In 2021, dirt racing returned to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time in two decades. The excitement level was high as many wanted to see cars actually built for the purpose of dirt racing take to the high banks of the legendary NASCAR venue. All of this was made possible, of course, by the fact that the NASCAR Cup Series would compete on dirt for the first time in many years. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series would also participate when the concrete surface was covered in clay.
The half-mile facility was covered in dirt in a painstaking process that took weeks to complete. As a result of that, it was decided that more use needed to be made of the track than simply running two NASCAR-sanctioned events on a single weekend. So, event organizers set up multiple shows that would include Dirt Late Models, Sprint Cars, Modifieds and other classes racing under the banners of sanctioning bodies such as the World of Outlaws and the XR Super Series.
Once again, NASCAR will return to the dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway on the weekend of April 8th & 9th, 2023. But this time, there will not be as much action for those who specialize in applying their abilities on dirt to go along with the Cup and Truck Series races.
The buzz surrounding the dirt-specific races at BMS in 2021 was tremendous. Not only were the top stars across all forms of dirt racing there but NASCAR stars such as Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano took to the track in one form or another in the inaugural Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals. The Super Late Model shows paid out $10,000-to-win for the Friday night feature and a $50,000-to-win main event on Saturday night. Chris Ferguson and Jonathan Davenport were the respective collectors of those payouts.
The newly formed XR Super Series upped the ante for the Dirt Late Model events held at Bristol in 2022 by staging four separate features with each paying out $50,000-to-win purses. Chris Madden won two of those events with Dale McDowell and Chris Ferguson also scoring big paydays.
Josh Richards, Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport and Ricky Weiss were victorious in the four World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series shows held at Bristol in 2021 and 2022. David Gravel(2), Spencer Bayston and Logan Schuchart were the winners of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars features held in 2021 and 2022.
This time around, those who race on a lower level of dirt competition will have an opportunity to shine under the spotlight of one of the world’s most extraordinary sporting venues. While the attention level might not be as high as was the case in the previous two years, the participants will no doubt be as excited if not more so for a chance to turn laps at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Steel Block Bandits Dirt Late Model Challenge Series and the American All-Star Series will each conduct $5,000-to-win affairs on Saturday, April 1st in the Bristol Dirt Showcase.
The plan is for the Steel Block Bandits to contest 17 shows in 2023 with one event, won by Michael Rouse, already in the books. Those races will encompass a total of seven states between the months of March and October. Dustin Mitchell was the 2022 champion of the series.
This will be the first event of a 28-race slate for the American All-Star Series in 2023. The tour’s schedule will take racers across eight states between the months of April and October. Hayden Cardwell was last year’s champion on this tour.
The complete show at Bristol Motor Speedway will be staged on Saturday night.
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