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NASCAR Returns To Bristol Motor Speedway For Jeff Byrd 500

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pulls into Bristol, Tennessee this weekend for the Jeff Byrd 500. The event is named after the former track president of Bristol Motor Speedway, Jeff Byrd, who died last year of brain cancer. Byrd has long been known as one of the great promoters and nurtures of both NASCAR and NHRA. ESPN did a really great piece on Byrd this week that I'd highly recommend.

Carl Edwards grabbed the pole for this weekend, edging out his Rousch teammate Greg Biffle. It's the third consecutive pole for a member of the Roush team.

"This is fun; the cars have just been great," Edwards said. "Greg motivated me. I didn't think anybody was going to be able to go that fast. I thought that the track had slowed down a lot more than that, so I was out there driving my heart out."

While Edwards was the fastest in qualifying, you can never overlook Kyle Busch in any race at Bristol. Busch has won at Bristol four times, leading all active drivers, and has two second place finishes in his last nine races. Busch also has two Nationwide Series wins and three Truck Series wins at Bristol. Busch told NASCAR's website that his success at Bristol can be attributed to his childhood racing roots.

"We grew up at the [Las Vegas Motor Speedway] Bullring and stuff like that," Busch said. "Maybe not as banked as Bristol is, but I love going and racing at Winchester [Ind.], Slinger [Wis.], and Salem [Ind.], where I've raced before. Those are all really high-banked race tracks that are a half-mile in distance, or a quarter. They're really fun to race around, and you kind of get a great feel for racing in a bowl."

Green flag drops Sunday at 2pm on ESPN.