top for what they can do with their cars. But they aren’t alone. Put Brad Keselowski and Busch in close quarters and enjoy the show.

Daniel McFadin: Absolutely. Kyle Larson is a delight to watch. Seeing what he’s able to do when put in a predicament, like starting from the rear, makes for exciting TV. Also, you always have to keep any eye on Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, especially when they’re racing angry.

NASCAR’s Scott Miller stated this week it could take 5-10 minutes to review a potential penalty and in that case that “is not the time to be calling the penalty.’’ Is there a better way penalties or potential penalties can be reviewed by NASCAR?

Nate Ryan: Having been in the PRO system truck, I think NASCAR’s system is good. Any potential infraction is sent to the tower by the video reviewers and then the call is made by NASCAR’s primary stewards on whether a penalty is necessary. I think Miller is referring to looking at borderline calls and determining later if the call should have been made differently. That doesn’t affect how the process happens in real time. It always will be a split-second judgment.

Dustin Long: I hate reviews in all sports. The games are played by humans and officiated by humans. Mistakes are going to be made by all. I accept that. But if we must review penalties or potential penalties — and I’m not convinced it needs to be done — then do it. If it takes 10 laps, so be it. If it takes 20 laps, so be it.

Daniel McFadin: If NASCAR is reviewing a pit penalty that occurred under caution, simply don’t restart the race until the review is complete. If it occurred under green, NASCAR could stop scoring the driver while it’s under review while allowing them to stay on the track. If it confirms the penalty, bring them to pit road. If not, resume scoring the driver.

At Atlanta, Kevin Harvick suggested the next time a young driver could win a Cup race would be at Talladega later this month. When do you think a young driver will win?Nate Ryan: I don’t know “will,” but Erik Jones could be in victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway, given that he almost was last August.

Dustin Long: I consider Joey Logano (age 27) young and I could see him winning either at Bristol or Richmond, so I think it happens soon.

Daniel McFadin: I think you could see a young driver – specifically Erik Jones or Kyle Larson – win this weekend in Bristol. I’ve been somewhat surprised Austin Dillon‘s been the only one to steal a win so far, but the veterans have flexed their muscles each and every race since when closing time came.

Tonight’s Cup race at Bristol: EARLIER start time, lineup and more

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NASCAR has moved up the start of Saturday night’s Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway by an hour because of inclement weather.

Here is the key info for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Johnny Morris, Bill Dance and Dale Hall will give the command to start engines at 6:40 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 6:46 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 500 laps (266.5 miles) around the 0.533-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 125. Stage 2 ends on Lap 250.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 10 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 5:50 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: The Motor Racing Outreach children’s choir will perform the anthem at 6:31 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 5 p.m. with NASCAR America and Countdown to Green starting at 6 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 6 p.m. and also can be heard at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: calls for scattered thunderstorms with a high of 79 degrees and a 48 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Kyle Busch snatched the lead from pole-sitter Erik Jones and led the final 56 laps for the win.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

Results, stats, points after Xfinity Bristol race

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Kyle Larson led 202 of 310 laps and swept every stage on his way to winning the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

He was followed by Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer and Joey Logano.

Larson’s win is his fourth in six Xfinity starts this season.

Click here for full Xfinity results.

Click here for the points standings.

Kyle Larson wins Bristol Xfinity race in overtime

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Kyle Larson held off Christopher Bell and Justin Allgaier in an overtime finish Friday night to win the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Larson led 202 of 310 laps and swept both stages on the way to his fourth Xfinity win of the season and 12th of his career.

The top five was completed by Cole Custer and Joey Logano.

The win was Larson’s first at Bristol in 18 Cup and Xfinity starts (including six top-five finishes in his previous eight Xfinity races at the track). Larson has won in four of his six starts this year (and didn’t finish the other two).

Larson dominated after pole-sitter Kyle Busch wrecked from first after leading the first 69 laps.

“It feels really good, I just wish Kyle Busch wouldn’t have had his troubles so I could have raced him,” Larson told NBCSN. “It still feels really good to win a race here at Bristol finally. I’ve been close so many times. This is my best track by far, this and Homestead.”

The overtime finish was set up by a Daniel Hemric wreck with two laps to go in the original 300-lap distance.

“We had that yellow there coming to two to go, I was like, ‘Man, again. Again I’m going to lose one here late,” Larson said. “We were able to get an average restart and get the win.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Larson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Larson

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Justin Allgaier earned his career-best 10th consecutive top 10 … Cole Custer placed fourth for his best Bristol finish in four starts … Michael Annett placed seventh for his first top 10 of the season …  JA Junior Avila placed 20th in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Kyle Busch was having a good night until he tagged the wall around Lap 66 while leading. On Lap 70, he lost a tire and got into the wall, causing enough damage to end his night. He finished 36th … Spencer Boyd and Vinnie Miller wrecked to bring out the second caution on Lap 105. Miller caused another caution on Lap 160 … Chase Briscoe was eliminated when he spun and hit the inside wall on Lap 142. He placed 34th.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I’d love to race him on dirt. I ain’t done much of that. ” – Kyle Larson on Christopher Bell

WHAT’S NEXT: Johnsonville 180 at Road America at 3:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 25 on NBCSN.

Starting lineup for Cup Bristol night race

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Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott will lead the field to the green flag in Saturday night’s Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway (6:46 p.m. ET).

Larson starts from the pole position for the third time this year.

Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and William Byron rounded out the top five.

Click here for the starting lineup.