SHR Post-Race Report: Food City Dirt Race at Bristol

Date: March 29, 2021
Event: Food City Dirt Race (Round 7 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile, high-banked, dirt oval)
Format: 250 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/50 laps)
Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 250-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

Race Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

SHR Race Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 6th, Finished 15th / Running, completed 253 of 253 laps)
● Chase Briscoe (Started 25th, Finished 20th / Running, completed 252 of 253 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 21st, Finished 24th / Running, completed 252 of 253 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 23rd, Finished 36th / Accident, completed 39 of 253 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (8th with 225 points, 102 out of first)
● Cole Custer (23rd with 118 points, 209 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (27th with 104 points, 223 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (28th with 88 points, 239 out of first)

Race Notes:
● This was the first dirt race in the NASCAR Cup Series since Sept. 30, 1970 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh where NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty took the 117th of his record 200 career NASCAR Cup Series wins.
● Joey Logano won the Food City Dirt Race to score his 27th career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of the season. His margin over second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was .554 of a second.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the sixth straight race.
● This was Ford’s 707th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory and its third win of 2021. It is the manufacturer’s 101st all-time dirt victory, with Logano being the 30th different driver to win a Cup Series dirt race in a Ford. NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett, who is Ford’s all-time leader in Cup wins with 43, also holds the record for most dirt wins for Ford with 26.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 37 laps.
● Only 19 of the 39 drivers in the Food City Dirt Race finished on the lead lap.

Bristol Dirt Quotes

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Ford Mustang:
“It was so cool to be a part of something this historic. It was definitely uncharted territory to put our Cup cars on dirt. But everybody did their best to adapt to everything that happened throughout the weekend, and I think the fans got a new kind of show. Looking forward to taking what everybody learned this weekend and making everything better for when we come back next year. I think our Ford team did its best to deal with everything that was thrown at us. Our biggest issues turned out to be trying to find forward bite on the straightaways and finding ways to tighten up the car. We now have a notebook to work with for next time.”

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang:
“The No. 77 slipped off the bottom. I was hunting the bottom, and he slipped off the bottom. I was trying to get in between him and the silly humps there, and he turned back down across my nose and hit me in the right-front and kind of ran me up over the dirt hump, and I spun. You can’t stop. You can’t see. That’s honestly the biggest problem. In dirt racing, you don’t have a windshield in front of you, so you can pull a tear off (of your helmet visor). We can’t reach out there and pull a tear off of our windshield, so you can’t see anything. Everybody just comes piling in, because you can’t see. Right before that, we started to put down solid lap downs.”

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Ford Mustang:
“That was not the race we wanted for our Ford Mustang. Obviously, we had high expectations for this weekend. After running the Truck Series race earlier today I knew it was going to be a challenge. A lot of what happened there was out of our control with the accidents. We actually were heading in the right direction there in Stage 2 but, once again, got hit from behind and just never really recovered from it. I’m just looking forward to the week off before we head to Martinsville.”

Next Up:
The NASCAR Cup Series takes a rare weekend off before returning to action April 10 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.