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Food City 500 Preview: Short-Track Battle

Mark Taylor

Taylor is RotoWire's senior NASCAR writer. A four-time FSWA award winner, Taylor was named the 2016 Racing Writer of the Year. He is also a military historian, specifically the World War II U.S. Navy in the Pacific.

After our first week off of the season, we head back east this week to return to the roots of NASCAR and short-track racing. We take a trip to the "World's Fastest Half Mile" at Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekend's Food City 500. Bristol's half-mile oval with 36-degree corner banking makes it one of the most unique tracks on the circuit. This bull ring will not only test driver's skill but their patience as well. Trading paint and short tempers are the norm at BMS. When you put 40 of the world's best and most competitive drivers in this half-mile mixing bowl, contact and hard racing are a foregone conclusion. So, avoiding a poor qualifying run and bad starting spot on the grid is very important.

Much like the super speedways, you don't want to be in the eye of the storm when things go wrong. The teams that can pull off the right handling setup and qualify up front will likely stay out of the worst part of the battle in this 500-lap event. You don't want to dea

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