Imagine trying to fly a jet fighter in a toilet bowl.  That's one of the ways the NASCAR races at the half mile concrete track in Bristol, Tennesse have been described.  This weeked, they'll be racing in Bristol, also known as Thunder Valley, and I can't wait.

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Bristol races have long been among the most anticipated races during the racing season.  Race organizers have made a couple of major modifications in recent years in an effort to maintain the tradition of intense close quarters as 43 race cars battle it out, trying to find their way around 500 laps on this tiny track at over 100 mph.  Miscues are common and someone else's mistake can ruin a great race car in the blink of any eye.  Look for teammates Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth to shine here.

As I mentioned last time, Carl Edwards in the 99 car is my guy and so far he's looking strong.  Daytona was a dud for him but he won the next race in Phoenix and he was fifth in Las Vegas.  He's had his ups and downs at Bristol, finishing out the top ten more than he's finished in it, but he is "Concrete Carl" after all.  I'm thinking he'll do just fine and I'm hoping Saint Patrick's Day will bring him plenty of luck.  How does he do those back flips, by the way?

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Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images

Danica Patrick had an excellent start to the season, coming in eighth at Daytona.  However, the last few races have fizzled.  A blown tire wrecked a reasonably respectable effort in Phoenix and last week's showing in Vegas was disappointing.  Bristol is a difficult track and this could be a tough weekend for her.  Although she was surprisingly strong in her debut here last year.  I think her odds will improve next week at the big two mile track in Fontana, California.

One more to watch.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Like Carl, he's off to a good start too (two top fives and three top tens) and that's always a good thing for NASCAR.  He's very good at Bristol too, so it should make for some exciting watching this weekend.  Are you ready?

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