NASCAR viewer’s guide: Bristol Motor Speedway dirt


For just the second time since 1970, NASCAR is on dirt.

The half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway is covered in red clay and ready to host its second NASCAR weekend on dirt, welcoming the Cup and Truck series for a weekend of mudslinging.

With a unique event comes unique formats. Dive into the story lines, procedures, entry lists and schedule here:

Dirty all over again

Bristol Motor Speedway is covered in dirt once again, but this time with some minor tweaks to the racing surface.

Last year’s corners were banked at 18-19 degrees. This year, the track utilized progressive banking, 16 degrees at the bottom ranging up to 18 degrees before one lane at 19 degrees near the top of the track. The change in banking, along with running the race at night is believed to provide better racing lines and options for drivers throughout the event.

Speedway Motorsports, Bristol’s parent company, stored the dirt from last year’s event to use it again in 2022. That includes about a two-inch layer of sawdust beneath dirt used from Bristol’s World of Outlaw dirt races in 2000-2001 (5,330 cubic yards), dirt from the campground (4,008 cubic yards), lime-treated clay and Bluff City Red Tennessee Clay on the top layer.

Lining them up

NASCAR will hold two 50-minute practice sessions for both the Cup and Truck series on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, both series will run four 15-lap qualifying heat races to determine the starting lineup for their respective feature events, with the truck races beginning at 4 p.m. ET (FS2) and Cup’s races at 6 p.m. ET (FS2). Lineups for the heats will be set via random draw.

In the heat races, drivers will earn points per their finishing positions just as they would in a stage — 10 points for first down to one point for 10th. Competitors also receive passing points — one point per each car passed from their original starting position. If a driver loses positions, they will receive zero passing points. The drivers’ points totals will dictate the starting position for the feature race.

Perfect on dirt?

By virtue of winning last year’s event, Joey Logano is the only active driver to win a Cup race on dirt. But the addition of the Next Gen car, which features an independent rear suspension unlike its predecessor, nullifies any knowledge learned from the inaugural Bristol dirt race. Logano, who was victorious in the exhibition Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, has not won a points-paying Cup race since claiming the checkered flag atop Bristol’s dirt.

“I’ve never seen a dirt car with independent rear suspension before. So that will be different,” Logano said in a Bristol release. “The track is a little different, right? You’ve got a little progressive banking up top, so that may change it up a little bit.

“We’re racing at night, so that should help the dust factor a little bit. We’ll just kind of wait and see. Over time, we’ll kind of be able to put all that together. Beats me. I’ll figure it out.”

Other drivers in the field have won NASCAR races on dirt. Austin Dillon (2013), Bubba Wallace (2014), Christopher Bell (2015), Kyle Larson (2016) and Chase Briscoe (2018) all won Truck Series races at Eldora. Martin Truex Jr. also won the series’ dirt race at Bristol in 2021.

Entry lists

The 36 chartered teams make up this week’s entry list for the NASCAR Cup Series.

Noah Gragson, who sits third in Xfinity Series points, will drive the No. 16 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing in his third career Cup start.

Justin Allgaier, his JR Motorsports teammate in Xfinity, also returns to the Cup Series and will pilot the No. 77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports.

Josh Williams, who competes for BJ McLeod Motorsports in Xfinity, will make his Cup debut in the No. 78 Ford for Live Fast Motorsports on Sunday.

In the Camping World Truck Series, 38 trucks are entered for Saturday night’s race, meaning two drivers will fail to advance to the feature race.

Defending USAC Midget National champion Buddy Kofoid will make his NASCAR debut in the No. 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Jessica Friesen, wife of series regular and Next Gen dirt tester Stewart Friesen, returns in an attempt to make her second career start in the No. 62 Chevrolet.

Cup regular Austin Dillon, the 2011 series champion, will drive the No. 20 Chevy for Young’s Motorsports, returning to the series for the first time since 2019. Dillon won the series’ inaugural race on dirt at Eldora Speedway in 2013.

Cup champion Joey Logano also returns to trucks for the first time since 2015, when he won at Martinsville. Logano will drive the No. 54 Ford for David Gilliland Racing, joining Cup rookie Harrison Burton who will drive DGR’s No. 17 Ford.

Chase Elliott will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports on Saturday, returning to the series after a one-off with GMS Racing at Texas last June. His Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman have also driven the sponsored truck this season, with Byron scoring a win at Martinsville and Bowman finishing 25th at Circuit of the Americas.

NASCAR Cup Series Entry List — Bristol Motor Speedway dirt

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Entry List — Bristol Motor Speedway dirt

This weekend’s schedule and forecast

(All times Eastern)

Friday, April 15

Forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 74 degrees, low of 48 degrees

  • 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. — Truck practice (all entries, FS1)
  • 4:05 – 4:55 p.m. — Cup practice (all entries, FS1)
  • 5:35 – 6:25 p.m. — Truck final practice (all entries, FS1)
  • 6:35 – 7:25 p.m. — Cup practice (all entries, FS1)

