IT’s DIRT BABY – Next year’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway will see the oval track turned to dirt – and the drivers have words.
Come March of 2021, NASCAR fans will be up to their eyeballs in dirt. In one of many shakeups to their schedule, the racing giant is converting the entire half-mile oval track at Bristol into a dirt ring. That’s right – NASCAR stars will be duking it out in the dirt – all for the Cup.
NASCAR and Dirt go way back
As longtime fans will tell you – this is far from a first for NASCAR. Instead, it is a return to roots.
Bristol has swapped concrete for clay many times before – and as recently as 2001, too. But never for NASCAR’s top Cup Series races. This will be the first Cup Series race held on dirt since 1970. Who won that race? None other than Richard Petty.
The return to dirt racing comes as one of many shakeups, however. NASCAR is dropping both Kentucky and Chicagoland from their schedule. In their place, they’re adding Road America in Wisconsin – and Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
What’s more – the Brickyard 400 is ending after 27 races. Instead, racers will head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a doubleheader weekend via the Indycar series August 15th.
But what about this dirt? How are NASCAR’s stars feeling about this massive switch-up?
Drivers react to a very dirty 2021
As you can imagine, the news has been received this morning with mixed reviews.
The new #3, Austin Dillon, tells NBC Sports of the race on dirt: “I’m super pumped. … I’m hoping it becomes a staple.”
Dillon has “significant dirt-racing experience”, to boot – so he seems to be on cloud nine with the news:
Others, however, seem far less thrilled. Kenny Wallace, for example, sounds anything but amused. The driver immediately took to twitter to lay down his demands. Wallace is “expecting a phone call” to “make sure the dirt surface is prepared properly”.
Brad Keselowski weighs in, too, with a bit of skepticism. “I have 1/10th of the information I need to… form a respectable opinion… I’ve got so many questions.”
Chase Elliott seems far more in-line with the mixup, though. The 24-year-old NASCAR star is ready and willing to rip #9 through a whole lotta’ dirt:
Elliott’s right, too. After years of the same, it is beyond refreshing to see NASCAR switch things up – or better yet – return to classic form.