NASCAR, Bristol Motor Speedway announce dirt track return in 2022

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - MARCH 29: Grant Enfinger, driver of the #98 Champion/Curb Records Toyota, and Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 ThorSport Racing Toyota, lead the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pinty's Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 29, 2021 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

As the laps were winding down in Monday’s rain delayed NASCAR Cup race on the Bristol Dirt track, the track announced over the track PA that the dirt race will make its return in the spring of 2022.

Shortly after the crowd’s roar of approval died down, NASCAR made it official.

The dirt race was the first Cup race on dirt since 1970. The .533-mile speedway was turned into a dirt track over the course of the winter, and after a weekend of weather delays, both the truck and Cup series were able to hold races Monday.

A limited amount of tickets for both events this weekend sold out, with capacity capped to allow for social distancing under COVID-19 protocols. Bristol also announced that tickets for the 2022 Food City Dirt Race were on sale now, with an exact date for the race to be announced.

“There has been so much buzz and excitement around the inaugural Food City Dirt Race weekend that with NASCAR’s blessing, we are thrilled to announce that we will be bringing back dirt in 2022 as part of the NASCAR Cup Series spring schedule,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “The dirt experience is unlike any other for NASCAR fans and could become a must-see event every season.”

NASCAR has held two Cup Series races a year at Bristol since the Tennessee track opened in 1961.