NASCAR at Bristol 2021: Odds, TV Schedule, Live Stream and DriversMarch 27, 2021
Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be unlike any other the drivers have participated in.
NASCAR opted to load the famous short track with dirt to provide a new wrinkle into a schedule that looks much different as a whole compared to previous seasons. Most of the competitors in the field have driven on dirt tracks before, but they have not been in stock cars. Typically, dirt races are reserved for smaller cars.
Because of the uniqueness of the dirt race, the odds chart looks different than it does for races on asphalt. Kyle Larson and others with more experience on dirt are favored, while Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and the typical favorites carry more value than usual.
Food City Dirt Race Information
Date: Sunday, March 28
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FoxSports.com or Fox Sports app
Kyle Larson: +325 (bet $100 to win $325)
Christopher Bell: +800
Chase Briscoe: +1000
Alex Bowman: +1100
Chase Elliott: +1200
Ryan Blaney: +1400
Denny Hamlin: +1400
Kyle Busch: +1500
Tyler Reddick: +1800
Joey Logano: +1800
Martin Truex Jr.: +1800
Sunday will be the NASCAR Cup Series' first dirt track race since 1970.
To give the drivers a feel for how the cars will operate on the surface, NASCAR allowed two practice sessions Friday and four qualifying heats Saturday. It is the first time since Daytona that the drivers will compete to fill out the starting order.
Alex Bowman and Ryan Blaney topped the charts for the two practice sessions. Bowman had the fastest time in the first session and was second to Blaney in the final session. Denny Hamlin was the only other driver to finish in the top five during both practice heats, which could make him one of the favored drivers Sunday.
Larson comes in as the heavy favorite because of his extensive background on dirt tracks, but he will start at the back of the field on Sunday because of an engine change. That setback could open the door for drivers with longer odds to take home the trophy.
During a typical Bristol race, Larson would have had 500 laps to navigate through the field, and he could utilize a different pit strategy to gain positions. On Sunday, the drivers are competing over 250 laps, and pit stops for fuel and tires are allowed during stage breaks. The only exceptions are for teams involved in incidents.
The early reviews of the setup have been positive from the drivers, with Harvick making one of the most notable statements during Friday's practice.
Bowman also admitted that he had fun running through the dirt track for the first time in a stock car, per NASCAR.com:
"I had a blast. I thought it was a lot of fun. The tire wear is a little concerning, but other than that, everything went great I thought. These cars are a lot of fun. They're really drivable on dirt. It got a little rough, but it's just character in the race track. I enjoyed the hell out of it."
It remains to be seen how the drivers will feel about the dirt as the weekend gets more competitive, but upon first glance, it appears NASCAR made the right call to go with an out-of-the-box idea to conclude the first two months of racing.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. Statistics obtained from NASCAR.com.
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