NASCAR at Bristol: TV schedule, forecast, qualifying drivers for Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Just three races remain before the start of NASCAR's playoffs and the 16-driver playoff field is set. Thirteen drivers have won a race that counts toward playoff eligibility, leaving 12 drivers fighting for the final three spots.
Saturday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway's half-mile track could feature another upset winner, spoiling bubble drivers Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, and Clint Bowyer's shot at making the playoffs on points alone.
Elliott is 62 points ahead of the first driver on the outside of the playoffs looking in — Bowyer. Elliott holds a 10-point lead over McMurray and a 31-point advantage over Kenseth.
Kenseth is the only one of the three drivers trying to hold onto a playoff berth via points who has recorded a win at Bristol. He has four, in fact, to go along with 14 top-fives and 21 top-10s in 35 starts. Kenseth's four wins trail only the Busch brothers among active drivers at Bristol, as Kyle and Kurt have five victories apiece at the track.
Bristol's tripleheader, which begins Wednesday night with the Truck Series UNOH 200, marks the last time all three national touring series are at one track before the playoffs kick off the third weekend in September at Chicagoland Speedway.
NASCAR at Bristol schedule, TV channel info
(All times ET)
Wednesday, August 15
8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 (200 laps, 106.6 miles), FS1
Thursday, August 17
1:00-1:55 p.m.: Xfinity Series practice, NBC Sports App
3:00-3:55 p.m.: Xfinity Series final practice, NBC Sports App
Friday August 18
10:00-11:25 a.m.: Cup Series practice, NBC Sports App
12:30-1:55 p.m.: Cup Series final practice, NBCSN
3:40 p.m.: Xfinity Series qualifying, NBCSN
5:45 p.m.: Cup Series qualifying, NBCSN
7:30 p.m.: Xfinity Series Food City 300 (300 laps, 159.9 miles), NBCSN
Bristol weather forecast
Weather in the Smoky Mountains could be an issue Thursday and Friday with a 60 and 50 percent chance of precipitation, respectively. Rain shouldn't be an issue Saturday as partly cloudy conditions and temperatures in the mid 80s are expected for the night race.
What TV channel is the NASCAR race on?
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol begins at 7:30 p.m ET Saturday, Aug. 19, and can be seen on NBC and the NBC Sports app.
What are the stage lengths for NASCAR's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race?
The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, which is 500 laps and 266.5 miles, will be broken into three segments: Stage 1 ends on Lap 125, Stage 2 ends on Lap 250 and the final stage ends on Lap 500.
Friday's Xfinity Series race will be broken into three stages: Lap 85, Lap 170 and Lap 300. The Truck Series race will be broken into three stages: Lap 55, 100 and 200.
Which NASCAR Cup Series drivers are racing in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol?
There are 41 Cup drivers entered in Saturday's race, meaning all but one driver will make the race with Friday's qualifying setting their starting positions. Here is the list of participating Cup drivers in alphabetical order by first name: