WATCH: iRacing Offers First Look at the Bristol Dirt Track Ahead of NASCAR Races

Published 03/05/2021, 5:30 AM EST
Sep 19, 2020; Bristol, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) leads Alex Bowman (88) during the Nascar Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports


This season, NASCAR makes a return to the dirt surfaces after a very long time. To be exact, the paddock will swing by the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track. Now, the iRacing simulator game has officially added the Bristol dirt track to its roster. The best part is that it is not even a special mode, but an actual track.

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This comes on the back of NASCAR officials revealing the track details and various procedures. According to vice president Scott Miller, the sport was employing a system of running heat races ahead of the actual race.

This is a little similar to the system that the Eldora Speedway employs to settle qualifying. In addition to that, the sport is introducing a system of “passing points” to act as an incentive.

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What changes await NASCAR ahead of the Bristol race?

According to Miller, the move came about because the sport wanted to respect dirt track tradition. This explains why NASCAR decided not to implement the customary pole qualifying. Instead, the idea was to reward passing and strong finishes in the heats.

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“Well, I think it’s special rules for obviously quite a different event than we’ve ever done in the Cup Series, but we really wanted to just kind of take a page out of the dirt-track racing playbook,” Miller said. “They do and use these type of procedures to set the field for their main events, so we thought it would be something different for us and interesting to implement for this one.”

Suffice to say, the iRacing addition will only serve to build the hype even further. In a sense, many drivers will be eager to hop onto their simulators and test out the track before they tackle the real thing.

Of course, the Bristol race is still less than a month away and there are a few races to get out of the way before then.

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Dhruv George

11402 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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