It's finally here. The week we have all been waiting for! The Food City Dirt Race at Bristol. I have both excitement and nerves just like everyone and I'm not driving! I do look forward to actually being at the race track for an event for the first time since 2019. What can we truly expect? Who the heck knows?! I believe the passing points qualifying format will be cool. NASCAR will run 4 heat races on Saturday before the truck race to set the field for Sunday afternoon. Several drivers will enter the truck race for extra practice as well.
I spent an entire segment on this past week's Chasing Checkers discussing how NASCAR was willing to try new things, including the Bristol dirt race. Could this be a one and done thing? Sure, and maybe that's a good thing. I think that NASCAR should experiment and they should also leave people wanting more. Make it special. That's something that is missing in sports in general these days.
It's why I love that they're now moving the All-Star race around. Keep it different and keep people wanting more. It's as simple as that. This weekend will be crazy, but I look forward to witnessing it and bringing you all the action. I think guys like Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell will be ones to look out for with all of their dirt experience.
So why would NASCAR try this in the first place? It's not like the Cup cars are exactly built for this. Remember a few years ago when the trucks went to Eldora for the first time? Us true race fans tuned in. Why? Because we didn't know what the hell to expect. Now, with NASCAR's growing audience due to the pandemic and many other reasons, they want to keep the new fans (old ones too) entertained. What better way to do that than to throw tons (literally) of dirt on the world's fastest half mile! It's going to be a s**t show. No better way to put it, but it's going to be a fun one at that.
Like I said, NASCAR could look at this after the race and say "that was dumb, let's never speak of it again..." or they could say "hey, that was really cool. We should do this again." It could lead to Bristol doing it every year or NASCAR taking the cup series to a place like Eldora or Knoxville, Iowa. The point is... it's different and I love the fact that they're thinking outside the box. Let's have some fun this weekend shall we?