NASCAR has raised the stakes for the upcoming Bristol dirt race
The NASCAR Cup Series is only weeks away from competing in the Bristol dirt race. The sport has now raised the stakes by announcing a detailed list of rules for the upcoming Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series races at Bristol.
The first announcement for the upcoming Bristol dirt race is the use of heat races to determine the starting field for the main feature. There will be four 15-lap heats to set the field for the main feature. NASCAR will not count caution laps during the four events.
Another interesting development is the decision to use passing points for the Bristol dirt race, which will help set the field for the final race. Passing points will be assigned to a driver based on whether they improve upon their position from the start of the race. For example, if Kyle Busch starts 12th and finishes fourth in the first heat race, he will be given eight points towards his feature total.
If a driver drops positions during a race, their passing points are set at zero, making it harder to get a good spot for the main race. Drivers will also gain finishing points by finishing in the top-ten in any of the four heat races. These races will also help set the field for the final race.
After the heat races, the drivers will compete in a 250 lap race that will comprise of three stages. NASCAR has also determined that drivers will not be allowed to take fuel or tires during the Bristol dirt race until the stage breaks, although teams have the option of staying out. As for the teams that decide to pit, the finishing order of the previous stage will determine their restarting order.
“Well, I think it’s special rules for obviously quite a different event than we’ve ever done in the Cup Series, but we really wanted to just kind of take a page out of the dirt-track racing playbook,” Miller said of the upcoming Bristol dirt race. “They do and use these types of procedures to set the field for their main events, so we thought it would be something different for us and interesting to implement for this one.”
The NASCAR Cup Series will race on dirt for the first time in 40 years, creating a historic moment for the sport. If all goes as planned, the Bristol dirt race could even become an annual classic. NASCAR is going back to its roots, and it's refreshing for everybody involved.