The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took to the treacherous turns of Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. For the eight rookie drivers, they got their first taste of short track racing for the season. Although Bristol is known to be tough for most drivers, especially rookies, there were a few who came away with impressive runs. HITS:
Kyle Larson: Growing up racing short tracks in midget cars, Larson took that experience and applied it to his first Bristol start with Chip Ganassi Racing. With three top five finishes in the Nationwide Series at the track, including a runner-up finish Saturday, he was a favorite to excel on Sunday. Larson was fast on track during practice and earned his best finish of 10th in his eighth career start.
Austin Dillon: Another rookie with an impressive Nationwide Series resume, Austin Dillon, missed out on another top 10 finish. Finishing 11th on the lead lap, he managed to stay out of trouble and came home with his No. 3 Chevrolet in one piece. With three top 20 finishes this season, Dillon is off to a great start in his rookie campaign.
Justin Allgaier: Starting 30th, Allgaier fought his way to 17th earning the best finish of his Sprint Cup career. Just one lap down at the end of the race, he successfully avoided wrecks and spins to move up three spots in the driver standings to 26th.
Parker Kilgerman: The No. 30 of Kligerman sustained heavy damage in practice after Danica Patrick got loose and spun, clipping his right side. He had to go to a backup car and start from the rear. Kilgerman battled hard and finished 34th, moving up three spots in the standings. You can see a replay of the incident here.
Alex Bowman: He didn’t have the best finish but gained over 10k Twitter followers in just a few hours! Bowman caused a lot of controversy early in the race when the battery fell out of his No. 23 Toyota. Along with it came some sort of white packing material that was eerily similar to toilet paper. The strange incident came shortly before the rain delay. This gave the social media world and TV personalities like Darrell Waltrip ample time to discuss it, coming up with several jokes.
Michael Annett: Annett survived his first Cup start and came away with a 26th place finish, his best career finish in the series to date. With three top 10 finishes at the track in the Nationwide Series, this was a good weekend for him and his No. 7 Pilot Travel Centers/Flying J Chevrolet.
Ryan Truex: Bristol did not treat this rookie too kindly. Blowing a right front tire shortly after the race resumed, Truex slammed the wall hard and finished 42nd. You can check out the video replay here.
Cole Whitt: An incident with his former JR Motorsports teammate Danica Patrick ended Whitt’s night early. The two collided on the track and the contact sent his car spinning. He finished 40th after an impressive 18th place starting position. You can watch the clip on the incident here.