So, here we are, 13 races into the 2011 Sprint Cup season. Hard to believe the season is already four months old, and that THE one and only Night Race will be here in less than 80 days.

Lots will happen, of course, before the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27… but wow, hasn’t there been plenty to talk about so far this year?

First of all, the scuffles have been plentiful, making for headlines galore.  There was Juan Pablo Montoya vs. Ryan Newman (really now, who in their right mind would want to go up against Newman?). Next up: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch (ol’ Happy really is pretty scrappy) and then Richard Childress going after Busch in the motorcoach lot last weekend (RC is old-school and when he’s had enough, he’s obviously had enough).

There have also been some great feel-good first-time winners.  Obviously, it was really neat seeing local boy Trevor Bayne win the Daytona 500 (and also return last weekend from time off due to illness) and it was also pretty cool seeing Regan Smith grab a win at Darlington. Also loved seeing good guy David Ragan win the Showdown at Charlotte in May.

And, did you realize that every single winner so far this year – outside of the first-timers – has stood in Victory Lane at BMS?  Yep, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth have all notched wins and all of them have been successful at BMS. Including Brad Keselowski, the most recent winner.

There are plenty of others who have been knocking on the door for wins at BMS so the IRWIN Tools Night Race figures to offer up yet another thrilling 500-lapper under the lights.

Cool little story about Keselowski… a few years ago (August, 2008) the little-known kid came to BMS to compete in the Food City 250, driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr. After starting 37th, he wasn’t really considered to be much of a threat but he ultimately made his way through the field and ended up beating Clint Bowyer to the line for what was just his second Nationwide win.

Never have I seen a more excited winner when Keselowski made his way into the media center for interviews. And what made it all the more memorable was that Keselowski walked in, carrying his trophy.

I’ve never seen anybody do that for a Nationwide or Sprint Cup event. Generally, somebody with the team just picks the trophy up from Victory Lane after all the pictures have been taken.

Keselowski wouldn’t let the Bristol trophy out of his sight. He sat it right beside him during his winner’s interview. And when Dale Jr. made his entrance into the media center, he couldn’t help but start laughing when he saw that Keselowski had dragged the trophy in with him.

“Ain’t that something,” said Dale Jr. “Brought the darn trophy to the media center. That’s old school right there. It’s pretty neat that it means that much to him. Yeah, he’s old-school. And he’s gonna win his share of races.”

Keselowski told anybody and everybody that night what winning at Bristol meant to him. “Victory Lane, Bristol. It gets no better than that.”

And Keselowski is among the many drivers out there who are still itching for a Sprint Cup win at Bristol.

“I’ve won there before but not in a Cup car,” he said. “That’s the top of the mountain right there, winning a Cup race at Bristol.”

In just a couple of months, we’ll find out who’ll be able to scale that mountain and leave Bristol with the IRWIN Tools Night race trophy. It’ll be here before we know it – THANK GOODNESS!

For tickets to the IRWIN Tools Night race, and all of our August events, please give us a call toll-free at 1.866.415.4158 or buy Bristol tickets online.