Heat races and a practice session have been officially added to the NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series‘ upcoming dirt weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. On Wednesday, track officials announced the addition of a Friday practice day for both series, followed by a heat race ahead of the Cup Series’ Food City Dirt Race. Both weekend sessions will be sponsored by Bush’s Beans.
Bristol had already been planned as one of eight Cup dates to have practice and qualifying, while heat races to determine the starting grid were initially revealed by NASCAR’s competition department in early February. Officially known as Bush’s Beans Practice Day, the two-session practice will take place on Friday, 26 March for both series with each running for one hour.
“Bush’s Beans Practice Day on Friday will allow the drivers in both the Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series to sling some dirt and break in their machines on the dirt-covered high banks,” said BMS general manager Jerry Caldwell. “On Saturday, fans will be treated to some intense 15-lap heat races in both series during Bush’s Beans Qualifying, which will set the starting grids for the Food City Dirt Race and the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt. We will make a limited number of grandstand seats along the front-stretch available for Friday’s Bush’s Beans Practice Day, and remember there’s still a few tickets left for Saturday, but they’re going fast.”
Four 15-lap heat races per series will be run on Saturday evening. Heats were used for the Truck Series’ dirt race at Eldora Speedway during its run from 2013 to 2019, while the Cup Series technically has them with the Bluegreen Vacation Duels to set the lineup for the Daytona 500. The Xfinity Series also experimented with heats for Dash 4 Cash races—one of which was on Bristol’s concrete surface—in 2016.
The Truck Series’ 150-lap Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt will be held on Saturday evening, while the green flag for the 250-lap Food City Dirt Race is on Sunday afternoon. The former is one of two dirt races on the Truck schedule along with a round at Knoxville Raceway in July, while the latter is the Cup Series’ first dirt event since 1970.
“Bush’s Beans is excited to be a part of NASCAR’s dirt-track racing history while deepening its relationships with motorsports fans and the local community,” Bush Brothers & Company chairman Drew Everett added. “Bristol is one of the greatest venues in sports and entertainment and the Food City Dirt Race weekend will be a memorable event for years to come.”
The news comes a day after Chris Windom was announced as the first Cup dirt track ringer; the USAC champion will drive the #15 for Rick Ware Racing in the Food City Dirt Race.