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NASCAR's Cup Series Is Going To Race On Dirt For The First Time In 50 Years

Illustration for article titled NASCARs Cup Series Is Going To Race On Dirt For The First Time In 50 Years
Image: NASCAR

Way back in 1970, it was The King Richard Petty who won the last dirt oval race in NASCAR’s top flight class. Back then it was called Grand National and they raced at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, but today it’s just known as Cup. The series has announced a plan to bring dirt oval racing back to the series, allowing the best stock car drivers in the world to prove their mettle on the bullring known as Bristol with 15,000 truck loads of dirt coating the traditionally concrete track.

“Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted many historic events over the years and we will be adding to that resume,” Jerry Caldwell, general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, said on Wednesday. “We can’t wait to see how the stars of NASCAR take to the dirt.”

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Scheduled for March 28th next year, the Bristol dirt race is sure to be a fan favorite, and hopefully will stay on the series schedule for years to come.

Bristol has hosted dirt course races for World of Outlaws and dirt modifieds in the past, most recently in 2001. Obviously the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Trucks Series has been racing on dirt annually in the Eldora Dirt Derby event, which brought a major league NASCAR series back to dirt in 2013. That event has become an icon in the sport, and even people like me, who don’t regularly follow the truck series, will tune in for a bit of Eldora action.

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Where pretty much every other racing series in the world is shying away from big statements and larger more ambitious schedules for the 2021 season, NASCAR is doubling down in the Covid-era to bring more excitement to more fans. Part of that action includes a season packed with great tracks, more road courses, and this night of sideways action and slide job passes. I’m never really stoked for a season of NASCAR to get started, but the 2021 schedule might change that.

In addition to this dirt event at Bristol, a second date at Darlington on Mother’s Day, and the All-Star race moving to Texas, the new schedule picks up exciting road course rounds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Road America, and Circuit of the Americas! I legitimately cannot wait to see the big power behemoths roaring through the Kink at Road America, what a sight to behold that will be.

Man, 2020 has been a pile of shit, but 2021 is already looking up.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

anecdataislife
Fe2O3 is character

Dirt track racing and going back to their roots sounds great!

How about racing actual stock cars again now instead of these boring replicants with mustang decals on them?

Not a knock on you Bradley. I’d just like to see the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing use Stock Cars. Yes I know I’m being that guy.