Major change coming to NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2024

bristol motor speedway

Both NASCAR weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway will take place on concrete next season, ending a three-year experiment racing on a temporary dirt surface.

The decision was revealed on Friday amidst the Bristol Night Race weekend. In addition to returning to the concrete surface in the spring, the Food City 500 will also feature retro branding and themes meant to celebrate the history and heritage of the Tennessee half-mile.

“NASCAR has done a great job the last several years of trying new things,” said Bristol Motor Speedway track president Jerry Caldwell. “As a sport, we’ve really embraced that people love our sport and love tradition but they also love trying some new things but also returning to the old ways — whether that’s returning to North Wilkesboro or dirt and maybe the road course in Chicago.

“All these things are good for a little while and maybe you change things up and go back to the way things were and that’s what we’re doing here.”

The spring race at Bristol was transformed into a temporary clay-covered event from 2020 to 2023 because FOX Sports wanted a dirt race on its portion of the schedule and Bristol was suffering from lagging attendance for its spring date.

It’s also worth noting that Bristol had covered itself in clay for a pair of World of Outlaws events back in 2000 and 2001, so there was some built-in heritage there as well. The Cup races produced thrilling races but still proved polarizing with the industry and fan base amongst those who felt NASCAR should exclusively be a pavement series.

Caldwell says industry feedback contributed to the change.

“It’s a very collaborative effort and we had to take a lot of people’s input and I applaud NASCAR for doing that,” Caldwell said. “We worked very closely with NASCAR to reach this decision. It doesn’t mean dirt is going forever. It was here for a little while and now we’re going to go back to concrete but you take input from everyone — race fans, competitors and industry partners across the board.”

NASCAR has not released its 2024 schedules, so no date for the Food City 500 was released as part of the announcement.

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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