WATCH: Bristol Motor Speedway Ramps up Preparations for First NASCAR Dirt Race in over 50 Years

Published 01/08/2021, 8:30 AM EST
BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 19: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Axalta Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Preparations at the much-renowned Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) are well and truly underway. The racetrack will of course host the first-ever dirt-based NASCAR Cup Series race since it was last held in 1970.

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Now, the official Twitter and Instagram handles of the venue have, in recent days, posted pictures and videos of trucks laying down the first layer of sawdust. With the event slated to take place on March 28, they are now stepping up efforts to prepare the track.

The post’s caption on Twitter reads, “Look what’s arrived at BMS today!  It’s happening! #ItsDirtBaby #ItsBristolBaby #NASCAR”.

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Bristol Motor Speedway has been called the ‘world’s fastest half-mile’

The track is one that has played host to many short, dirt, and late model racing events in the past. The venue is known for its particularly steep banking and two pit roads, and traditionally has an all-concrete surface.

It takes us back to 30 September 1970 for the last time NASCAR conducted a Cup race on the challenging dirt surface. Held in North Carolina, Richard ‘The King’ Petty emerged as the victor in that race. So, after a gap of nearly 50 years, NASCAR deemed it worth bringing back Cup racing in the dirt.

Previous events like the World of Outlaws competitions have taken place at the BMS owing to the very nature of the machinery used. Regardless, this will prove to be a fascinating test for the best drivers racing in the top-flight that is the Cup Series.

Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon might have an edge in the NASCAR Cup Race

NASCAR’s stars are all now quite used to racing on concrete, be it the super-speedways or the tricky road courses. Therefore, getting a handle and awareness of racing on the dirt is something drivers will have to look out for and would need them to do their homework.

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A few drivers like Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon would particularly relish competing at Bristol. Owing to their acumen and experience racing in the dirt, that could well come in handy.

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It seems like Bristol Motor Speedway will become ready in time to host a historic event. The only question that remains as the season approaches closer – are the drivers ready for it?

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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