WHERE HE STANDS: Kevin Harvick remained in fourth place for the ninth straight week after Michigan. He trails series leader Jimmie Johnson by 64 points (down from 101 last week), is 13 points behind third-ranked Carl Edwards and leads fifth-ranked Kyle Busch by 43 points (up from 14 points last week).
BRISTOL RECORD: 25 career starts, 1 wins, 9 top-fives, 12 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2005. Was 15th in this race last year and finished 14th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Harvick is all but locked into the Chase, but he could use another win or two before the playoffs begin three weeks from now. He couldn't pick a better place to do so than Saturday night at Bristol. Here's his thoughts: "We ran really well there (Bristol Motor Speedway) in March, we just kind of got a little bit off on pit strategy at the end, but all-in-all the performance was pretty good. Overall, Bristol is a pretty crazy track. It doesn't matter if it's the old track or new track, it just seems like that night race brings a lot more excitement."
LOOKING BACK: Harvick had one of his best runs of the season this past Sunday at Michigan, finishing second to Joey Logano.
ETC.: Harvick has completed 98.2 percent (12,290) of the 12,513 total laps contested in 25 career starts at Bristol. His average start is 17.8 and average finish is 12.6. He has two DNFs there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch remained in fifth place for the second consecutive week after Michigan. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 107 points, is 43 points behind fourth-ranked Kevin Harvick and leads sixth-ranked Matt Kenseth by 18 points.
BRISTOL RECORD: 17 career starts, 5 wins, 8 top-fives, 12 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2007, spring and summer 2009, summer 2010 and spring 2011. Finished sixth in this race last year and was second in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Bristol is without question Kyle Busch's best Sprint Cup track. After coming so close to a sixth win there this spring (finished runnerup), he goes for win No. 6 there this Saturday night. Here's his thoughts on the race: "I'm not exactly sure what makes me so good at Bristol. I've just had a lot of success there, but I've also had some misfortune there, too. Ever since I got through my rookie year, I've just taken a liking to the place. Of course, I've been able to get some help from my brother (Kurt). He's always been really, really good there. But, when they changed the track to this current surface in 2007, I just really took to it right away. It's just a fun racetrack no matter what series I'm running there."
LOOKING BACK: After winning the week before at Watkins Glen, Busch had a terrible outing at Michigan, finishing 31st. He's looking for a big bounce back this Saturday night.
ETC.: Busch has completed 97.6 percent (8,310) of the 8,513 total laps contested in 17 career starts at Bristol. His average start is 18.2, while his average finish is an outstanding 9.8. He has zero DNFs there.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After spending the previous two weeks in seventh place, Matt Kenseth moved up one spot to sixth after Sunday's race at Michigan. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 125 points (down from 149 last week), is 18 points behind fifth-ranked Kyle Busch and leads seventh-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by nine points.
BRISTOL RECORD: 27 career starts, 2 wins, 10 top-fives, 17 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in summer 2005 and summer 2006. Finished 25th in this race last year and was 35th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: After having an outstanding run for most of his career at Bristol, Kenseth has struggled in his last two starts. He's looking for a big bounce back Saturday night. Here's his thoughts on the race: "The first one is early in the season, it's during the day and its cooler. Then we go back in the middle of the summer and it's hot and it's nighttime, so the cars always look faster -- you see the sparks flying and all that. It's a really cool atmosphere for a race fan and for the teams and drivers as well. The track of course -- the way it's shaped and being later in the year, everybody's patience is a little thinner and all that stuff. It seems like the racing is more intense and that leads to close racing, frustration and all that kind of stuff that is fun to watch."
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth typically does well at Michigan, but not this past Sunday, having to settle for a 15th-place finish.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 97.0 percent (13,101) of the 13,513 total laps contested in 27 career starts at Bristol. His average start is 16.8, while his average finish is a 12.9. He has four DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: For the second week in a row, Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped one position, this time from sixth to seventh after Michigan. He trails teammate and points leader Jimmie Johnson by 134 points, is nine points behind sixth-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads eighth-ranked Brad Keselowski by 12 points.
BRISTOL RECORD: 27 career starts, 1 wins, 7 top-fives, 13 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in summer 2004. Finished 12th in this race last year and was sixth in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: One week after still looking like he was secure to make the Chase, Earnhardt is suddenly in trouble, going from a 45-point margin ahead of 10th place to just 16 points after Michigan. Still, he feels confident coming into Saturday's race that he'll make the Chase: "I like Bristol. I've always enjoyed going there as a kid and watching races. The Saturday night race is one of the best tickets in the series. It's an exciting racetrack, and it's a lot of fun for the drivers. You're always in the middle of something every lap. It keeps you on your toes, and it's a pretty tough racetrack. I enjoy the challenge and look forward to hopefully having a good weekend."
LOOKING BACK: After finishing a disappointing 30th the week before at Watkins Glen, Earnhardt went from bad to worse at Michigan, finishing 36th. His chances of making the Chase took a serious hit.