The NASCAR Cup Series is gearing up for Monday’s highly anticipated Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (4 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) — the first dirt track race in the premier series since 1970.
Here is what you should know.
For the first time since the Daytona 500 in February, teams will have practice and qualifying. The first of two Friday practice sessions begins at 4:05 p.m. ET, followed by the final session at 6:35 p.m. ET.
On Saturday, drivers will be split into four groups— determined by a random draw in order of current owner points — for the Bush’s Beans Qualifying Races beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Each race will be 15 laps, counting only green-flag laps, and passing points will be awarded.
UPDATE: Saturday’s qualifying races were canceled due to weather in northeast Tennessee.
Monday’s NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race is scheduled for 250 laps with the First Stage ending at Lap 100 and the Second Stage ending at Lap 200. There will be a competition caution on Laps 50 and 150.
Teams will execute non-competitive pit stops, changing tires and adding fuel as needed at stage breaks. Exceptions will be made for vehicles involved in incidents. Additionally, teams are not required to pit during stage breaks. Those that elect to stay on the track during stage intermissions will line up ahead of the cars/trucks that pit on the ensuing restart. The choose rule will NOT be in effect for this race.
Accomplished dirt track racer Kyle Larson tops the betting charts with 5-2 odds to win Sunday, narrowly edging out rival Christopher Bell at 11-2. Austin Dillon and Chase Briscoe fall next in order at 10-1, tailed by Chase Elliott rounding out the top five favorites at 11-1.
Which drivers offer the best bets to upset the usual dirt dominators? See the full list of BetMGM Bristol odds.
Straying from the usual radials, Goodyear is providing each team with three sets of Goodyear Eagle Dirt Bias Ply tires for practice, one set for qualifying and six sets for the race (five new race sets and one transferred from qualifying).
The bias ply compound allows for more grip and maneuverability with the dirt surface, featuring a block-style tread pattern and a significantly shorter left-side tire for increased staggering.
This weekend’s tires are based on a dirt-modified tire in Goodyear Racing’s tire line and mirror race setups similar to what NASCAR Truck teams have run at Eldora Speedway in the past.
HISTORY ON DIRT, TRACK SETUP
— There have been 489 Cup races held on dirt, the last coming at North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC on September 30, 1970 and won by Richard Petty in a Plymouth prepared by Don Robertson.
— Lee Petty holds the record for the most dirt wins. 42 of his 54 series wins came on dirt.
— Over 2,000 truckloads of dirt were hauled in to fill the .5-mile oval and create 19-degree banking in the turns. Track layers include sawdust, dirt stockpiled from past events and locations, lime treated clay and Bluff City Red Tennessee Clay.
Information provided by Racing Insights
2021 fantasy points leaders are Denny Hamlin (277), Kyle Larson (230) and Martin Truex Jr. (212).
ALSO ON NASCAR.COM
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