Rookie Garrett Smithley will drive at the tough Bristol Motor Speedway half-mile for the first time Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
The 300-lap event will be the first short-track race of the Xfinity season, and it will be an unusual one.
NASCAR is introducing heat races to its Xfinity competition this season. On Saturday, the field will be split for a pair of 50-lap heat races, and the results of those sprints will set the starting lineup for the 200-lap main.
So not only will the track be new for Smithley but the format will also offer a challenge.
“It’s going to be a fun weekend there,” Smithley said. “It’s a lot to focus on for the first time there, but I’m ready for it. The track is a big challenge, but it’s going to be fun.”
Meanwhile, Ross Chastain will be shooting for a top-10 finish in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 Chevrolet.
“It’s going to be an unusual weekend,” Chastain said. “No one really knows what to expect with the heat races and the changes. But, in the end, it’s all about having a good car and being smart. We’re looking to do well.”
Chastain has some positive history at the Bristol half-mile. In 2012, he finished third in a Camping World Track Series race at BMS.
Practice is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. (ET) Friday.
Qualifying is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with the heat races to follow at 12:30 p.m. The feature race is scheduled for 1:45 (JDMotorsports PR)
This new racing format that will be unveiled at Bristol with the Dash for Cash will be exciting and very different. This is an added flavor that resembles your local short track racing on Saturday night.
This further fortifies what I have always said about the NASCAR short track racing.
“Somebody is always in your way, or you are always in somebody’s way”. Therefore undoubtedly this weekend, their will be some bruised egos, some ruffled feathers, some crumpled sheet metal, and a few lost tempers, and there might even be a jaw sock or two!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!