Race Weekend Central

Stage, Tire Changes Made Ahead of Bristol Dirt Cup Race

Just ahead of NASCAR Cup Series heat races tonight (March 27) at the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track, NASCAR has announced a change in the Bristol dirt stage lengths for tomorrow’s Food City Dirt Race.

FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass announced via Twitter that the race’s stage lengths were changed to 100/100/50 laps, respectively. Originally, the stage ends were set at 75/75/100.

There will also be two competition cautions at laps 50 and 150, allowing teams more opportunities to change tires. Contrary to current yellow flag procedures, caution laps will not be counted during these competition yellow periods.

What does that mean for the Food City Dirt Race? The longest green-flag run at any point of the race will be 50 laps, reducing concerns about tire wear having an adverse effect on the event.

Cup teams running the race will also receive an additional set of tires.

As described in a Frontstretch article earlier this week, teams can only change tires, fuel up and work on their car overall during stage breaks, with exceptions for those involved in accidents.

Teams don’t have to pit during stage breaks; those who don’t will restart in front of those who do pit. Also, there’s no race on or off pit road, as it will be a controlled pit stop procedure similar to what was used at Eldora Speedway in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition.

NASCAR stated adjustments will give crews additional track prep opportunities, shorten the length of time between changes and give teams more chances to change tires. These updates are expected to help the racing considerably as the Cup cars run their first dirt event since 1970.

About the author

John Willoughby is a Saturday news writer for Frontstretch.com. He became a fan of the sport upon his attendance to the 2008 Daytona 500 and continues to attend yearly. Outside of reporting, he enjoys blogging and participating in one of many civic, service and fraternal organizations he's involved in.

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This is one of many changes as NA$CAR realizes they made, but won’t admit to, a mistake.

Bill B

What a load of crap. There will be a caution every 50 laps? That kind of ruins it.

Reminds me of Indy 2008 where they had to pit every 10 laps for tires.

Think about it. In both cases they couldn’t run more than 25 miles without new tires.

Bad omen.


Read Jenna Fryer’s AP article on this mess. NASCAR is fearing a repeat of the 2008 Brickyard fiasco at Indy when they had to throw cautions every 10 laps for tire failures. This should have been an exhibition race, if anything. Or use the Truck race as their test case. To use a points paying Cup race as an experiment is ludicrous. Just cancel the whole thing, clean up the dirt and run on the pavement later in the season, or even next Saturday.



Like I said, NA$CAR will never do that because it would mean they admit it was a mistake. They’ll make up new rules just for this event and then schedule it again next year. They insist on proving how brain dead they are. It’s not like a lot of people didn’t predict the lunacy of the plan. Dirt on concrete for the first time, tires the teams haven’t used, cars not meant for dirt, 250 laps on dirt…

Tom B

Your predictions were right on!


Well said …but I don’t think that extra seats would be necessary