NASCAR Cup cars to run on dirt again at Bristol in 2022
Bristol Motor Speedway and NASCAR officials announced during Monday’s race that the Cup Series dirt event will return in 2022 as part of the track’s spring schedule.
Monday’s race was the first Cup dirt race since 1970.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday’s race was not viewed as a one-time event.
“We never go into something thinking this would be a one-off,” O’Donnell said after the race. “Our hope was this would be a success, something we could repeat, become really a staple of the schedule going forward.”
As for what will race on the same weekend with Cup - whether it is the Camping World Truck Series or if the Xfinity Series will be added - O’Donnell said it was “too early to tell.”
O’Donnell said this weekend gave NASCAR a chance to learn things for next year’s event.
“I think no matter how much you put in from an industry, to think about the what-ifs, there’s always going to be some variables thrown at you, be it weather,” he said. “I applaud Goodyear for bringing a tire that the drivers have always asked that we want a tire that wears. In this case, we based that on what the trucks had done in Eldora. You saw the trucks were able to run upwards of a hundred laps. Not the case for Cup.
“We made some adjustments to the format of the race, which I think everybody did a really good job with in terms of the industry, looking at those adjustments and making it happen. That’s another learning for us, is how do we work even closer with Goodyear. Now that we’ve been on this track surface, what can we learn and what can we continue to apply from a tire standpoint?”
Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, said in a statement:
“There has been so much buzz and excitement around the inaugural Food City Dirt Race weekend that with NASCAR’s blessing, we are thrilled to announce that we will be bringing back dirt in 2022 as part of the NASCAR Cup Series spring schedule. The dirt experience is unlike any other for NASCAR fans and could become a must-see event every season.”
Fans can purchase tickets for next spring’s Food City Dirt Race at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com. Exact race date and seat locations will be determined at a later date.