This weekend the NASCAR Nationwide Series will head back East to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the 32nd annual Drive to Stop Diabetes 300. This will be the first of two stops for the series at the 0.533-mile short track oval, located in Tennessee. It will also be the first short track race of the season.
The entry list for Bristol Motor Speedway currently features a total of 42 drivers. If 42 drivers still remain on entry list before qualifying, two drivers will miss the race as 40 will make it in. Some of the drivers you’ll see this weekend include, Kevin Harvick, Matthew Carter, Ryan Blaney, Timmy Hill, Ruben Garcia Mateos, Kelly Admiraal, Cale Conley, Will Kimmel III, Willie Allen and Carl Long.
Cale Conley will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this weekend driving the No. 33 Chevrolet. Conley will be the 37th driver to have made their debut at the Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He will have sponsorship backing from Okuma this weekend.
The last nine NASCAR Nationwide Series races has been won with a 13th or better starting position. With starting position such a key role, it will put a lot of pressure on the drivers in qualifying and with this weekend being the first short track with this new qualifying system, it will make things much more interesting.
On late Tuesday afternoon, NASCAR made the announcement to some changes to the qualifying procedure on cooling the engines. Previously, teams would go out onto the track to run a slow lap to help cool the engine down before the next run. Many drivers said this was a safety issue, and it needed to be resolved especially for the short track races. NASCAR will allow teams to connect the right or left side, whichever they choose, through the hood flap to cool the engine. NASCAR will no longer allow teams to make a cool down lap.
Where to watch:
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be televised live on ESPN2 at 1:30 p.m. Et on Saturday. The Performance Racing Network will carry the live radio portion of the event. You can listen on many radio stations around the country, PRN mobile application or on GoPRN.com.
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