The Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track had a bit of activity today ahead of the NASCAR dirt race
Bristol Motor Speedway is typically a concrete oval with banking up to 30 degrees. Now, they’ve placed dirt on top of it for the second year in a row. However, everything is different this time around.
View the NASCAR Next Gen car on the Bristol Dirt Track in the video below.
The banking of the track is new. Last year, the bottom lane stood at 18 degrees. Now, that’s been trimmed to just 16. While the very top lane stands at 19 degrees.
2021: 18-19 degrees
2022: 16-19 degrees
Last year’s NASCAR Cup Series race was run in the daylight. The track dried out quickly during the race. This year, the Bristol dirt race is run at night. Taking away the sun will help keep moisture in the track for a longer period of time.
Additionally, this will mark the first dirt race for the NASCAR Next Gen car. Everything about this car is different from the 2021 race car. The cars are all identical from team to team which updated modern suspension pieces underneath.
For the dirt race, it’s expected that NASCAR will slightly modify the new machine. Specifically, the rear defuser, which hangs just inches off the ground on asphalt tracks is expected to be removed.
Bristol Dirt Test
NASCAR unloaded the earliest edition of the Next Gen car on Wednesday at Bristol. NASCAR Truck Series driver Stewart Friesen was the test driver. He was selected as he isn’t on the entry list for the Cup race, so no competitive advantage was given to any driver.
In the test, the rear defuser was removed. Additionally, there were a few other changes to the bottom of the machine.
In the video shown below. The car appeared to turn roughly a 19.2 second lap.
Last year, Alex Bowman was fastest in opening practice with a 20.155. Ryan Blaney was fastest in final practice with a 20.172.
The Bristol Dirt racing weekend begins Thursday with three divisions set for the green flag. It concludes on Saturday night with the NASCAR Cup Series race.