Kyle Busch Picks Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace Among Drivers Who ‘Will Shine’ in NASCAR Bristol Dirt Race

Published 03/24/2021, 12:00 PM EDT
Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Busch is a two-time NASCAR Cup champion with 57 Cup race wins. However, he probably would be more nervous than ever as he races a Cup car for the first time on a dirt track, this Sunday.

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As the Cup field navigates the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track, Busch will be one of the many drivers who have very little experience racing on such tracks. Driving a stock car on dirt will be a completely different challenge for even regular dirt drivers.

However, Busch feels the ‘dirt guys’ or drivers who have more experience racing various disciplines on dirt tracks, have an advantage. “The dirt guys, I would say, definitely have an advantage,” Busch said in an interview, ahead of the weekend’s action.

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Kyle Busch names ‘dirt guys’ Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and others as favorites

The likes of Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell are considered favorites to win the race by many, and Busch agrees with the same. Busch named the drivers who he believes have an edge on Sunday, and his Truck Series team’s former driver, Bubba Wallace, also made his list.

Feb 11, 2021; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) leads the field during the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“I can’t name them all, but (Kyle) Larson, Christopher (Bell), (Tyler) Reddick, even Bubba (Wallace). Bubba never really had any dirt experience, but he did a good job in the Eldora race for us (winning in 2014),” Busch said further.

The Joe Gibbs Racing superstar also feels that Stewart Friesen, who will make his Cup debut at Bristol with Spire Motorsports, will perform quite well during the dirt race due to his past experience.

All will depend on how the race finishes, feels Busch

Busch said these drivers will ‘shine’ during Sunday’s race. However, he feels anything can happen as the race progresses and everything depends on what happens as the race approaches the finish line.

Those guys will shine, and I think that they will be faster during points of the weekend. But I think it’s all going to be circumstantial on how it comes down to the end and what exactly happens towards the finish,” Busch explained.

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BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 22: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, walks through the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The no. 18 Cup car driver, like most others, has said time and again that the much heavier Cup Series cars are unlike anything anyone has ever driven before on dirt tracks. However, Busch still feels the dirt guys have an edge as they are confident of their driving styles or techniques on the track.

While it will be a challenge, Busch believes they can understand the level of grip they need on the track better than the less experienced dirt drivers.

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Aayush Majumdar

991 articles

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.

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