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Seven NASCAR Cup Series drivers enter Truck Series dirt race at Bristol

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 13: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light #TheCrew Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series 63rd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway has gotten dirty to host Sunday’s Food City Dirt race, the first dirt race for the NASCAR Cup Series since 1970. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series also will race on dirt at Bristol on Saturday, and at least seven Cup Series driver will take advantage of that race to get extra seat time ahead of Sunday’s Cup event.

Forty-four drivers are on the preliminary entry list for the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt, Saturday’s Truck Series event, including Cup Series regulars Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez, Chase Briscoe, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Kyle Larson.

The starting grid for the main event will be determined by heat races earlier in the day. The first heat race is scheduled for an approximate 4:30 p.m. ET start, with the main expected to take the green flag at approximately 8 p.m. Heat races and the main event will be shown live on FS1.

Truex will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota that went to victory lane last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway with truck owner and Truex’s Cup Series teammate Kyle Busch as driver. The race will mark Truex’s third Truck Series start, his first since 2006. He is the only driver among the seven Cup Series regulars in Saturday’s Truck Series race without a Truck Series win.

Harvick will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 David Gilliland Racing Ford. Harvick has 123-career Truck Series starts, the last of those coming in 2015. He is a 14-time winner in the series, claiming his last win in 2012 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

“I tell all of the drivers we represent at KHI Management that nothing beats seat time, and that goes for me as well,” Harvick said. “I can learn and have some fun, all at the same time. Road-course racing and dirt-track racing is a challenge, and I’m always up for a challenge.”

Larson, who’ll drive the No. 44 Niece Motorsports Toyota in the Truck Series race at Bristol, is a two-time winner in the series, the most recent of those coming on the dirt at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, in 2016. He only has one Truck Series start since then, also coming in 2016, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In all Larson has 13 Truck Series starts.

“Kyle is obviously one of the best drivers out there today,” Niece Motorsports General Manager Cody Efaw said.  “His resume on dirt speaks for itself.  We are looking forward to him joining the organization at Bristol and contending for a win.”

Larson is one of three former Truck Series at Eldora race winners among the seven Cup drivers on the entry list for Saturday’s race at Bristol, Wallace and Briscoe being the other two. 

Wallace won the Truck Series race at Eldora in 2014. That win is among six-career wins for Wallaace in 48 starts. Wallace most recently competed in the Truck Series in 2019, running two races. Wallace will drive the No. 11 Spencer Davis Motorsports Toyota at Bristol on Saturday through a deal with Hattori Racing Enterprises.

“I’m pumped to get to Bristol and run on the dirt in the No. 11 Tundra,” Wallace said. “This is a race I’ve had circled on my calendar for the Cup race, so to be able to add the Truck race and have Columbia come on board just adds to the excitement for that week. I have the one win in the Truck Series at Eldora, and it was a lot of fun. I may need to pull some notes from that race to prepare, but I’m just really looking forward to getting back in a Tundra and starting the Bristol weekend with a win.”

Briscoe, who will drive a No. 04 Roper Racing Ford at Bristol on Saturday, won at Eldora in 2018 for the most recent of his two-career wins in the series in 25 starts. Briscoe last raced in the Truck Series in 2019 at Eldora. He finished seventh in that race, the final Truck Series race at the track. The track was expected to host the series, again, in 2020, but schedule shuffling because of the COVID-19 pandemic included a cancellation of the Eldora race.

“I’m beyond excited to have Chase Briscoe pilot the Roper Racing Team Ford for the Bristol dirt race,” team owner Cory Roper said. “It wasn’t a hard decision to make when Chase came to us about this opportunity. To have someone like Chase drive for our small team and represent our partners is a huge honor. I look forward to being behind the wheel in Richmond and continuing our strong start to the 2021 season.”

Roper drove the truck in the first four races of the 2021 season.

Newman will be behind the wheel of the No. 39 DCC Racing Ford at Bristol for that race team’s Truck Series debut. Newman has raced sparingly in the Truck Series over the years, never contesting more than two races in a single season. He has seven-career Truck Series starts between 2008 and 2018, but he does have a win. He claimed victory in his series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2008.

Suarez will drive the No. 02 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet on Saturday. In 27-career Truck Series starts, to date, Suarez has a single win, coming in 2016 at Phoenix, his second-to-last start in the series. His most recent Truck Series race was the 2016 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Below, is the complete preliminary entry list for the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt:

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Posted by on March 25, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Camping World Truck Series,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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