BRISTOL, Tenn. (WGHP) — The excitement of dirt track racing took center stage Easter Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway as the NASCAR Cup Series took to the track in the new NextGen car.
With the possibility of weather shortening the race, the action was fast, furious and fantastic. Drivers were fighting for every position from the front to the back while trying to get a grip on exactly how to make the new cars go fast on dirt.
“We’re all on edge all the time. We’re just barely hanging on try not to crash try not to spin out,” said race winner Kyle Busch.
Being hard to handle and making the drivers fight every lap is one of the keys to a great race. The cars are unpredictable and have the fans on the edge of their seats every lap.
NASCAR Cup Series reigning champion and dirt track extraordinaire Kyle Larson weighs in that for a car and series not designed to run on dirt, he felt like it provided a big entertainment factor.
“Obviously, I think there’s some tweaks, small tweaking that can be done to make it even better. But…it was overall really good race,” Larson said.
The race was slowed by two brief rain delays for light showers that made the track too wet to race on. But those periods were really a good opportunity for the track prep crew to clean up and re-pack the surface, keeping the moisture level up and the dust to a minimum.
And then there was a great battle to the end. Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe and Kyle Busch were the top dogs at the end. Reddick looked to have it in the bag, even as Briscoe slowly chased him down while Busch fought to stay close just in case.
On the last corner of the last lap, Briscoe made a brave move, hoping to pull off a classic dirt track slide job on Reddick. Reddick also had a great entry into the corner putting the two cars side by side where they bumped and banged and both spun down the track.
Reddick and Briscoe said it was just hard racing.
“He drove it in so hard trying to protect the slider on me, and that’s what he was supposed to do. It was my fault on him, so I hate it for him,” Briscoe said. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to sleep at night if I didn’t try to throw a slider right and just follow in second.”
Briscoe came up to Reddick after the race to apologize for causing the crash, but Reddick said he would have done the same thing.
Meanwhile, Kyle Busch pounced, driving by the crashing Reddick and Briscoe machines and stealing the win.
“Oh, I certainly backed into it. Yeah, we stole one. I’ve done that before. but I’ve got 60 of them to back up on,” Busch said, “I mean, it feels good…anytime you can win. You know, it’s just a matter of getting a victory lane. I mean, the greatest reward is winning in our sport. You know, we all work so hard and put so many tireless hours into all of this, and your only reward is winning.”