WATCH: Favorites Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell Face Heavy Damage in Massive Wreck in NASCAR Bristol Dirt Race

Published 03/29/2021, 5:42 PM EDT
Mar 29, 2021; Bristol, TN, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) leads during the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports


The NASCAR Cup Series’ return to dirt racing was always expected to spring some surprises at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, a massive moment no one saw coming took place in Stage 1 itself, involving the two race favorites, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell.

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A few moments after the race went back to green on Lap 52 post the competition caution, Larson and Bell were involved in a massive wreck.

Bell was trying to work the top and completely lost control. The No. 20 car spun, and Larson, who was right behind him, slammed into Bell. Behind them, Ross Chastain slammed harder into Larson, and all three cars suffered heavy damage in that crash.

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Kyle Larson frustrated with Christopher Bell after massive crash at Bristol

The incident brought out the third caution of the race before a stage was even through. Soon after the incident, all three cars went to pit road for repairs. However, the No. 20 and No. 42 cars of Bell and Chastain could not recover from the impact, ending the day for both drivers.

Meanwhile, Larson‘s team was able to salvage something, and he continued to race after they made repairs to his car. However, the damage was too heavy, and it seemed it would be very difficult for him to make a run for the win.

Larson was frustrated with Bell as he made it to pit road. Crew chief Cliff Daniels asked Larson if he was alright, to which Larson replied, “F***ing wonderful. Way to go, Bell, Way to go.”

Early drama in NASCAR Bristol Dirt race

Bell and Larson were both running inside the top-five when the crash took place. Bell was second, just behind leader Martin Truex Jr, and Larson made his way up after starting at the rear.

Mar 29, 2021; Bristol, TN, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) leads the first lap during the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

That was a massive moment in the race as it ended the day for one of the favorites and caused big problems for the other.

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Earlier, the first big wreck of the day saw the likes of Aric Almirola, Shane Golobic, Corey LaJoie, and Anthony Alfredo suffer huge damage that ended their days. In another instance, Ryan Newman, Chase Briscoe, and Kevin Harvick were among those involved.

Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. dominated to win the opening stage, hours after his Truck win.

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MORE – WATCH: How Bristol Motor Speedway Was Transformed Into a Dirt Track for the NASCAR Races

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Aayush Majumdar

1002 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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