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Drivers to watch in NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway

Kim Coon, Kyle Petty, and Dustin Long preview what to expect when the Cup drivers take to the dirt for the third time at Bristol, with Petty saying he expects to see aggression and Long predicting chaos.

It’s time to get dirty.

The NASCAR Cup Series is scheduled to run its annual dirt race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, where the concrete track has been covered with Tennessee earth. It’s a NASCAR experiment that has garnered mixed results in its first two outings.

MORE: William Byron atop NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

Joey Logano and Kyle Busch earned wins in the track’s first two dirt races.

Here’s a look at drivers to watch in Sunday’s race:


Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 6th
  • Best seasonal finish: 1st (Richmond 1)
  • Past at Bristol: Fourth place in last year’s dirt race

Larson, winner of Sunday’s Cup race at Richmond, has burned up dirt tracks across the country in a variety of cars. He led 27 laps in last year’s Bristol dirt race before finishing fourth.

Joey Logano

  • Points position: 7th
  • Best seasonal finish: 1st (Atlanta 1)
  • Past at Bristol: Won inaugural dirt race in 2021. Only driver to finish top five in both Bristol dirt races.

Logano, whose racing skills seem to apply to any surface, is one of only four drivers (also Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick) to finish in the top 10 in both Bristol dirt events.

Kyle Busch

  • Points position: 8th
  • Best seasonal finish: 1st (Auto Club)
  • Past at Bristol: A win and a 17th on dirt

Busch inherited the Bristol dirt win in 2022 when leaders Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe spun out racing for first place.


Martin Truex Jr.

  • Points position: 9th
  • Best seasonal finish: 7th (Las Vegas 1)
  • Past at Bristol: Led 126 laps in 2021 but finished 19th

Truex has been battling all season. A shot at victory Sunday at Richmond turned into an 11th-place finish because of a late-race caution and poor tire strategy.

Tyler Reddick

  • Points position: 13th
  • Best seasonal finish: 1st (COTA)
  • Past at Bristol: 7th and 2nd in two races

Reddick was on course to win last year’s Bristol dirt race but crashed on the last lap after Chase Briscoe’s failed move to take the lead. Reddick won the opening qualifying race at the track last year.

Ryan Blaney

  • Points position: 11th
  • Best seasonal finish: 2nd (Phoenix 1)
  • Past at Bristol: 8th and 5th in two races

Blaney hasn’t led a lap on the Bristol dirt but has managed finishes of eighth and fifth. Could a unique surface finally end his long winless streak?