The winner of the NASCAR dirt race reflects on comments he made days before the race
Is he eating his words? Not exactly.
Last year, Bristol Motor Speedway brought in thousands of dirt truckloads. The race became the first NASCAR Cup Series race on the dirt in 50 years.
Ahead of the 2nd annual Bristol Dirt race last weekend, many drivers were vocal on wanting changes. They noted the track needing more water and removing the windshields, which would allow officials to drop said water.
Kyle Busch stated he wasn’t a fan of the event. He explained that dirt as a whole takes NASCAR backwards. The comments were previously stated by Richard Petty in 2020, he mirrored them.
However, Sunday’s race turned into a thrilling event that was seen by over 4 million. In the closing laps, Chase Briscoe ran down race leader Tyler Reddick. And on the final lap, Briscoe drove it deep into the corner, slid up the track and wrecked them both.
Kyle Busch drove by the leaders as the spun and Busch went to victory lane. How does he feel about dirt now?
Kyle Busch clarifies NASCAR dirt statements
“A lot of different variables here,” Kyle Busch stated after the win.
“The biggest one is they did a better job with the track this year, for sure. God helped us out a lot, with watering it periodically. So, that was really good. We didn’t even have to rely on the water truck driver.”
The race saw two separate red flags due to rain.
“But, the biggest thing that hinders me from enjoying this is just the application. We’re trying to do something that isn’t applicable, in my opinion.”
“I mean, the first 10 laps of the race, everybody’s shooting mud off. We’re covering everybody’s grills. Our windshields are covered, just with the dirt going off the windshield.”
Ahead of the race, NASCAR tested the Next Gen without windshields on Bristol. However, that test took place just days ahead of the race weekend. It’s likely the windshields will be removed in 2023.
“If we get rid of the windshields, we can have tear-offs. Yeah, that’s fine. But, the cars are 3,500 lbs and you saw what it’s like on the last corner of the last lap, to drive around here every single lap.”
“I mean, you are on edge. You are on your toes, just trying not to crash. When you’re in a dirt car (Busch has run late models and micros on dirt). When there’s grip, it’s grip and rip. You are driving the heck out of that thing. It makes you breathe hard.”
“This thing here, you are just not breathing because you’re so tensed up, of not crashing.”
“But, if it was a good show, it’s a good show. I think Bristol’s fine, with or without. I’ve won on them all, so I think I have the best say.”
The Bristol Dirt race has already been renewed and will return in 2023.
Does it still take the sport backwards?
As stated above, Kyle Busch said that dirt racing took the sport backwards. Then, he drove to victory lane on said dirt. Does he still feel the same way?
“There were some bright spots, for sure. To the night, to this race. I don’t know if the good outweighed the bad,” Busch explained.
“I feel like our races are always long enough already. We had a couple rain delays, which honestly watered the track. So, that’s what you would get if you did it properly. You would get ‘watering the race track delays’ to keep the track right.”
It’s highly likely that the race turned out the way it did because of the rain.
“That’s just breaking up the action. I don’t know that the fans necessarily enjoyed those breaks in the action. Our races are always go-go-go, to the end.”
“The biggest dirt races in the country are 50 laps. The World 100 I guess, but all the rest of them are 50 laps. There’s a reason for that.”