Since 1978, the race has been held in late-August on a Saturday night. Since 2010 the race has been sponsored by tool maker IRWIN Industrial Tools and for that reason Sharpie 500 was changed to IRWIN Tools Night Race.
Previously known as the Sharpie 500 as recently as 2009, the IRWIN Tools Night Race is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee, and is one of two Sprint Cup races held at Bristol. The other is the Food City 500, but the newly-tagged IRWIN Tools Night Race is by far the more popular of the two.
The biggest of the two races at Bristol is the Irwin Tools Night Race, which was formerly known as the Sharpie 500. The history of this race goes all the way back to 1961 as the Volunteer 500 (since Tennessee is the Volunteer State) and it has undergone several name changes since then. For nearly a decade it was the Sharpie 500, but in 2017 it will take on a new name.
While the IRWIN Tools Night Race's new name is unique, the summer classic will continue to be 500 grueling laps around the high banks of the .533-mile oval, under the lights at Bristol, one of NASCAR's most popular and legendary racing venues. A spectacle in auto sports since its inception in 1961, Bristol has had 55 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sellouts, dating back to 1982.
2016 IRWIN Tools Night Race
Matt Kenseth got his fifth win of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne tried to win the race with a clean pass over a thrilling final 12 laps, but Kenseth held him off for this NASCAR victory.
2015 IRWIN Tools Night Race
This was the 11th career victory for Joey Logano, third of the season, second at Bristol Motor Speedway and 12th at the track for Team Penske. Despite winning the race, he left Bristol trailing Kevin Harvick by 43-points in the drivers points standings. Ford left Bristol trailing Toyota by one-point for second in the manufacturer standings and Chevrolet by 71 for the points lead.
2014 IRWIN Tools Night Race
Joseph Thomas "Joey" Logano, nicknamed "Sliced Bread," is an American professional stock car racing driver
2013 IRWIN Tools Night Race
Matt Kenseth earned his series-leading fifth victory, Kahne also helped himself, climbing from 11th to eighth in the standings on a night when the Chase standings had a big shakeup. Kahne finished second followed by Juan Pablo Montoya, Brian Vickers, Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Jeff Gordon.
2012 IRWIN Tools Night Race
Denny Hamlin wins the 2012 Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin edged Jimmie Johnson to the checkered flag Saturday to capture his third Sprint Cup Series win of the NASCAR season. Hamlin is now tied with Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart for the series lead in wins.
2011 IRWIN Tools Night Race
Brad Keselowski wins 2011 Irwin Tools Night Race. Keselowski passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead on lap 421 and led the rest of the way. This is Keselowski second NASCAR victory in four races and third win of the season, Keselowski virtually sewed up a spot in NASCAR’s “Chase for the Cup” 10-race playoffs.
2010 IRWIN Tools Night Race
Kyle Busch and his No. 18 Doublemint Toyota won the 2010 IRWIN Tools Night Race, his 19th victory in 210 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, and he made NASCAR history by becoming the first driver to win all three NASCAR top series in one weekend. Following Busch and Reutimann to the drop of the checkered flag were Jamie McMurray finishing in third, Clint Bowyer finishing fourth, Kasey Kahne fifth, Ryan Newman sixth, Juan Pablo Montoya seventh, Greg Biffle eighth, Kurt Busch ninth and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top-10 finishers.
2009 Sharpie 500 Winner
Kyle Busch held off Mark Martin Saturday to win the 2009 Sharpie 500 NASCAR Sprint race. Busch took the lead with 68 laps to go and then held off Martin in several late-race restarts, including the final one for a four-lap shootout, to get his fourth victory this season and the 16th of his Sprint Cup Series career. Martin challenged Busch after the final restart, but ended up finishing one car length behind. He had dominated most of the race by leading 240 of 500 laps.
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