While the NASCAR Cup Series has raced at Bristol Motor Speedway 123 times since the 1960s, Sunday was the only the second-ever time on dirt. For the 2nd year in a row, the high-banked, half-mile track was covered in layers of sawdust, dirt, and clay to create a multi-lane racing surface, capable of producing excellent side-by-side racing. The Easter weekend spectacle was highly anticipated and certainly lived up to expectations.
LAP 1: After securing pole position in the qualifying heat races, Cole Custer in the #41 led the field to the green flag, though he was instantly passed by Chase Briscoe in the #14 Ford Mustang.
CAUTION – LAP 13: The first of many yellow flags of the race waved for the competition caution so teams could check tire wear and make adjustments.
CAUTION – LAP 49: While leading, Briscoe spun in Turn 2 after the left-rear tire went flat. He sustained minimal damage and continued racing, making his way back up through the field as Kyle Larson took over the lead.
CAUTION – LAP 74: The #77 of Justin Allgaier spun in Turn 3 with an apparent mechanical failure that caused him to retire from the race. This yellow flag doubled as the end of the first stage.
STAGE 1 END – LAP 75: Kyle Larson won the stage, followed by Ty Dillon, Christopher Bell, Austin Dillon, and Kyle Busch rounding out the Top 5 and earning stage points. The Trackhouse Racing teammates of Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain opted to stay out of the pits at the end of the segment to gain track position, putting Suarez in P1 for the restart.
CAUTION – LAP 91: The caution came out for the #48 of Alex Bowman, who spun by himself in Turn 4. Bowman avoided making contact with the inside wall, allowing him to continue racing.
CAUTION – LAP 97: Just six laps later, the yellow was displayed again for a multi-car wreck involving Corey Lajoie, Noah Gragson, Kevin Harvick, and Alex Bowman. Harvick was out of the race while the rest were able to continue racing.
CAUTION – LAP 113: Austin Dillon in the #3 and Brad Keselowski in the #6 made contact in Turn 2, which sent Keselowski spinning up the track and brought out the seventh caution of the night.
CAUTION – LAP 125: NASCAR waved the yellow for debris on the backstretch.
CAUTION – LAP 131: Corey Lajoie brought out the caution again when he tangled with Bubba Wallace and Harrison Burton on the backstretch. All drivers continued to race following the incident.
LAP 140: Chase Briscoe was able to pass Daniel Suarez to take the lead just ten laps before the end of the stage.
CAUTION / STAGE 2 END – LAP 150: Chase Briscoe picked up the playoff point at the end of the segment. Behind him, Christopher Bell, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch rounded out the Top 5 while earning points. The caution was extended and eventually turned into a red flag when it started to rain. The race was held for roughly 45 minutes before the action resumed, with Tyler Reddick in the lead following pitstops.
CAUTION – LAP 161: Cody Ware in the #51 Ford Mustang got loose in Turn 3 and slid sideways. Chase Elliott in the #9 slowed down to avoid contact with Ware and was tagged from behind by Daniel Suarez. Ware misread the situation and thought he was turned by Elliott, leading to the #51 hitting the #9 while under caution.
CAUTION – LAP 168: The #43 of Erik Jones spun in Turn 2, bringing out the 11th yellow flag of the night.
CAUTION – LAP 177: Just nine laps later, the caution came out again for the #38 of Todd Gilliland, who also spun in Turn 2.
CAUTION – LAP 202: A flat rear tire caused Rick Stenhouse Jr in the #47 Chevrolet Camero to spin in Turn 2 and trigger another caution.
CAUTION – LAP 211: The caution came out for an incident in Turn 1 involving Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, and Kurt Busch. The latter two drivers retired from the race with significant damage to their Chevrolet Camaro and Toyota Camry, respectively.
CAUTION – LAP 222: With just 28 laps remaining in the race, the yellow flag was displayed for the final time when it began to rain again. The race was red-flagged for less than 20 minutes as teams waited for the precipitation to pass. When the event restarted, Tyler Reddick got a good lead after taking the green flag however, Chase Briscoe was still in hot pursuit.
CHECKERED FLAG – LAP 250: On the last lap, Briscoe made a final attempt to pass Reddick by not braking in Turn 4, trying the ‘slide job’ maneuver. The effort backfired when both cars lost control and spun down the track while third-place Kyle Busch sailed past on the high side and stole the victory. Reddick recovered quickly and salvaged a second-place finish, while Briscoe came home in the 22nd position.
- Kyle Busch
- Tyler Reddick
- Joey Logano
- Kyle Larson
- Ryan Blaney
- Alex Bowman
- Christopher Bell
- Chase Elliott
- Michael McDowell
- Ty Dillon
- Brad Keselowski
- Daniel Suarez
- Cole Custer
- Justin Haley
- Chris Buescher
- Austin Cindric
- Todd Gilliland
- William Byron
- Corey LaJoie
- Harrison Burton
- Martin Truex Jr
- Chase Briscoe
- Aric Almirola
- Erik Jones
- Josh Willaims
- Cody Ware
- Noah Gragson
- Bubba Wallace
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr
- JJ Yeley
- Austin Dillon
- Kurt Busch
- Ross Chastain
- Kevin Harvick
- Denny Hamlin
- Justin Allgaier