By Jerry Jordan, Editor
BRISTOL, Tenn. – After fighting for most of the afternoon to get Bristol Motor Speedway in race-shape for the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series events and the Cup Series heat races, heavy rain ended any chance of continued action on Saturday.
The trucks made one lap in their first heat race but mud buildup on the grill and windshield forced NASCAR to throw the caution for visibility and safety. As teams cleaned the mud off their trucks, NASCAR sent dirt late model cars out on the track – for a second time – to try and pack the track. But then Mother Nature decided to make things worse and opened the skies. Thirty-six minutes later, NASCAR made the call to cancel the heat races and Cup Series qualifying.
The new schedule pushes the trucks to Sunday night with a 9 p.m. start and the plan is to keep the Cup Series start time at 3:30 p.m.
“The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Cup Series qualifying races have been canceled,” stated the release from NASCAR. “The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race has been postponed until approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday night on FS2. The NASCAR Cup Series race tomorrow remains on schedule (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX).”
— Jerry Jordan (@JerryJordan_KTT) March 27, 2021
NASCAR Wire Service:
Rain forces postponement of Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
BRISTOL, Tenn. – With the exception of one muddy lap, rain forced the cancellation or postponement of all NASCAR track activity on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race for the NASCAR Cup Series will run as scheduled on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET, broadcast on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt, scheduled for Saturday night, has been postponed until Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on FS2, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
During a break in the rain on Saturday, NASCAR started the first qualifying race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but with mud covering the grilles and windshields of the trucks, NASCAR halted the proceedings after one lap and brought the trucks to pit road.
Shortly thereafter, the rain returned, and NASCAR was forced to cancel the qualifying races for the Truck Series and Cup Series. The starting fields for both races have been set by owner points.
John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for the Truck race, with Kyle Larson is listed in the first position on the grid for the Cup race. Larson, however, will have to drop to the rear of the field for the start because of an engine change in his No. 5 Chevrolet.
Trevor Collins, Jessica Friesen and Ryan Newman are non-qualifiers for the Truck race. JR Hefner already had dropped out because of extensive damage to his No. 3 truck sustained during practice.
Based on observation of the track and tire wear in Friday’s practices, NASCAR made changes to the format of the Sunday’s Cup race. Stage breaks will come after Laps 100 and 200 (instead of 75 and 150 as originally announced) and competition cautions have been added after Laps 50 and 150. Each car also receives an additional set of tires.