X

NASCAR at Bristol Qualifying for 2021 Food City Dirt Race Canceled 

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIMarch 27, 2021

Mud covers the windshield and grill of driver Stewart Friesen truck during a heat race for a NASCAR Truck Series race on Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

NASCAR qualifying for Sunday's Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series at Bristol were canceled Saturday as rain made the track unsafe for drivers.

The Cup Series Food City Dirt Race is now scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox, followed by the Pinty's Truck Race on Dirt at 9 p.m. ET.

NASCAR @NASCAR

Tonight's NASCAR Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series qualifying races from @BMSupdates have been canceled. New Sunday schedule: 3:30 PM ET: Food City Dirt Race (FOX) Approx 9 PM ET: Pinty's Truck Race on Dirt (FS2)

NASCAR covered the famed track in 23,000 cubic yards of dirt this week for an unforgettable event, but storms in the area Saturday made racing even more dangerous as cars had trouble with mud flinging up onto windshields. 

This weekend will mark the first official NASCAR race on a dirt track since September 1970, and the organization made a few procedural changes to account for the unusual surface. 

NASCAR @NASCAR

How did The Last Great Colosseum transform into a dirt track? We went behind the scenes with the crew at @BMSupdates to find out!

Stages 1 and 2 will each be 100 laps, with Stage 3 being just 50 laps. The larger windows should allow some leeway for drivers still getting used to the track—which is more important than ever now that qualifying is canceled. 

The Associated Press (h/t ESPN) noted drivers had been having issues with their tires on the track as the heavy wear made them unsustainable, creating divots in the dirt, particularly in the corners. 

BristolMotorSpeedway @BMSupdates

This should be fun. 😏 #ItsBristolBaby | #ItsDirtBaby https://t.co/plIyapkwcO

"The track is kind of coming up and just crazy big divots," Ryan Blaney said. "It's definitely not smooth."

Officials will have to hope an excess of rain Saturday doesn't make the conditions any worse by race time.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.