Chase Elliott, Corey LaJoie latest Cup drivers to enter dirt races at Bristol this week

Elliott will join Larson and Busch in the marquee Super Late Model division.

Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and veteran Corey LaJoie are the latest NASCAR Cup Series drivers to enter this week’s Bristol Dirt Nationals.

Racing in the Bristol Dirt Nationals was slated to start Monday but was delayed by rain. The racing will pick up Tuesday and continue through Saturday. This week’s practice and heat racing will be closed to the public. The spectator grandstands will open on Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 during the main feature races in the eight classes of competition.

Cup Series stars Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano, along with three-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton, previously announced their entries. Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell was also reportedly attempting an entry for this week.

The NASCAR drivers are using the event to prepare for the following weekend’s Food City Dirt Race and Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt. This is the first time since Sept. 1970, that the Cup Series will compete on a dirt race surface.

Elliott, who also competed on dirt in the Chili Bowl Nationals and National Midget Series earlier this year, will join Larson and Busch in the marquee Super Late Model division, while LaJoie will compete in the 604 Late Models along with Dillon. Logano and Crafton will compete in the Open Modified division.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chase Elliott and Corey LaJoie to the Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals to join the other stout lineup of Cup and Truck stars already entered in this event,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager, Bristol Motor Speedway. “With more than 1,200 racers from all across the country competing this week, it’s going to be an epic event. We look forward to welcoming a limited number of fans here on Friday and Saturday to enjoy the races in our socially-distanced grandstands.”

Among other Cup drivers trying to gain experience prior to the Cup race are Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. both of whom will enter the Truck Series race that will be held the Saturday prior to Sunday’s Cup race. Early Tuesday, Chris Buscher announced he will compete in the No. 75 entry in the 604 Late Model Class.