No, no, not that – wow, the vision that just flashed in my mind was rather ugly.
It means that one competitor seems to win the majority of the races conducted over several years. He, or a team, thus establishes a victory streak.
Don’t think I really needed to tell you that.
It happens at every track, at least for a while, but at Bristol it appears to have gone on routinely since the track opened in 1961.
There were four different winners in the speedway’s first four races. But then, in 1963, Holman-Moody, the powerhouse Ford team, took over.
The organization won four straight races from 1963-64 with drivers Fred Lorenzen and Fireball Roberts.
Over a period of seven seasons, 1963-1969, Holman-Moody won eight times at Bristol.
Then came the 1970s through the early ‘80s. As has been recorded often – and yet again this season – this was Junior Johnson’s era.
Actually, Johnson’s first Bristol victory came in 1965 in his own Ford. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s he won 15 more times as an owner with drivers Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.
Johnson cars were virtually unbeatable. Yarborough won five of six races from 1976-78. Waltrip did even better with seven straight wins from 1981-85.
Waltrip holds the record for most Bristol wins with 12, 11 of which he won with Johnson.
Here’s an interesting tidbit. Although Johnson is credited with 16 Bristol wins as a team owner, he was part of five more victories.
From 1971-74 cars owned by Richard Howard and driven by Charlie Glotzbach, Bobby Allison and Yarborough won five of six races at BMS, including four in a row.
At that time Howard had partnered with Johnson in an effort to bring Chevrolet back to NASCAR.
Howard was listed as the team owner. But he never turned a wrench on the cars. That was Johnson’s responsibility – and all the work was done in his Ronda, N.C., shops.
Seems Johnson’s dominance of Bristol is greater than the record books indicate. He’s part of an astounding 21 victories at the track.
Starting in 1985 it was Dale Earnhardt’s turn. Ironically, he won his first career NASCAR Winston Cup race as a rookie at Bristol in the spring of 1979.
He won the same race in 1980, the year in which he earned his first career championship.
By ’85 he was starting to hit his stride with Richard Childress Racing and it showed, especially at Bristol.
He swept both events in ’85 and did it again in 1987. He earned another victory in 1988 to give him five wins in four years. Ultimately, he won nine times at Bristol, second only to Waltrip.
No driver established such dominance throughout the 1990s, although Rusty Wallace took the lion’s share of victories with seven in a decade.
It seems, however, the pattern has returned over the last 10 years or so – at least somewhat.
Kurt Busch won for the first time at Bristol in 2002 and then went on a tear. He won three straight races from 2003-04 and then won again in 2006, which means five victories in as many years.
Bristol has become a Busch brothers’ playground. Younger brother Kyle won at the track for the first time in 2007, swept both races in 2009 and won the summer night race last year. He’s won three of the last four BMS races.
You might say he’s our current streaker.
Oops, just had another horrid mental image.
Make no mistake, he’ll be a solid favorite to win the March 20 Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol.
So will Carl Edwards, who has won three of the last five Sprint Cup races, dating back to 2010. He’s also been victorious twice at Bristol since 2007.
Other than Kyle, he’s the only driver to earn multiple Bristol victories in the last five years.
As said, there are several tracks at which drivers display a keen propensity to win repeatedly.
It just seems that Bristol, over the years, has seen far more than its share. And it seems it still does.