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5 Tracks That Should Host NASCAR Dirt Races

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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There seems to be a lot of chatter online about how great Bristol Dirt performed this year. Analysts from FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass to our very own host of Out of the Groove have stated that they’re very interested in one or more dirt races returning for the 2023 NASCAR schedule and beyond.

This would be great for the diversity of the schedule as dirt racing would no longer be just a throw-away event on Easter–it could potentially have serious championship implications. Drivers and teams would no longer get to sleep on their dirt racing program, they would actually have to work on it. So, with no further ado, here are five tracks we would like to see host dirt races in the future.

Eldora

Let me get the most obvious and boring answers out of the way first. I love the Eldora Speedway and have long said that this should have been where the first NASCAR Cup Series dirt race was held for decades back in 2021, not Bristol. This is a great facility and it puts on some great racing.

The truck series proved for years that bulky stock cars and run around this half-mile dirt oval with little issue and the Dirt Derby at Eldora became a fan-favorite event. At the very least, they need to get this track back in the Truck Series, but I bet NASCAR’s top level could also stand to benefit moving into the Ohio market.

North Wilkesboro

When the North Wilkesboro revival plan was first announced in early 2022 the plan was this: through the month of August, the track would host late model and modified events on the old, worn out, original paved surface. Then, after the final event for the month on August 31st (which saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. return to the late model ranks and finish 3rd), the track would be torn up and reverted back to the old dirt surface it was originally all those years ago. Then, the track would host a month of dirt races in October.

That never happened, though. After the month of August, the track decided to keep the surface as it after many of the drivers in those late model and modified races openly spoke about how fun it was to drive. This eventually led to NASCAR scoring the facility for the 2023 All-Star Race, which is very exciting.

But the hard truth is that, eventually and soon, the track needs to be repaved before being permanently added to the NASCAR schedule. So, my suggestion is this: tear up the track to its original dirt surface and have the All-Star Race there again in 2024, this time as a dirt race.

Darlington

I threw Darlington in here just because I think it’d be cool to see a dirt race on a track that large and steeply banked. Think about it: at the dirt tracks, at least one team tends to run a car with a laundry detergent sponsor, i.e. the Kaulig cars last night.

How cool would it be to again see a beautifully wrapped Tide Ride divebomb the leaders coming out of turn for and taking the win in the closest finish in NASCAR history?

Daytona

What? A superspeedway dirt race at the World Center of Racing? Yeah, no thank you. That’s not what I’m talking about when I add Daytona to this list.

Do you remember back in the late 2000s or early 2010s the Bash At The Beach? During speedweeks, the modifieds and late model cars took to the Daytona Beach, Florida track to compete on a temporary, custom-built quarter-mile track on the backstretch of the famed cite of the Daytona 500.

What I’m thinking about is a revival…or maybe a reboot of that event. But instead of hosting it at a quarter mile track on the backstretch, it should be on a custom-built infield road course…covered in sand. It would be a great nod to the first ever Daytona race on the beach back in 1959.

Let’s go! Let’s bring the Clash back to Daytona where it belongs and make this a thing!

Richmond

They covered Richmond with dirt in those NASCAR Heat games so…why not? Richmond would be a perfect place to run a dirt race.

It’s a short track but not too short, it’s got wider corners than most other short tracks, and I just generally think it would be a great location for a dirt race. It’d be a great fit!

Here’s what I’m proposing: Take Richmond’s fall race and put it in the Playoffs, preferably the second round, and cover it in dirt. Make it a cutoff race, even. Then, bring Iowa into the Cup Series. It’s a similar track to Richmond and it could introduce Cup Racing to a new audience. Think about it!

What do you all think? What other tracks would be a great fit to host a NASCAR Cup Series dirt track? Do you like any of these suggestions? Would you change the rules package in any way to better suit dirt racing? Like, for example, running dirt late models rather than the NextGen car at these special events. Let us know!

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Picture of Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts