The first four weeks of the season are a true test for the Sprint Cup Series as each race is not only different in length, but each track is different. Thus far, the new Gen-6 car has seen high banks with a restrictor plate, a flat one-mile speedway, an intermediate size track, and now comes test number four.
This place has high banks like Daytona, but not the size of the track. It's got speeds similar to Las Vegas, but again, not quite the size.
It's NASCAR's version of a stadium, with fans stories high, and sound that can literally shake the bleachers. It's owner changed the track to please the fans, and ended up seeing some frustration in it's first race out.
Fans...this is Bristol.
Possibly the most popular track on the circuit is just 0.533-miles in length, but has given NASCAR some of the most iconic moments that to this day fans still can remember down to the moment it happened. Now, the newest chapter is getting set to be written in a new car, but on the same surface that has seen bump-and-runs by some of the greats.
With all those moments in mind, the writers are for sure willing to bump their way to the front, while sending others tumbling. Their picks are in, so have a look at who they have decided will win Sunday's Food City 500:
Misan Akuya: Denny Hamlin
Hamlin took a stand against NASCAR and their ridiculous fine towards him because of his comments on the gen six car. Bristol is where he could get to the finish line first for the first time in 2013.
Hurricane Hamlin won the Bristol night race last year. Don't be too surprise if he is in victory lane again.
Rob Blount: Kyle Busch
Mastered the new-but-now-old Bristol layout. He struggled a bit on the new-new Bristol last August, but he'll figure the place out and be fighting for the win at the end of 500 laps on Sunday.
James Broomhead: Kyle Busch
Kelly Crandall: Brad Keselowski
Hard pick this week, Kyle Busch was at the top of my list. But the defending race and series champion has the consistency and the luck right now.
Billy Fellin: Kyle Busch
I think the new car will swing the balance of power at Bristol back to Rowdy.
Michael Hirshbein: Kyle Busch
Christopher Leone: Jimmie Johnson
Kara Martin: Kyle Busch
Ryan O'Hara: Matt Kenseth
Kenseth was the king at Bristol before the COT came. I had a couple other choices including Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Jeff Gordon.
Busch is with a mediocre team, Harvick is a lame duck, and Gordon struggled at Vegas, so I'm going for Kenseth to go 2 in a row at Bristol.
Dustin Parks: Kyle Busch
This week was not a toss-up, more like a juggling act. There are like four or five guys I could literally pick from to go with and all pose risk and reward alike.
But, I had a friend tell me earlier this week it was time to get a little bit rowdy. After how my week has gone in some aspects, it's time to do that. So, out comes my pick from the M&M's jar, and my decision to go with a guy who simply was made for this track.
Patti Rodisch: Brad Keselowski
I was really torn this week. I wanted to go with Jeff Gordon. I figured if any driver needed a bounce back week it would be him. Even so Brad Keselowski has been tearing up the track at BMS in recent races.
I am off to a strong start on here and so is Keselowski this season. He has picked up where he left off last season and that will continue at BMS this weekend.
Sal Sigala Jr: Brad Keselowski
Rob Tiongson: Brad Keselowski
Gotta think that the defending champ puts the exclamation point to his best ever start to his career. It'll be the battle of BK and KB. @Keselowski shall tweet his way to Victory Lane!
Standings following Las Vegas:
Patti Rodisch (117) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (0)
Rob Tiongson (115) Matt Kenseth WON (1)
Ryan O'Hara (95) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (0)
Sal Sigala Jr. (90) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (0)
Christopher Leone (84) Kyle Busch finished 4th (0)
Rob Blount (84) Carl Edwards finished 5th (0)
Billy Fellin (82) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (0)
Kelly Crandall (79) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (0)
Misan Akuya (79) Tony Stewart finished 11th (0)
Dustin Parks (73) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (0)
Michael Hirshbein (72) Kyle Busch finished 4th (0)
Kara Martin (65) Brad Keselowski finished 3rd (0)
James Broomhead (64) Kyle Busch finished 4th (0)
Final Thoughts: There's always a chance we could see some heat shields thrown at a window, or a driver deciding who's #1 on the track. Let's not forget about the diving over a crew and grabbing another driver by the collar, and the ever popular helmet toss to the grille.
These kind of memories are what make Bristol exactly what it is, and now the time has come to see what new ones will be added.
Tune into FOX at 12:30 to find out what the World's Fastest Half-Mile will have in store this time.
Summary of Picks: