2007 Food City 500
|Race 5 of 36 in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season|
|Date||March 25, 2007|
|Official name||Food City 500|
|Location||Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee|
Permanent racing facility|
0.533 mi (0.857 km)
|Distance||504 laps, 268.632 mi (432.321 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||500 laps, 266.5 mi (428.89 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 82.9 °F (28.3 °C); average wind speed of 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h)|
|Average speed||81.969 miles per hour (131.916 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|No. 5||Kyle Busch||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||Fox Broadcasting Company|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds|
The race was historic as this marked the competitive debut of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow vehicle template, which was tested on February 28 at this facility, as the test was extended due to an impending rainstorm and three sessions were held in one day, including a nighttime session. Because of the success in those tests, NASCAR considered making the CoT permanent in the 2008 season. Additionally, in all CoT events, two brands will switch models, as Dodge will use the Avenger and Chevrolet will utilize the Impala brand.
The event was the last to be run on the original concrete surface as resurfacing started following the race, using specially designed resurfacers that will lay a new concrete surface for the Sharpie 500 event in August. In addition, the 36-degree turns will be altered to progressive banking.
Jeff Gordon won the pole. Dale Jarrett, who had used a provisional the past four races, qualified 30th. A. J. Allmendinger and Jeremy Mayfield made their season debuts after failing to qualify for the previous four races (qualifying 43rd and 23rd, respectively).
Failed to qualifyEdit
The following drivers failed to qualify:
Of these drivers, Nemechek (who missed his first race in over five years when he was released by Travis Carter because of a lack of sponsorship in 2002) and possibly Sauter could still end up locked into the top-35 after this race, despite missing this race (both had made the previous four races, but drive for new teams with no previous owner points to fall back on). With the car owner points provision for failing to qualify, however, both the Ginn #13 and the Haas CNC #70 remained in the top 35 in owner points, which meant both teams were awarded exemptions for the next race.
The other teams are guaranteed to be out of the top 35.
The #37 team has now missed four of the first five points races, Reutimann and Menard have missed two races, and Waltrip has missed four straight races.
The race, despite the introduction of the CoT, was a typical Bristol affair, with 15 caution flags for 90 laps. Tony Stewart, starting from the fourth position, looked to have the car to beat all day. However, during a caution with 211 laps left, Stewart experienced a fuel pressure malfunction, and would finish 35th. The lead was inherited by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin. Hamlin would hold the lead until with 16 laps to go, Kyle Busch stole the lead from the sophomore in the #5 Kellogg's Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. It appeared as though Kyle would sail off with his first win of 2007, but a spin by rookie David Ragan set up a green-white-checkered finish with Hendrick Motorsports holding the first two spots. Kyle Busch was second, with teammate Jeff Gordon behind him, and the Richard Childress Racing cars of Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick behind them. That would not last long however, as on the restart, Kyle spun the tires, allowing Jeff to inch under him; however, Jeff Burton steered his #31 Chevrolet to the outside of Jeff Gordon and attempted to chase down Kyle. Jeff Burton would clear Gordon just as Kyle Busch took the white flag, and would chase down Kyle during the final lap, narrowly losing by half-a-car length at the start-finish line.
Busch's victory was a historic one in many ways. Not only it being the first victory for the Car of Tomorrow, but it was also the 156th win for Hendrick Motorsports, the 600th victory for Chevrolet in NASCAR, and the 61st victory for the Chevrolet Impala nameplate, the last one coming in 1964 when Wendell Scott became the first African-American to win in NASCAR. The first win for the Impala came in 1959 when Bob Welborn won in Daytona. In a post-race ceremony, former 12-time Bristol winner and current NASCAR on Fox commentator Darrell Waltrip, who dropped the green flag for this race, jack-hammered a piece of the original concrete to begin the reconstruction of the track.
|Pos||Start||Car #||Laps||Status||Name||Team/Car Make||Money won|
(in US Dollars)
|1||20||5||504||Running||Kyle Busch†||Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS||$173,400|
|2||29||31||504||Running||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Impala SS||$161,691|
|3||1||24||504||Running||Jeff Gordon†||Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS||$165,586|
|4||40||29||504||Running||Kevin Harvick†||Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Impala SS||$154,911|
|5||11||16||504||Running||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion||$111,900|
|6||9||66||504||Running||Jeff Green||Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet Impala SS||$125,383|
- "Weather History for Bristol, Tennessee on March 25, 2007". The Old Farmer's Almanac. Retrieved 23 March 2014.