BRISTOL RECORD: Won the spring race after starting second and leading 109 laps.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kahne said, "The Bristol night race is always one of the better races of the year. It's one of the races I look forward to just because of the time of the season it is. I like racing there at night. It's hot. It seems like tempers kind of get out of control there at times at the night race because it's hot and you're racing under the lights. We won the first one, and we've run really well there the last few times we've been at Bristol so I'm looking forward to trying to get another win and sweeping the season there."
LOOKING BACK: Kahne was all smiles after rallying from his 31st starting position to finish seventh at Michigan. "The track got real slick today and we had to make a bunch of changes to get the car where we wanted," said Kahne. "We made up a lot of ground in the last 40 or so laps, so it was a good day. We didn't run as well as we did here in June, but we did get us a top-10 finish." Kahne was leading in June when he suffered engine failure.
ETC.: Kahne was featured in a special "My Wish" segment on ESPN on Tuesday. The episode featured the story behind Kahne's granting of a special wish by Rylee Durham, a 12-year-old who suffers from Noonan's syndrome. The youngster got to meet Kahne, her favorite driver, earlier this year at Daytona International Speedway.
56 MARTIN TRUEX JR., Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, 10 points out of the top 10. Lost two spots to fall out of the top 10. Stands second in the wild card standings with one win.
BRISTOL RECORD: Only two top-five finishes in 15 starts, but they have come in the last four races including a second in the August race of 2011.
LOOKING AHEAD: Truex calls racing at Bristol "just insane - it's out of control. Bristol is like having a boxing match in an elevator. Everything is so tight there and so packed together. The fans are on top of the action. When you're driving the car, you're always in the middle of something. You're always busy and you don't get any time to rest. It's just an exciting place and it keeps you amped up and keeps you on the edge of your seat all night long."
LOOKING BACK: Truex finished 16th at Michigan. "We started off pretty solid and I thought we were going to be OK," said Truex. "Then the handling on the Napa Toyota went away. We tried a bunch of different strategies to regain track position but the car just would not handle the way we needed it to. It was downright terrible there for a while. Chad (Johnson, crew chief) took one final stab at it on our last pit stop and it helped a lot. I wish we had more laps because it could have been a better day."
ETC.: Truex said a win at Bristol would be special. "We've been close too," said Truex. "We've been really good there. That would be a fun one to win. I won there in Nationwide and it sure would be great to win (in Cup). We want to win everywhere, but there are certain tracks that are really cool to win at and Bristol is definitely one of them with that night race and getting to drive on top of the building with the fireworks shooting off. Yeah, that is one I want to get."
22 JOEY LOGANO, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 13th, 17 points out of the top 10. Gained three spots last week. Stands third in the wild card standings following his Michigan win.
BRISTOL RECORD: Finished eighth last August after leading 139 laps. It was his first top-10 finish in nine starts. Won the Nationwide Series race last August.
LOOKING AHEAD: Logano admits, "Until we are locked into the Chase, then the pressure is still there. Even with a win, we are still just one bad race from pretty much being out of this thing. We just have to keep doing what we have been doing over the last few weeks. We just need to put together great races and get the most out of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford that we can. It's all about maximizing your day over these last three races (before the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship begins)."
LOOKING BACK: After winning the pole at a record speed of 203.949 miles per hour, Logano led three times for a race-high 51 laps including final four laps after inheriting the top spot when Mark Martin ran out of gas. The victory boosted Logano's chances of making the Chase for the first time in his career. "It is so cool to be here in victory lane," said Logano. "It is crazy racing Mark Martin, my childhood hero. I was able to race against him in Pocono last year for the win. This is huge for our Chase hopes. We needed this to have a shot at getting in the Chase. Getting by the 29 (Kevin Harvick) on that last restart (with 23 laps to go) was the key. I had to be very aggressive to get by the 29."
ETC.: Logano feels the key for the next three races is "being consistent. It is something Todd (Gordon, crew chief) and I talk about before each weekend on how we will approach the weekend and how aggressive we need to be. We decided we needed a win a couple of weeks ago. So we got one. That is what we wanted to do. As long as we are consistent and keep knocking off top-10's like this team has been doing, we will be in good shape. If we get another win, it will really help us."
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 14th, 26 points out of the top 10. Lost one spot last week.
BRISTOL RECORD: Has finished third in the last two August races. His five wins ties him with Kurt and Kyle Busch for the most victories among active drivers. Overall has 22 top-10 finishes including 16 top-five's in 41 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon said the team's "mindset hasn't changed going into this weekend" in its bid to qualify for this year's Chase for the Championship. "We're still going to work hard all weekend to have a fast race car, hopefully qualify well and lead some laps and be in position to battle for the win at the end of the night. That's our plan of attack every weekend."
LOOKING BACK: It was not the day that Gordon had envisioned as he battled an "edgy" race car all afternoon as he finished 17th at Michigan to put a huge dent in his hopes of making the Chase for the Championship. "We just didn't get through (turns) three and four like we needed," said Gordon. "We had hoped for a much better day."
ETC.: A year ago, Gordon was 16th in the standings with one win, four top-five's and nine top-10's in the first 23 races of the season. He then finished third at Bristol, second at Atlanta and second at Richmond to qualify for the Chase. This year, he has the same amount of top-10's and one more top-five's after 23 races. And he is two spots better in the standings. But he has no wins. "We have a good stretch of tracks ahead, and we have to do everything possible to make the most of these races," said Gordon.