NASCAR is taking a trip down memory lane by staging the Food City Dirt Race this weekend which will be the first race that will be held on dirt in the elite Cup Series in 51 years. By way of groundbreaking engineering, the famed Bristol Motor Speedway located in northeastern Tennessee was recently turned into a dirt track as it was filled with 23,000 cubic yards of red clay.
The move remains to be a gamble as it is uncertain whether or not the dirt will be able to hold the combined weight of 40 stock cars flying at full speed. Nonetheless, former NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer claimed that fans can expect a lot of action with this new racing environment.
“There is going to be some carnage, some sparks, beating and banging,” said Bowyer, who raced on dirt growing up in Kansas. “Show me a good dirt race that’s never had that.”
While the 250-lap dirt track has already piqued the interest of the public, it has been proving to be quite a challenge for NASCAR drivers like Chase Briscoe and Chris Buescher as they still lack significant experience in driving on a track filled with mud and dust.
“There are just a ton of unknowns in it,” Buescher said afterward, unclear if he gained anything but fun from the experience. “What caught me off guard, really, was the amount of dust. … The dust is just insane.”
Fans are already in anticipation of the dirt race leading up to March 28 as 40,000 tickets went sold out in just a span of days. It remains to be seen whether or not NASCAR will hold a dirt track next season. Hopefully, the new Bristol setup on mud will live up to its billing and give quality entertainment to racing fans everywhere.