NASCAR Cup Series drivers invade the short track event in multitudes
Earlier today, Austin Dillon and Corey LaJoie were added to the list for the Bristol Dirt Nationals. Now, another driver has been added.
Brad Keselowski is the defending winning of the Bristol spring race. However, this time around, Keselowski is entering the gates to a brand new race track.
The half-mile concrete oval has been covered in dirt. 19 degrees of dirt will host the NASCAR Cup Series on March 28th, the first dirt race for the series since 1970.
The week before, the Bristol Dirt Nationals will run six straight nights of short track racing classes from March 15-20th. The event will be capped on Saturday, paying $50,000 to the dirt late model feature winner.
Many NCS drivers have added their names to the entry list in recent weeks. Their looks for laps on NASCAR’s newest race track.
Drivers previously announced: Kyle Larson (Late Model), Kyle Busch (Late Model), Joey Logano (Modified), Austin Dillon (Crate Late Model) and Corey LaJoie (Crate Late Model).
Details on Brad Keselowski’s entry have not been released. At this time, it remains unclear of what class he’ll race or who he’s driving for. Thi story will likely be updated when that information surfaces.
The track has stated that Keselowski will race March 10-20th. That would likely place Keselwoski in the dirt late model division.
Jerry Caldwell talks Bristol Dirt
“Really, it’s just grooming the track now,” Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and Bristol general manager said this week. “Obviously, we have a lot of race preparation behind-the-scenes stuff going on, but as it relates to the dirt track itself, it’ll be more grooming the track and bringing cars in for those other events we’ll have running.
“We did that a little bit last week with the Dirt Nationals cars, and their team brought some in. And then allowing our team and kind of the dirt experts that we’ve been working with to give us advice on the track, things that we can do to improve and make that a great show.”
Bristol Motor Speedway used to have a waiting list, for years. Ticket scalpers showed up to the track by the car full. Now, with limited seating, the Cup Series race has once again sold out of available tickets.
“Ticket sales are very strong. We’re at capacity for Sunday. We are close to getting at capacity for Saturday. I don’t know if you’ve looked at some of those secondary market websites for ticket sales for Sunday; it’s pretty crazy what the tickets are for the event.”
Where did the Bristol dirt come from?
The dirt itself has been taken from 3 different sites. The base layer was the same dirt used in the 2001 dirt race at Bristol. The other two layers both came from within 30 miles of the track.
“There’s a lot of local tracks that have offered input and given us information — the reason we went to the local tracks in lieu of the Knoxville’s and places like that is because they’re dealing with the same type of dirt,” said Steve Swift.
“Again, going back to the different types of dirts that are out there, from the black dirt to the red dirt to the Volusia, different colors they’ve got and dealing with in Florida sands, it’s typically different. So trying to get locals who know the dirt we’re going to be dealing with is what we tried to lean on our hats on.”