Johnson Feels New Car Will Lead To More Effective "Bump-And-Run" In Food City 500
With the first short track race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season on tap at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend, curious eyes are on the Gen-6 car's performance and adaptability on a track under a mile in length.
Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson feels fans will see a different kind of racing at BMS.
"I think short track racing is going to be short track racing," said Johnson, who won the 2010 Food City 500. "The bumpers aren't as square so the bump-and-run can be far more effective. It was really tough to get somebody out of the way with the COT or Gen-5 car so we might see a little difference there. I think the crash damage is going to be different.
"There is some glass on the nose of these cars that we can fold up pretty easily and we might have to cut noses off the cars even from not being part of a crash, but just the stack up on the restart might cave in noses. We might have some modified looking vehicles out there running around. There will be a learning process. I don't think the aero balance and implications there will come through, but we'll be talking a lot more about less weight, the type of camber we're allowed to run this year and things like that."
The Gen-6 car, which more resembles those found in showrooms, weighs 160 pounds less than the Gen-5 car. Johnson feels that will make a difference at BMS Sunday.
"I think the mechanical aspects will help the cars at Bristol," he said. "The last time there we were very curious about the grinding and what would happen and what wouldn't The track just changed in some ways and we will just go back and get in a rhythm and see what happens."
Practice for both the Food City 500 and Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 Nationwide Series event take place during Ford Fan Friday Friday, March 15, starting at 10:30 a.m. Qualifying for the Food City 500 is set for 3:40 p.m. while qualifying for the Grit Chips 300 is Saturday at 10:35 a.m.
The Food City 500 goes green just after 1 p.m. Sunday while the Grit Chips 300 is Saturday at 2 p.m., followed by the DRIVE4COPD 125 K&N Series race.
Special half-price ticket packages for fans 15 and younger are available for March race weekend. March race weekend ticket packages, which include the Food City 500 and Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300/DRIVE4COPD 125 doubleheader start at $104 for adults. A package in the Wallace Tower for both Sprint Cup races also is available for $104, while packages for fans 15 and younger are available for the March races at half price. Lower-row seating for the Food City 500 is available with tickets starting at $70 for adults and $35 for children 15 and under. Tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader start at $40 for adults and $20 for kids 15 and under.
Purchasing tickets to the Food City 500 enters the guest in the Bruton’s Big Bristol Giveaway in which 10 lucky fans win a new Ford Mustang.
BMS Season Tickets, which include the Food City 500 and IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup races, as well as both Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300, the Food City 250 and the DRIVE4COPD 125, also are on sale. Pricing for all four races begins at just $175 in the Wallace Tower.
Tickets may be purchased by calling (866) 415-4158.