NASCAR drivers got the feel of the dirt race at Bristol, prior to the upcoming Cup Series race there, in two practice sessions on Friday.
Alex Bowman recorded the fastest lap on the first and Ryan Blaney did on the second. Additionally, the other drivers to record top-five in both sessions were Bowman and Denny Hamlin.
Having a dirt race is already a challenge for most of the drivers in the series, but rain could further complicate things when the Cup race takes place as the weather forecast shows a high chance of such happening.
After the training sessions, Blaney said:
“It was like a really thin layer of flaky dirt on top of the hard black rubbered down dirt when I walked on it this morning. It went off pretty quickly, the trucks ran all fast.
“You’re handcuffed because we got windshields and these things. You can’t make it super tacky as mud is flying everywhere. I wish it was a bit smoother…but I guess they’ll be able to work on it.”
Bowman added on the possibility of rain that the officials would have difficulty dealing with things.
“Right now, everything that’s not black is pretty dusty. They kind of have their hands tied. You can’t really tear the race track open with all the rain coming in. So they’re in a tough spot and seem to be doing the best they can.”
Hamlin, too, added that the weather could make things a lot difficult in the highly anticipated dirt race.
“Their hands are tied right now because if the weather comes in, you can’t dig up the race track…You’ll have ruts and just a mess on your hands with the muddy race track.”
“So they’ll have to keep it sealed by not doing anything to it. Let the rain fall off of it, and at that point, you can water it.”