Cup teams will compete on a dirt track for the first time in more than 50 years when the series races at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 28, the track announced.
The full cup schedule is to be released today at 3:30 pm ET.
Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Caldwell said Wednesday, “Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted many historic events over the years and we will resume it.” “We can’t wait to see how NASCAR stars get carried away in the dirt.”
Austin Dillon said, “I’m super pumped. … I’m hoping it becomes a staple.”
Caldwell said the track would work with NASCAR on the race format for dirt.
“It’s returning to our roots in racing,” Caldwell said. He said the concept has been talked about “for some time”. He also said the track would “explore other options” on any other series that could run on dirt beyond NASCAR.
Caldwell said the change comes from the reaction of fans.
Bristol hosted the Dirt Race in 2000–01 with the World of Outlaws (see video below from the 2001 race) and the Dirt Late model. The track used 14,000 truckloads of dirt for the project.
The last cup race on dirt was held on September 30, 1970, at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Richard Petty won the 200-lap race on the half-mile track. He earned $ 1,000. Petty was one of five Hall of Famers in the 23-car field that day. Bobby Issac was third, Bobby Ellison was sixth, Benny Parsons 14th, Wendell Scott 20th.
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outside Series ran on dirt from 2013–19 at Eldora Speedway. It was not held this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Bristol will also host a second race. That event will be in the playoffs again. The Sept 18 race will again be an elimination race in the first round. The playoff race will take place on the surface of the concrete track.