The G-Force Grand National Series powered by the JuiceBox Podcast heads to Thunder Valley tomorrow for 150 laps at the high banks of Bristol. Another short track on the 12 race schedule will provide bumper to bumper racing. Expect more contact than last week at Richmond with Bristol offering really only one dominant racing groove.
Short track favorite, Blaine Akin, took the checkered flag in dominating fashion at Richmond, leading all but 7 laps. Hank Steinmiller, Gerald Campbell, John Weitendorf, and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top 5. Akin continued his dominance on short tracks this season, having now led 216 of a possible 277 laps.
Campbell was able to take over the points lead due to a tough night for Jake Hounshell. Weitendorf, Akin, and Dallas Myhand were able to take advantage to slide up one spot in points with Hounshell rounding out the top 5 after Richmond. The top 10 in points are still only separated by 128 points, where in the right circumstances could be made up in a single race. Problems for the top 5 in points could open the door for drivers like Chris Morse Jr, Jason Hounshell, or Joseph Causey.
When the Vintage Cup Series visited Bristol, it was Campbell with a nose out over Steinmiller as the caution flag flew. Some would say controversial (me). Morse was able to wheel a flipped race car home in the 3rd position. The race was full of spins and contact, however these ARCA cars are a bit easier to handle.
A relatively clean run at Richmond saw over 100 laps of green flag racing that had a plethora of pit strategies and strung the field out. Expect more cautions this week with daytime, slick conditions at Bristol making it tough to keep the carnage down. If the race does stay green for a while, look out for the tire strategy. New tires can give up to a 2.5 second advantage over 40-50 lap tires on a track that only takes 15 seconds to make a lap, this could play a big factor. The key to look out for is which cars can make aggressive moves to the inside on restarts to gain positions. The high line is dominant at this Bristol layout.
Blaine Akin 3/1
Gerald Campbell 3/1
Chris Morse 6/1
Jake Hounshell 6/1
Jeff Green 8/1
Over/Under on Cautions: 7.5