- Josh Scott
Logano holds off Stenhouse Jr, wins Inaugural Bristol Dirt Race
Joey Logano beat Ricky Stenhouse Jr by just over half a second, in Overtime, to win the inaugural Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday. The win is Logano's first of 2020 as well as his 27th career win in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Middletown, CT native becomes the seventh different winner of the 2021 season, the longest streak of different race winners since 2014.
"This is incredible! Great job by everyone that prepped the track," said Logano, who picked up his third career win at the half-mile track, during his post-race interview. "There's nothing like winning at Bristol, but to do it (on dirt) is special."
Denny Hamlin finished third, followed by Daniel Suárez and Ryan Newman. William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10. Martin Truex Jr, who dominated the race, after leading a race-high 126 laps and won both stage one and two, had a tire go flat with two laps to go and would finish 19th.
Kyle Larson, who has found recent success to start out the 2021 season, was expected to be the favorite to win the dirt race considering his very successful dirt-racing background. The driver of the number 5 car had to start from the back of the field, due to changing engines during one of Friday's practice sessions, but quickly found himself in the top 10 by lap 50. However, on lap 53, disaster struck.
While Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain crashed out of the race, Larson continued on and would finish in the 29th position, five laps down.
The Food City Dirt Race was postponed from its original start time on Sunday due to multiple torrential downpours in the Bristol, TN area, which included flooding and hail. The following day had nothing but sunny skies and NASCAR was able to run its first dirt race in over 50 years.
The Cup Series takes the next week off, but the short-track swing continues with a trip to the "Paper Clip" a.k.a Martinsville Speedway on April 10th.