BRISTOL, Tenn. — NASCAR is taking its Next Gen cars to Bristol Motor Speedway for an Easter Sunday night dirt race spectacular.
Last season’s race at the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track was the first-time the NASCAR Cup Series had competed on dirt in over 50 years. Not since the checkered flag flew on NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty for winning the race on September 30, 1970 at North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, North Carolina had the Cup Series competed on a dirt track.
The event last season saw five lead changes among five different leaders, but it was Team Penske’s Joey Logano who took the checkered flag over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Sunday night, drivers will be tasked with wrangling a Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt track that has been measured to exactly 0.5-mile, and this weekend’s event will be 125 miles (250 laps) in length.
The last time the series competed on Easter Sunday was March 26, 1989 at Richmond Raceway – the race was rescheduled to the Easter Sunday date after being snowed out from its original date in February. The race was won by Missouri native Rusty Wallace.
After seven different winners in the first seven races kicked off the 2022 season, William Byron snapped the different winners streak by snatching his second victory of the year last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. It was Byron’s first grandfather clock Cup Series trophy from the historic half-mile at Martinsville, his second of the 2022 season and fourth of his Cup career. Now the 24-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina heads to Bristol to keep the early season momentum going.
Joey Logano as the defending winner of last season’s race on dirt is still looking for his first win of this season.
In eight starts this season, Logano has collected two top fives and four top 10s. If Logano gets a win this season, it will be his 11th consecutive season with a victory in the series.
Last year, Logano looked like a natural on the dirt at Bristol. He started 10th and methodically worked his way to the front, taking the lead on Lap 193. He would then hold on to lead the final 61 laps, even fending off a wild overtime restart to get the win.
Though winless this season, Chase Elliott remains atop the NASCAR Cup Series points standings due to consistency. No driver has a better average finish in the first eight races of the 2022 season.
The dirt race at Bristol will take place Sunday 6 p.m. CT with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. on FOX4.