When the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule was revealed, it was announced that the Spring Bristol race would be run on dirt. NASCAR hadn’t run on dirt in over 50 years. It was very questionable as to how the heavy Cup Series cars would take to an artificial dirt track. The first race on the Bristol dirt was a complete failure. Last year, there were some major improvements to the track and the racing surface. But the product still wasn’t great. This year, the storyline coming into the Bristol dirt race was if a known dirt racer could finally win the Bristol dirt race. Finally, after a very chaotic Bristol dirt race, we have our answer.
Bell Earns First Win of 2023:
Before Christopher Bell came into the world of NASCAR, he was making his name known in the dirt world. Fellow dirt ringer, Kyle Larson, has stated that he believes that Bell is better than him. Early in the race, it seemed that the battle for the win was going to be between Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell. Larson would be involved in an on-track incident with Ryan Preece that would take him out of contention. It would be between Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick in the late portions of the race. After a late race restart, Bell would get the best of Reddick and come up with the win at Bristol. Finally, a dirt ringer has won the Bristol dirt race. With that being said, should the Bristol dirt race come back for 2024?
Should Bristol Dirt come back for 2024?
The simple answer to this question? No. The Bristol dirt race has run its course. The NASCAR Cup Series cars weigh at least three times as much as a winged spring car. These cars are not made for racing on an artificial dirt track. Now, with the rumors of the 2024 Cup Series schedule having 40 races, NASCAR could investigate going to a proper dirt track for a race next year. In the past, the NASCAR Truck Series have gone to Knoxville as well as Eldora. Both tracks have a very rich history in dirt racing. NASCAR should have a dirt race on all of their series’ schedules. But creating an artificial dirt track on a short track that is known for great racing is not the answer. Thankfully, the next race NASCAR is going to is not an artificial dirt track but NASCAR’s oldest short track.
What to expect from Martinsville:
One thing that has been said again and again with the Next-Gen car is that the racing on short tracks was not the best last season. However, the great racing at Richmond with the new aero package has given fans hope that the short-track racing this season can be good. As NASCAR heads into Martinsville this weekend, the big story is Chase Elliott making his return. Elliott hasn’t raced since Fontana in late February after suffering a leg injury in a snowboarding accident. All eyes will be on Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to see if he can go the full 400 laps at Martinsville. Understandably, Josh Berry, who has been subbing for Elliott, will be on standby for Elliott if needed this weekend. If Elliott does go the full distance, it would not be a shocker to see him near the front this weekend.
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