Practice, Heat Races, and More: Schedule for Historic NASCAR Race Week at the Bristol Dirt Track

Published 03/24/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) leads the way at the start of the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


This weekend will definitely be an action-packed one for motorsports fans. Formula One and MotoGP are back and NASCAR heads to the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track. Now, the NASCAR Cup and Truck Series drivers will race on the dirt track for the first time. Sadly, the Xfinity drivers will miss out on this opportunity, but they will be back in action next weekend.

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The racing action begins on Friday with the opening practice session at 3:00 PM for the Truck Series. Later on at 4:00 PM, the Cup Series drivers will have their first practice session. Then, at 5:30 PM, the Truck drivers have their final practice session. An hour later, the Cup Series drivers will also have their final practice session.

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How will the rest of the NASCAR weekend pan out?

Then comes the big test that is Saturday. Instead of the qualifying formula or a proper qualifying, NASCAR is going to change things up. Over here, the grid is divided into three heats of 10 cars and one heat with nine. Additionally, a random draw based on current team owner points decides the starting position.

In this scenario, the top five cars from each division will advance to the feature race. On the bright side, any eliminated drivers will have one last chance race. Here, the top two car will also advance into the finals. Provisional grid spots will be determined after the last chance race.

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At 4:30 PM, the Truck Series drivers will compete in a qualifying heat race, while the Cup drivers have their heat at 6:00 PM. Finally, the Camping World Truck Series Series hosts their main race at 8:00 PM at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Finally, Sunday will arrive with the Cup Series race on the horizon. At 2:00 PM, Race Day coverage begins on FOX Sports. At last, the main Cup Series race kicks off at 3:30 PM, airing on FOX Sports and on TSN5 for Canadian viewers. Of course, this also means that nobody will know who is starting on pole position for either race this weekend.

Only when Saturday arrives, and when the heat races conclude, will we get our answers. Considering that this is a brand new experience for everyone, the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt race is anybody’s game

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So far, every Cup race has had a different winner, so will the trend continue, or will someone break it?

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Dhruv George

11999 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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