NASCAR is returning to the dirt with a Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday and then a Cup Series race on Sunday. Bubba Wallace will take part in both events, and he might bring out a special weapon for the occasion. He teased the return of his victory shoes from 2014.
The 23XI Racing driver posted a photo on Twitter Friday that showed his hand holding a pair of sneakers with velcro fasteners. Wallace asked if he should bring the shoes out of retirement after previously wearing them at Eldora Speedway in 2014. The Ohio short track is known for its dirt race, one that Wallace has found success in. He previously won after holding off fellow drivers, including Kyle Larson, who suffered considerable truck damage.
Wallace is one of the "names to watch" heading toward the Truck Series race on Saturday and the Cup Series race on Sunday. The list also includes Larson, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, and Austin Dillon. Wallace beat these fellow drivers in 2014's Eldora race, but he doesn't know if he will repeat. However, he knows that he will be one key figure to watch.
"I might be one to watch for some crazy reasons," Wallace told Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass. "That's kind of every race. You never know what to expect out of old Bubba Wallace. I think going into it, just having as much fun as we can, obviously."
"Obviously, I think Larson and C Bell are the ones to watch, Reddick for sure," Wallace continued. He added that the truck on dirt drove like a "really slick asphalt." He explained that this setup meant that the drivers have to keep an eye on the rear grip.
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While Wallace said that he wasn't a dirt racer at the time of his victory in 2014, he still found success on a different surface. Now he will try to repeat, albeit with some extended practice laps helping him prepare. He took part in sessions in both Trucks and Cup vehicles on Friday, sliding around Bristol Motor Speedway with his fellow drivers. However, Wallace was one of those that spun out during the sessions.
The Food City Dirt Race takes place on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Fox will broadcast the unique race while Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Clint Bowyer call the action from the booth. The Pinty's Dirt Race featuring Wallace and some of his fellow Cup Series drivers will take place Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.