The NASCAR Cup Series is about to do something it hasn’t attempted in 50 years — race on dirt.
Bristol Motor Speedway has trucked 23,000 cubic yards of dirt into its famed bullring to host NASCAR’s first Cup Series race on literal earth since 1970. But how the dirt — and the tires — will hold up during the race is still to be determined.
The drivers had a blast playing in the dirt — some for the first time since they were kids — but four Friday practice sessions ultimately showed the tires can’t sustain the heavy wear. The three layers of dirt acted as a cheese-grater and the tires in turn dug deep divots into the surface, forcing NASCAR to make several procedural changes Saturday in a desperate bid to save the show.
So, who will conquer the unique track? Will the Cup Series see its seventh winner in seven races? Here’s all the information you need to get ready for Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway:
START TIME: 3:30 p.m. ET. Green flag is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.
TV: Fox. Pre-race broadcast begins at 2 p.m. ET.
RADIO: Peformance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
STREAMING: Fox Sports Go (must have TV provider) and FOX Sports app plus other streaming providers.
RACE DISTANCE: 250 laps around the dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway for a total of 125 miles.
STAGE LENGTHS (laps per stage): Stage 1: 100, Stage 2: 100, Stage 3: 50. There will be a competition caution at lap 50 in Stage 1 and Lap 150 in Stage 2.
LAST TIME: Kevin…