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Difference in Bristol Dirt from 2021 to 2022 is like night and day

By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
Posted 6:00AM on Sunday 17th April 2022 ( 2 months ago )

To hear Ryan Blaney tell it, there’s not a lot of continuity between the Food City Dirt Race from 2021 and the one scheduled this year on Easter Sunday.

In the first place, this year’s event will take place at night, rather than during daylight hours. And Sunday’s race also will feature NASCAR’s Next Gen Cup Series race car, which has features that weren’t part of the Gen 6 version that raced in 2021 — including a five-speed sequential transmission, rack-and-pinion steering and an independent rear suspension.

Accordingly, the notebooks drivers and crew chiefs built last year won’t have a great degree of relevance when it comes to racing on Sunday night.

“The car is obviously different,” Blaney said on Friday during a question-and-answer session in the Bristol Motor Speedway media center. “The tire is way different. The tire is way better this year, honestly. It’s got way more grip, and you can actually drive it more, so I don’t know if you can compare much like car-to-car, setup-to-setup.

“But just knowing the trends of how the race went last year, maybe that applies to this year, so you try to look at the trends of the race track and all that. But the track is a lot smoother than what it was last year, so that’s nice. There’s not a lot you can compare.”

Blaney spun during the first qualifying heat on Saturday, finished sixth and will start 25th in Sunday’s race.

Short Strokes

-NASCAR announced Saturday that Pinty’s Delicious Foods has extended its entitlement sponsorship of Canada’s largest national motorsports series for five years, through 2026. Pinty’s first took over the naming rights of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in 2016, after entering the sport as a contingency sponsor in 2012…

-Speedway Motorsports, Inc., president and chief operating officer Marcus Smith announced the revival of North Wilkesboro Speedway, which will host a series of events in August on the old .625-mile asphalt, followed by dirt-track racing in October after the asphalt has been removed. The plan is to repave the short track in 2023, with an eye toward hosting a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race there — perhaps in 2024. NASCAR last raced at North Wilkesboro in 1996.

WDUN will carry live PRN Radio coverage of Sunday night's NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway beginning at 6pm on 102.9 FM, AM 550 and streaming live on AccessWDUN.

NASCAR Cup Series
Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt – Bristol, TN
Food City Dirt Race – April 17, 2022

Sunday’s Starting Line Up

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1. 41 Cole Custer Jacob Construction/HaasTooling Ford 0.000 0.000
2. 20 Christopher Bell DeWalt Toyota 0.000 0.000
3. 8 Tyler Reddick 3CHI Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
4. 14 Chase Briscoe HighPoint.com Ford 0.000 0.000
5. 5 Kyle Larson HendrickCars.com Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
6. 31 Justin Haley LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
7. 42 Ty Dillon Food City/Gain Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
8. 48 Alex Bowman Ally Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
9. 9 Chase Elliott Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
10. 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 0.000 0.000
11. 18 Kyle Busch Mars Crunchy Cookie Toyota 0.000 0.000
12. 3 Austin Dillon Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
13. 45 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Toyota 0.000 0.000
14. 43 Erik Jones Food City/Tide Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
15. 17 Chris Buescher Fastenal Ford 0.000 0.000
16. 47 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Kroger/Irish Spring Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
17. 34 Michael McDowell Love’s Travel Stops Ford 0.000 0.000
18. 6 Brad Keselowski Solomon Plumbing Ford 0.000 0.000
19. 24 William Byron Liberty University Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
20. 2 Austin Cindric # Discount Tire Ford 0.000 0.000
21. 99 Daniel Suarez Tootsies Orchid Lounge Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
22. 23 Bubba Wallace Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota 0.000 0.000
23. 38 Todd Gilliland # First Phase Credit Card Ford 0.000 0.000
24. 21 Harrison Burton # Dex Imaging Ford 0.000 0.000
25. 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Dutch Boy Ford 0.000 0.000
26. 7 Corey LaJoie Nations Guard Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
27. 77 Justin Allgaier(i) BRANDT Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
28. 16 Noah Gragson(i) Chevy Truck Month Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
29. 15 J.J. Yeley(i) Georgia Strong/JAG Metals LLC Ford 0.000 0.000
30. 19 Martin Truex, Jr. Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota 0.000 0.000
31. 10 Aric Almirola Cummins/Rush Truck Centers Ford 0.000 0.000
32. 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Latte Ford 0.000 0.000
33. 1 Ross Chastain Advent Health Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
34. 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 0.000 0.000
35. 51 Cody Ware Nurtec ODT Ford 0.000 0.000
36. 78 Josh Williams(i) Alloy Employer Services Ford 0.000 0.000

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Joey Logano (22) and Chris Buescher (17) race during qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo: Logan Riely/Getty Images

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