Blake Smith and I will be at the Rascal Flatts-Band Perry concert as this race in Charlotte takes place. We will be checking our smart phones, however, to see if our picks below win. Now, here's Blake's review of this week and the big race tonight.

Bank of America 500 Preview

            The starts of the Sprint Cup Series stay close to home for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motorspeedway. With all of the teams based in the Charlotte/Mooresville area, all teams have the “home field” advantage. While the teams in the Chase hope to advance toward the championship with a good finish, the rest of the teams look to take the trophy home and have the home turf bragging rights.

Possible Rule Changes for 2014

My friend in the Charlotta hub, Mike Mulhern is reporting there could be some rule changes for the upcoming season. Those changes include the elimination of the maximum height rule. That would bring an end to the post race penalties of a car being “too low” but would also force teams to spend thousands of extra dollars on spring packages.  There is also rumors of an added “roof wicker” to the cars allowing easier passing on the track. That technology has been used in the past with successful results.

Stewart released from hospital after 3rd leg surgery

            Sidelined Sprint Cup Champion, Tony Stewart underwent his 3rd surgery on Monday to examine and close a wound on his shin stemming from his sprint car accident on August 5th. According to a team source, the surgery was necessitated because Stewart’s leg was not healing as quickly as it should be. Stewart was released from a Charlotte hospital on Thursday.

Travis Kvapil charged with Assault

            On Wednesday, Mooresville, NC Police arrested Travis Kvapil and charged him with assault after getting into a dispute with his wife. The incident just hours after Kvapil’s team, BK Racing tweeted pictures of BK Racing’s Charlotte paint schemes supporting Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness. Those pictures were quickly removed after the incident. Kvapil qualified the BK Racing Toyota in the 41st position for Saturday’s race.

Germain Racing and Richard Childress Racing form Technical Alliance

            Richard Childress Racing and Germain Racing have agreed to form a technical alliance beginning with the 2014 season. The partnership includes technology sharing, engineering and R&D information to the #13 Geico Chevrolet. The partnership will also allow Germain Racing and driver, Casey Mears to utilize RCR Racing engines.

Gordon saves the best for last

            One of the things that sets Charlotte Motorspeedway’s schedule apart from the rest is their Thursday night qualifying tradition. The Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America 500 are two of my favorite qualifying sessions of the season. The cars qualify under the lights, so you can see the cars bottom out and sparks fly under the incredibly fast speeds on the 1.5 mile oval. During Thursday night’s qualifying session, Jeff Gordon was the final driver to make his qualifying lap and he made it count! Gordon paced the qualifying session followed by last week’s winner Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Dale Jr, Ryan Newman, Juan Montoya Kyle Busch with Kurt Busch in 10th.

Busch Brothers top the charts in 1st Friday Practice

            Forty-one of the forty-three teams took to the track this afternoon for today’s first practice session. The Busch brothers topped the speed charts followed by pole-sitter, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Juan Montoya. Jimmie Johnson had the best 10-lap average. Teams will have their final practice later this afternoon.

Blake’s Chase Update

Who’s In:
  1. Matt Kenseth
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Jeff Gordon
Outside Chance:
  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Greg Biffle
  3. Kurt Busch
  4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. Clint Bowyer
  6. Joey Logano
Stick a Fork in ‘Em
  1. Carl Edwards
  2. Ryan Newman
  3. Kasey Kahne

 Blake’s Pick

Getty Images\Jerry Markland

   In the past, Charlotte Motorspeedway has been the “House of Johnson” and after that it was the “Kahne domain.” That duo makes up half of the Hendrick Motorsports team. With all 4 Hendrick teams in the top-10 in qualifying, they will be a force to reckon with on Saturday night. My pick for Saturday….RICK HENDRICK!

Moon’s Pick

            Moon’s Pick is just hoping to improve her number of completed laps from last week at Kansas. DANICA!

Jonathan Ferry\Getty Images

Tune into Saturday’s coverage of the Bank of America 500 from Charlotte Motorspeedway beginning at 5:30 PM on WBKR