The NASCAR Cup Series heads to its second-ever Bristol Dirt Race weekend, starting Friday and concluding Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. There will be on-track action each day due to practice, qualifying and the main event. And because dirt deviates from the norm, the race format does the same.
Below is a day-by-day breakdown of the weekend format:
There are two practices, each 50 minutes in length. This is the only track in 2022 where two practices are scheduled. There are no abnormal rules or regulations in place for practice, despite the dirt aspect. Drivers and teams simply have designated time on the 0.533-mile circuit to prepare for qualifying and the main event.
- 6 p.m. ET — Qualifying (FS2) | Results
Qualifying consists of four heat races. Each is a quick 15 laps. The first starts at 6 p.m. ET, the second at 6:15 p.m. ET, the third at 6:30 p.m. ET and the final at 6:45 p.m. ET, according to the at-track schedule.
Heat assignments and lineups were determined by a random draw, conducted in order of team owner points. The drawing took place at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, and the results are as follows:
|HEAT 1||HEAT 2||HEAT 3||HEAT 4|
|Todd Gilliland||Kevin Harvick||Joey Logano||Chase Elliott|
|Ross Chastain||Kyle Busch||Justin Haley||Ty Dillon|
|Brad Keselowski||Michael McDowell||JJ Yeley||Aric Almirola|
|Tyler Reddick||Justin Allgaier||Chris Buescher||William Byron|
|Alex Bowman||Christopher Bell||Denny Hamlin||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|Ryan Blaney||Josh Williams||Kurt Busch||Kyle Larson|
|Martin Truex Jr.||Chase Briscoe||Bubba Wallace||Austin Cindric|
|Corey LaJoie||Erik Jones||Austin Dillon||Cody Ware|
|Cole Custer||Daniel Suárez||Noah Gragson||Harrison Burton|
During the heat races, drivers accumulate points for finishing and passing. First place earns 10 points, second gets nine and so on down to two points for ninth — it’s the same way stage points are determined during a regulation race.
In addition to their finishing points, drivers gain one point for each car passed from their original starting position. For example, a driver who starts fourth and finishes second will receive two points. Drivers who finish where they started or ultimately lose spots on the grid get zero passing points. There are no deductions.
Only green-flag laps count. Free-pass and wave-around procedures operate as normal. NASCAR Overtime is not an option.
Once all four heat races are complete, point totals determine the field’s starting lineup for the main event, a max of 40 entries. Therefore, the driver with the most points wins the Busch Light Pole Award. All ties are broken by team owner points.
|STARTING SPOT||DRIVER, CAR||HEAT POINTS|
|16||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||8|
|30||Martin Truex Jr.||3|
- 7 p.m. ET — Food City Dirt Race (FOX)
The Food City Dirt Race, obviously, is the main event. It’s a 125-mile race broken up into three stages, per usual. The first stage ends on Lap 75. The second stage concludes on Lap 150. And the checkered flag signifies the end on Lap 250, unless there is NASCAR Overtime.
Business as usual, except on pit road.
Outside of stage breaks, teams are not allowed to fuel their cars or change out tires (unless a tire is flat). They can work on their cars under caution but have to restart behind the non-pitting cars as a result.
During the stage breaks, teams are given the option to fully pit. No driver can gain or lose position on pit road at this time. Upon restart, however, cars that did not pit get to start ahead of those that did.
Free-pass and wave-around procedures remain in play, but the choose rule does not apply for restarts.
In addition to the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be in attendance this weekend. Its procedural format is the same but adapted to the truckers’ schedule.