CUP: Tuesday NASCAR Notebook

BRISTOL GROOVY – Jeff Gordon says he likes the fact that the close-to-the-wall top groove at Bristol Motor Speedway remains racing territory.

Last August, after the track modified the race surface to discourage top-groove racing and theoretically force drivers to fight for position in lower grooves, the high line on the track instead became a fine place to race.

"I remember seeing guys like Darrell (Waltrip) and Davey (Allison) run that high line back in 1991 or 1992," Gordon said. "I was watching them from the spotters' stand, and it was so cool to see them running right up against the wall. It was hard to pass, so you would see 'slide jobs' when they got a run.

"That's essentially the same kind of racing we had here in August. I had so much fun racing that way that night."

Gordon will be seeking his sixth Bristol victory in Sunday’s Food City 500.

YOU MIGHT BE A REDNECK… – Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is scheduled to be at BMS Saturday for the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300 Nationwide Series race.

…If you have a NASCAR race named after you and it involves grits, you might be a redneck. …

Grit Chips are a new delicacy being promoted by Foxworthy.

THE TRUCKS ARE COMING – Fans seem to have a love affair with the huge transporters that carry race cars and team equipment from track to track, and they’ll get a chance to see them up close and personal March 21 prior to the Auto Club 400 weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

NASCAR haulers are scheduled to travel from the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., through Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana on the way to the speedway beginning at 6 p.m.

Along the parade route, drivers Jamie McMurray and Tony Stewart are scheduled to make an appearance at the NASCAR Hauler Parade Festival at Bass Pro Shops at 7777 Victoria Gardens Lane in Rancho Cucamonga.

BRISTOL NOTES – Current drivers have a long way to go to catch Darrell Waltrip, the all-time Bristol victory leader with 12. Top active drivers in wins at the track are Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon with five each. … Active driver with the most starts at BMS is Terry Labonte with 57. … The first Bristol race winner wasn’t in the car to take the checkered flag. Jack Smith needed relief-driving from Johnny Allen in the July 1961 event. … How have things changed at the now high-banked half-mile? Fred Lorenzen won the first pole at 79.225 miles per hour. The current track qualifying record, set by Ryan Newman in 2003, is 128.709.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 31 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.