How to watch NASCAR at Bristol race, winner odds


Cole Custer (41) leads Alex Bowman (48) during a qualifying race for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Bristol Motors Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

AP

Bristol dirt is back, baby. NASCAR’s top series runs the Food City Dirt Race this Sunday at 7 p.m. on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM.

Bristol Motor Speedway’s half-mile oval has been transformed into a temporary dirt track, where 36 competitors will participate in the spectacle in its second year. NASCAR introduced its Bristol dirt experiment last season for the first Cup Series race on a dirt track in more than 50 years. Driver Joey Logano took the checkered flag at Bristol dirt last year, narrowly beating Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

This weekend’s race will feature Cole Custer on the pole after qualifying heat races on Saturday, in which Custer earned the most points through passing and his heat finish. Custer has limited dirt experience compared to those starting up front with him. He’ll line up with Christopher Bell in the front row, followed by Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe, Kyle Larson and Justin Haley.

“It’s really racy,” Custer said of track conditions Saturday. “Obviously they have a little bit more moisture in it than yesterday. It think our cars liked it, but overall, it was a good day to start ninth and pass cars.”

Reddick and Denny Hamlin were the two fastest drivers in their respective practices on Friday night.

Race predictions, favorites

While some oddsmakers have favored Larson for the win this year given his extensive dirt racing roots, remember that Larson and Bell wrecked early in last year’s race. The two collected in the Turn 2 wall and their cars suffered heavy damage. It was a mixed bag of drivers with a dirt background and those with less experience finishing in the top 10, and this year will likely be the same given the unknowns of the new car.

Larson’s team and the Joe Gibbs Racing teams that were fast in practice, like those of Bell, Hamlin and Kyle Busch, haven’t necessarily had the strongest start with Next Gen. While Bell is a driver to watch, a personal prediction for the win? Tyler Reddick. He has a background in dirt late models and sprint cars, finished seventh last year on Bristol dirt (after starting 27th), looked fast in early races this season and during heat races Saturday. He’ll just have to make it to the end.

How to watch NASCAR Bristol Dirt Race

  • Race: Food City Dirt Race
  • Distance: 125 miles (250 laps) with stages ending on Laps 75, 150 and 250
  • Where: Bristol Motor Speedway
  • When: Sunday, April 17 at 7 p.m.
  • TV: FOX at 6 p.m.
  • Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
  • Purse: $7,374,089
  • 2021 Race Winner: Joey Logano

Cup race starting lineup

Order Driver
1 Cole Custer
2 Christopher Bell
3 Tyler Reddick
4 Chase Briscoe
5 Kyle Larson
6 Justin Haley
7 Ty Dillon
8 Alex Bowman
9 Chase Elliott
10 Joey Logano
11 Kyle Busch
12 Austin Dillon
13 Kurt Busch
14 Erik Jones
15 Chris Buescher
16

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

17

Michael McDowell

18

Brad Keselowski

19 William Byron
20 Austin Cindric
21 Daniel Suárez
22 Bubba Wallace
23 Todd Gilliland
24 Harrison Burton
25 Ryan Blaney
26 Corey LaJoie
27 Justin Allgaier
28 Noah Gragson
29 JJ Yeley
30 Martin Truex Jr.
31 Aric Almirola
32 Kevin Harvick
33 Ross Chastain
34 Denny Hamlin
35 Cody Ware
36 Josh Williams

This story was originally published April 16, 2022 7:26 PM.

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NASCAR and Charlotte FC beat reporter Alex Andrejev joined The Observer in January 2020 following an internship at The Washington Post. She is a two-time APSE award winner for her NASCAR beat coverage and National Motorsports Press Association award winner. She is the host of McClatchy’s podcast “Payback” about women’s soccer.
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