After seeing a massive number of wrecks apart from a thrilling finish today, it is hard for me to choose which three best-limited budget teams performed well at The Paper Clip.
I can see some who finished towards the back end of the Top 10 as well as plenty of them towards the Top 15 to 20 mark.
As always, these drivers who put in the best effort inside the race car despite their team’s budget levels aren’t as reliable as the mid to high-level Cup teams.
Everyone, including myself, appreciates that, but for this race, only three of them will win this battle.
The random starting draw from 35th isn’t what Bell to hear at the start after disappointing run three days ago in Charlotte.
But he catches up all day long with a decent No.95 Toyota Camry (Leavine) in his hands.
Bell developed a great base to get ahead of the field in the Top 25 after the first checkpoint & remained the same momentum ever since with patience.
Thanks to the other drivers ahead of him bow out early, the clean air & no adverse effects from the race car benefitted his 2nd Top 10 of 2020 in 9th.
Bell, too will look to keep the faith and try to produce another fantastic result like this going into Atlanta next weekend.
Like Bell, Bubba, too, had to catch up from way back in 36th & kept an eye towards the Top 20 mark breakthrough ahead of Stage 2.
Nothing much has changed, including his fantastic No.43 Chevy Camaro (Richard Petty Motorsports) on display except two exotic escapes such as the Ricky Stenhouse Jr. incident in the latter portion of Stage 2 & the last lap Joey Logano/Chase Elliott saga that saw Bubba merit the previous Top 10 spot.
What’s next for Bubba is to continue to be a regular within the Top 15 to 20 mark over the next few weeks to months.
Thanks to the tools Richard Childress Racing supplies to Bubba’s race car, it can be possible as he does need this badly to progress and hopefully add some new sponsors on board to support him.
And finally, the third team/driver to complete today’s list is going to be a tough decision to decide as one of them will miss the cut.
It is either Ryan Preece or the Front Row Motorsports team.
Front Row Motorsports had that honor over the last two races, so this time, let’s give Ryan Preece the shoutout he deserves.
Like his team-mate Stenhouse, Preece did start well from 33rd & moved closer to the Top 20 during the first half of the race thanks to his No.37 Chevy race car, which did its excellent work for him.
Due to the incidents from the other drivers ahead of him, Preece was one of the drivers who benefited from the survival & still be on the lead lap.
It allowed him to carry the form he built earlier on that helped him defeat both Front Row cars at P12.
Now that he has improved this time around, Preece would want to follow the form Stenhouse has been over the last few days in Charlotte & stay that way.
It’s his chance to shine with the equipment he receives from Hendrick Motorsports should help Preece unlock his targets at the next level.
So there are your Top 3 drivers who made this list at Bristol.
It was a wreck-fest for the medium to bigger teams who didn’t enjoy their day as a large number of limited budget teams took their chance & finished the best way possible.
But for this race, the best three, as mentioned above, showed the best ability inside the race car in the hope of becoming a regular presence within the Top 15-20 mark as well as occasional top half contenders in the long term.