NASCAR Bristol Dirt Race: How, When to Watch

by Emily Morgan

NASCAR fans, time to start your engines and set your DVR: on Sunday, the cup series will reconvene at the famous Bristol Motorspeedway in Tennessee.

However, this isn’t your usual NASCAR race. This time, the drivers will compete on dirt while sliding around on the short track— something that hasn’t happened in half a century.

Qualifying starts at 6 p.m. EST and will air on FSI. To watch via live stream, you can download FOX Live or the FOX Sports GO app. You can also get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream the event.

Fans can get in on the dirt race action as early as 3:30 p.m. EST. FOX correspondents Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Clint Bowyer will also take their spot in the booth. Jamie Little and Regan Smith will act as pit reporters while Larry McReynolds provides analysis from the booth.

So far in NASCAR history, a dirt track Cup Series race has taken place 489 times. The last one was in 1970, when “The King” Richard Petty drove his Plymouth to victory and landed one of his 200 wins at North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, North Carolina.

For tomorrow’s race, NASCAR enthusiasts have their eyes on several of their favorite drivers. Austin Dillon, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Larson are expected to lead the pack as all three drivers have dirt track experience.

Bubba Wallace and Chase Briscoe are also expected to do well after their performance at the Eldora dirt races.

Kyle Larson in Need of New Engine Leading up to NASCAR Dirt Race

After Friday’s practice run, Larson’s team concluded that his Chevrolet Camaro would need a new engine. Despite locking in the top average speed on Friday, his engine had a worrisome jump in temperature.

“I think I’m considered a favorite probably at most race tracks right now,” Larson said about the race. “But I think with it being a dirt track, yes, I think people look at me with all the experience that I have on dirt as being even more of a favorite. But these cars are way different than what I typically race on dirt.”

“They don’t drive anything like what I’m used to with a sprint car, midget or now a dirt late model,” Larson added. “These cars are way heavier and have a lot less horsepower than I’m used to on a dirt track. I still think I’ve got a good shot, but I don’t really know if I have an advantage over anybody, other than just being able to kind of read the track surface.”

NASCAR Bristol Dirt Race Details

  • Date: Sunday, March 28, 2021
  • Start Time: 3:30 p.m. EST
  • Track: Bristol Motor Speedway — Bristol, TN
  • Coverage: FOX
  • Pole Sitter: TBD
  • Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski
  • Distance: 133.25 miles
  • Laps: 250
  • Lap Length: 0.533 miles
  • Stages: Three (Laps 1-75; Laps 76-150; Laps 151-250)
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Turns: 4