All You Need to Know Before the NASCAR Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol

Published 09/19/2020, 11:47 AM EDT
A representational image for the NASCAR Cup Series Credit: Reuters

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at Bristol Motor Speedway, a.k.a the Bass Pro Shops Night Race is one of the most anticipated races of the year. It was known all along that this would be the first elimination race of this year’s Playoffs.


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However, the current playoff standings and their permutations/combinations make things all the more interesting. The Bass Pro Shops Night Race is the 120th NASCAR Cup Series race at the venue. It is the second night race of the 2020 season at Bristol, with the All-Star race being held there earlier this year.

Located in Bristol, Tennessee, the 0-5 mile oval track has a concrete surface and is known for many eventful moments in the past. After its opening in 1960, the first NASCAR Cup Series race at the Bristol Motor Speedway was held in 1961.


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To be precise, it is a 266-mile-long race and will be run over 500 laps. In addition, up to 30,000 fans will attend this race, which is the highest tally of fans for the Playoffs this year.

Time of race and where to watch

The race begins at 7.30 pm ET and will be telecast live on NBCSN/NBC Sports App.

What is the weather like this weekend?

The weather has been cloudy all weekend in Bristol. In fact, it even rained before the Truck Series race on Thursday. There is no prediction of rain on Saturday night for the Cup Series race, but the temperatures will be cooler than usual in Bristol.

Aug 23, 2020; Dover, Delaware, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola (10) leads NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto (21) during the Drydene 311 at Dover International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs bubble

All eyes are on the drivers in the lower bit of the playoff standings. Clint Bowyer currently holds the final Playoffs spot or the transfer spot in the Round of 12. Just behind him are the likes of William Byron and Cole Custer. Byron and Custer are three and eight points behind Bowyer, respectively.

The bottom spots are held by Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney, who are far behind (25 pts and 27 pts respectively).

Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch need to watch their backs as well. They hold the 10th and 11th spots but are quite close to Bowyer in the standings.

Richmond, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) races during the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction for the NASCAR Bristol race


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Nine playoff spots will be decided tonight in Bristol as Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin have already secured their spots. Races in Bristol are always action-packed. This weekend promises no less, especially with so much at stake.

The likes of Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott are eager to win. With Elliott’s win at the All-Star race in July and his 100% record of progressing through the first round of the Playoffs, he is probably the favorite.


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Aayush Majumdar

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Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.