Saturday, April 16

Forecast: Mostly cloudy, high of 70 degrees, low of 43 degrees

  • 4:30 p.m. — First Truck qualifying race (15 laps; FS2)
  • 4:45 p.m. — Second Truck qualifying race (15 laps; FS2)
  • 5 p.m. — Third Truck qualifying race (15 laps. FS2)
  • 5:15 p.m. — Fourth Truck qualifying race (15 laps, FS2)
  • 6 p.m. — First Cup qualifying race (15 laps, FS2)
  • 6:15 p.m. — Second Cup qualifying race (15 laps, FS2)
  • 6:30 p.m. — Third Cup qualifying race (15 laps, FS2)
  • 6:45 p.m. — Fourth Cup qualifying race (15 laps, FS2)
  • 8 p.m. — Truck race (150 laps, 75 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, April 17

Forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 66 degrees, low of 45 degrees

  • 7 p.m. — Cup race (250 laps, 125 miles; FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sonoma Xfinity starting lineup: Kyle Larson wins pole


SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson will start on the pole for Saturday’s inaugural Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

Larson won the pole with an average speed of 91.393 mph around the 1.99-mile road course. Justin Allgaier joins Larson on the front row after a lap of 90.562 mph. Sheldon Creed (90.429 mph) qualified third. Aric Almirola (90.375) will start fourth. AJ Allmendinger (90.274) will start fifth.

MORE: Sonoma Xfinity starting lineup

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Larson is one of seven Cup drivers entered. The others are Almirola (starting fourth), Allmendinger (fifth), Ty Gibbs (seventh), Ross Chastain (15th), Daniel Suarez (17th) and Ty Dillon (32nd).

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:20 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Could Daytona International Speedway host NFL games?


The president of Daytona International Speedway says track officials plan to speak with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars about hosting the team’s games if Jacksonville’s stadium is renovated.

The Jaguars will need a temporary home site if plans go forward to renovate the team’s stadium. Daytona International Speedway has been mentioned as a possible candidate. The Jaguars released details Wednesday of what the stadium will look like after the renovation project.

Provided the project is approved by the city of Jacksonville, it is believed the Jaguars would need to find another home site for a couple of seasons while work is being done to its stadium. Daytona International Speedway is among possible sites for the Jaguars to play. More than 100,000 people saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. win this year’s Daytona 500.

“Daytona International Speedway is a world-renowned sports and entertainment venue and hosts a full schedule of events each year,” said Frank Kelleher, president of Daytona International Speedway, in a statement. “As good neighbors in the Florida sports community, DIS will be speaking with the Jacksonville Jaguars to see if we can assist them with their potential upcoming facility needs around our scheduled events.”

Daytona International Speedway hosted Soccer Fest in July 2022. An announced crowd of 7,573 fans saw the Orlando Pride and Racing Louisville play in a National Women’s Soccer League game at Daytona.

NASCAR displays counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe car


SONOMA, Calif. — NASCAR displayed the counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe‘s car on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, showing how the part did not correspond to what should have been in the car.

NASCAR found the issue at its R&D Center after last month’s Coca-Cola 600. The sanctioning body fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him for six races. NASCAR also docked Briscoe and the team 120 points and 25 playoff points for the L3 infraction.

“We want to be transparent on the penalties,” said Brad Moran, managing director of the Cup Series as he displayed the counterfeit part to media.

Moran displayed a a portion of the engine panel from Briscoe’s car. He noted the engine duct was counterfeit. He said the proper pieces are 3D printed at the R&D Center and Fiberworks Composites sells them and installs them for teams. Moran said the duct is “in the bottom of the car under the engine panel. It’s to help cool the driver. It was added prior to the first race. During testing … we realized we wanted to get heat out of the engine compartment, and that’s what this piece does.”

Moran noted that with the counterfeit part, “we can clearly see the textures are different (from the proper part).”

He displayed what officials call a gauge that determines if the duct fits the proper parameters. He showed it fitting a proper duct and not properly fitting in the counterfeit part.

“It was a part that was made, and it was made for whatever reason,” Moran said. “It was, I guess, put on by error, but it was on the vehicle. It is a piece that should not have been made in the first place, and it was spotted at our teardown at the R&D Center.”

Moran said the issue was found in a visual inspection of the part. NASCAR inspected it further and Moran said “there are certain little characteristics that are in (a proper piece)” that officials did not see in the one on Briscoe’s car. “The more we examined it, the more we realized that’s not a part they bought.”

Moran noted that while the penalties were severe, they could have been worse based on the rulebook.

“It was the low end of the L3,” Moran said. “It’s a real big hit for any team. If it continues, and we feel we are not where we need to be, unfortunately, it’s going to ramp up. We’re not going to stop.

“The deal with this car is it needs to be run without modifying. It costs teams a lot of money in development. All the owners agreed. We all agreed where we need to be to make this a successful program, and we’re not going to give up.”



Sunday Cup race at Sonoma Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


The Cup Series heads to wine country to compete on the 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma Raceway. This race leads into the final off weekend of the season. After the break, the series races 20 consecutive weekends. NBC and USA will broadcast those races.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Adam Devine will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:50 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:45 p.m. … Driver intros are at 3 p.m. … Earl Smith, pastor for the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers, will give the invocation at 3:30 p.m. … Tiffany Woys will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 110 laps (218.9 miles) on the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 55.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 6 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and switches to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 69 degrees and a 1% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Daniel Suarez won his first career Cup race last year at Sonoma. Chris Buescher finished second. Michael McDowell placed third.


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