It’s dirt baby!
That’s the motto of the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 28, which will be the first NASCAR Cup Series race held on a dirt track since 1970.
The half-mile oval has been covered in red clay for the event and will also host a Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday night that has been entered by several Cup Series regulars for more practice on the surface.
Among them is Kyle Larson, who is the favorite to win on Sunday with odds of 5-2. Larson has dirt racing experience and earned 43 victories in speed cars last season, followed by his second straight Chili Bowl Nationals midget car title in January. He also won the Truck Series race on the dirt track at Eldora Speedway in 2016.
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The 28-year-old has been in excellent shape since returning to the Cup Series after last year’s suspension, with one win and five top-10 finishes in the first six races, but is not yet ready to testify. victory at Bristol. He knows he and three-time Chili Bowl champion Christopher Bell, who won his first Cup Series race this year at the Daytona Speedway, are expected to do well, but he’s not ruling anyone out.
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“Everyone in the Cup Series is an amazing racing driver, so I think everyone will get it very quickly and the race will be very good because of that,” he said.
The cars will feature a package that combines high power with a tall, narrow spoiler and bias ply tires with a block tread. Unlike most cars dedicated to dirt racing, the windshields will stay in place. Pit stops will only be allowed during stage breaks and will not be competitive for safety reasons, with the field frozen until the restart.
Despite the changes, Larson believes it will look a lot like a typical race at Bristol.
“I think Kyle Busch will be up there, Harvick, Truex, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, like, I don’t think the order of execution looks much different than normal,” he said.
Viewers can tune in Sunday at 3:30 pm ET on FOX to watch the Food City Dirt Race. Those with a participating television provider can also watch the race online and on smart devices using the FOX Sports app.