39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 15th, 27 points out of the top 10. Lost one spot last week. Stands fourth in the wild card standings with one win.
BRISTOL RECORD: Finished seventh in the spring race for his 13 top-10 finish in 23 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Newman feels "we have a good package when we come to Bristol, and that's easy to see by how we have qualified and run there. We haven't gotten a win there, yet, but it's a track where we are very confident. You have to have patience because it is a track that really challenges your mentality. It's that mental stamina of controlling your emotions and controlling the race car according to your emotions and making the best of all the situations you are in."
LOOKING BACK: Newman battled a "loose" race car in the waning laps at Michigan. As a result, he ended the day in 13th place after running in the top 10 for much of the day. "We had the right pit strategy, and we would have been in position to grab a top-five at the very least," said Newman. "But I just couldn't do anything with the car (in the final 25 laps). The Quicken Loans Chevy got too loose, and being back there in dirty air didn't help us at all. I'm disappointed we couldn't get the finish we set ourselves up for today."
ETC.: Newman said he likes the short tracks "because I like using the middle petal (brake). In all seriousness, I think it adds another parameter of a driver's input when you have to modulate that third petal. I think our team has done a really good job with the brake package we have. At places like Bristol, Martinsville, Phoenix and Richmond, we've been really strong as a team."
1 JAMIE MCMURRAY, Chevrolet
Team: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
WHERE HE STANDS: 16th, 41 points out of the top 10. Lost one spot last week.
BRISTOL RECORD: Finished 10th in the spring race for his third top-10 finish in the last four races. Has five top-10 finishes in the last seven races.
LOOKING AHEAD: McMurray said, "Bristol at night is always a fun race. I think everyone who has raced under the lights on a Saturday night gets a charge out going to a track like this. We have had some good runs at Bristol, including a top-10 there in the spring. I hope that we can put together a good run this weekend in the McDonald's Chevy. We just need to focus on the things that we can control and go out and execute."
LOOKING BACK: McMurray was forced to start at the back of the pack after suffering engine failure during practice on Friday. And to compound his problems, he battled an ill-handling race car for most of the day on Sunday as he finished 22nd to severely damage his hopes of making the Chase for the Championship. "This was just a difficult day for our Advil Chevy," said McMurray. "Our car was really loose most of the day, and we struggled to find the balance to make it better."
ETC.: McMurray wants the world to know "you're not going to see any changes between sponsors or drivers on the 1 team. Everything is all set for next year." Last week the team informed Juan Pablo Montoya that they would not extend his contract for 2014.
27 PAUL MENARD, Chevrolet
Team: Richard Childress Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 17th, 64 points out of the top 10. Gained two spots last week.
BRISTOL RECORD: Finished ninth in the spring race for his third straight top-10 finish and fourth in the last five races.
LOOKING AHEAD: Menard said, "I really enjoy short-track racing. That is what our sport was built around. Night racing at Bristol always makes for an exciting evening, for some reason the sparks seem to fly even more when you race under the lights. We've had a pretty good record at Bristol over the past couple of years with four top-10 finishes."
LOOKING BACK: Menard finished a season-best fourth at Michigan. "We had a good car all weekend," said Menard. "We didn't qualify very well (20th), but I knew the car had some speed in it. It just drove really well all weekend. Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) made some good calls to get some track position. We really needed a good run. I'm really proud of everybody at RCR getting all three cars in the top 10 today. It was a great day for all of us."
ETC.: Menard felt the team "started the season strong," but "just fell off the last couple of months. We have had good cars - we just haven't been able to put together a race and we have been crashing a lot and we just can't do that. We needed a run like Michigan. We were fast all day. This should give us a lot of confidence and momentum for the rest of the year."
14 TONY STEWART, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 18th, 69 points out of the top 10. Team ranks 13th in car owner points, only six points out of the top 10.
BRISTOL RECORD: The team announced Monday that Stewart will miss the rest of the 2013 season with a broken right leg, and Mark Martin will drive the car in 12 of the last 13 races beginning with Bristol. Martin has two wins and 23 top-10 finishes including 16 top-five's in 46 starts at BMS. He's the all-time pole winner with nine.