They join a growing list of NASCAR Cup Series drivers running Bristol Dirt Nationals
Bristol Motor Speedway has been covered in dirt. Now, NASCAR is set to run it’s first race on dirt since 1970 on the half-mile in Bristol, Tennessee.
In the week before NASCAR’s event, the track is set to host six straight nights of racing via the Bristol Dirt Nationals. The March 15-20th event will host more traditional short track racing machines with a $50,000 to win payout in the late model finale on Saturday.
A growing list of NASCAR drivers have signed up for the event to get laps on NASCAR’s newest track. Two more have just been added to the list.
Drivers previously announced: Kyle Larson (Late Model), Kyle Busch (Late Model) and Joey Logano (Modified).
Now, Austin Dillon (Crate Late Model) and Corey LaJoie (Crate Late Model) have both added their names to the entry list for the Bristol Dirt Nationals. Both drivers will run machines prepared by Cory Hedgecock Racing.
Cory Hedgecock adds Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie to Bristol Dirt Nationals
Hedgecock fields both a super late model and crate late model out of his Loudon, Tennessee shop.
“Excited doesn’t begin to describe how our team feels about being able to have two drivers of the caliber of Austin Dillon and Corey LaJoie in our cars,” Cory Hedgecock stated via a team release.
Hedgecock added, “For my team and I, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of something of this magnitude. Again, I’m just super excited to work with these guys.”
Austin Dillon comments on Bristol Dirt
Dillon climbed the short track ranks with a late model before signing at Richard Childress Racing. Dillon’s formed late model crew chief, Shane McDowell linked Dillon to Hedgecock.
“I raced at dirt tracks across the country during my early years in motorsports, so I’ve really been looking forward to the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Dillon.
“It’s even more exciting that I will be able to try out the track a week before the Cup race thanks to this opportunity with Cory Hedgecock Racing. I’m passionate about Dirt Late Model racing, so I’m looking forward to experiencing Bristol on dirt.”
“This will be a unique experience, for sure, so I’m very grateful to Shane McDowell, Cory Hedgecock and all of the partners who were able to work together to make this happen.”
“Our No. 3 Crate Late Model will carry primary sponsorship from K&L Ready Mix and E-Z-Go. K&L has been a long-time supporter of mine, and we’ve all been racing with heavy hearts since Ron Kahle [company founder] passed away last year. We’d love to win this one for him and his family, who continue to go out of their way to support my racing program.”
Dillon added, “Additionally, E-Z-GO is and always has been a big supporter, so it’s an honor to have them as a part of our team.”
Corey LaJoie on Bristol Dirt
LaJoie has a new NASCAR Cup Series ride for 2021. He pilots the No. 7 for Spire Motorsports.
“It’s kind of cool how this whole deal came together,” stated Corey LaJoie.
“Austin Dillon’s team reached out to my crew chief (Ryan Sparks) and told him about their plans to race for Cory Hedgecock Racing. From there it progressed into me piloting a team car at the Bristol Dirt Nationals.”
“I have zero dirt experience, so racing at the Bristol Dirt Nationals will be good to get me some seat time in advance of the NASCAR race there at the end of the month.”
LaJoie added, “I want to thank Danny Sanford with S&S Express Trucking out of Mississippi for his support of my team at this event. Danny has always been a great supporter of my asphalt Late Model program, and it means a lot to also have him involved with my dirt racing debut.”
In total, four dirt racing events are scheduled to be run on the temporary dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway.