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Bristol Notes: Taking A Car For A Spin Has Become More Difficult

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 6 2019
Playing bumper cars at Bristol is becoming a thing of the past. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The sheet metal grinding and bumping that once characterized NASCAR short-track stock car racing is almost extinct and Ryan Newman says that is due to a combination of things.

“The bumpers, the way they line up now, it’s almost impossible for us to spin somebody around,” Newman said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway during preparations for Sunday’s Food City 500. “It’s like you have to drive through them and then knock a hole in your nose. Before you could just lift a guy’s tires up off the ground and kind of shake him out of the way. If he saved it, he saved it. If we didn’t, well, we’d talk about it afterwards.

“Now, the bumpers line up and we race so close to the same speed that it’s really just a challenge to race people. Before if you raced up on somebody and he blocked you or whatever, you just kind of moved him out of the way and it’s not that cut-and-dry anymore.”

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In seven races this season, Ryan Blaney has produced three top-five finishes and one pole, but the Team Penske driver is frustrated.

“I’m tired of being in spots with a chance to win and just dumb luck happens and it just gets taken all away from you,” Blaney said Friday.

Last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Blaney was leading the race when a part fell off and his Ford Mustang’s engine blew.

“I’m really only frustrated for 10 minutes after the deal happens,” Blaney explained. “Then you focus on the next week because there’s nothing you can do about it after something like that happens. You just try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“The good thing is we’ve had speed all year and sometimes it can get frustrating that we haven’t won a race yet because, honestly, I think we’ve had cars good enough to win almost every single one of them. We’re at the top of our game and I think our cars are the fastest ones out there. Us and the (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) guys seem to be the class of the field, and this all goes full circle. You’ll have slumps, you’ll have good times and you just try to capitalize on the good times.”

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Chase Briscoe is one of four NASCAR Xfinity drivers competing in Saturday’s Alsco 300 with an opportunity to win $100,000 in the series Dash 4 Cash. That’s quite a change from the time when Briscoe wasn’t getting paid to do anything.

“My mom and dad were giving me a little bit of money, but never had the kind of money to support me full time,” Briscoe said Friday. “I’d pay rent. It was $50 every month or two when I could afford it.

“I came to Bristol and would drive to Daytona and I would sneak into the race track just so I could talk to people. I had business cards made and I would hand them out. It’s funny, but I remember going up to Jack Roush one time and said, ‘Hey, I’d love to have a meeting with you,’ and he said, ‘I don’t do meetings.’ Then last year I end up getting to drive for him, so it’s kind of been cool from where I started to now.”

So what would Briscoe do with $100,000?

“It would go a long way with my Chili Bowl organization,” Briscoe said. “I’m trying to get a new motor for my Midget right now, so if I could do that, I feel like I could maybe give (Christopher) Bell a little more of a run for his money at the Chili Bowl.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 6 2019
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