For the first time since returning from a COVID-19-forced postponement, NASCAR drivers will take part in a race outside of North and South Carolina. They will compete with each other during the Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Here's when the race takes place.
Coverage for Sunday's Cup Series race begins at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, who is serving as the grand marshal, will give the command to start the engines at 3:43 p.m., and the starter will wave the green flag at 3:53 p.m. FS1 will provide coverage on Sunday while FRN will provide radio coverage. The race is also available on the FOX Sports Go app.
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While the previous four Cup Series races have taken place on tracks more than one mile in length, Sunday's race will be a "short track" event. The Bristol Motor Speedway oval is only .533 miles long. There are only three short tracks in the Cup Series, but many fans have expressed the belief that they provide more excitement due to the close quarters racing.
There will not be a qualifying lap for Sunday's race, following the trend since NASCAR's return to action. Instead, the governing body determined the starting order through a random draw from the owners' standings. Brad Keselowski, who won the Coca-Cola 600, will start in the pole position while fellow Ford driver Aric Almirola will start in the second position. Two other Ford drivers, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, will round out the top four.
The last time the drivers headed to Bristol, Matt DiBenedetto nearly secured the victory. He had the lead with 12 laps remaining, but Denny Hamlin passed him and never relinquished. DiBenedetto finished in second place while Keselowski took third. This victory would have been DiBenedetto's first Cup Series win of his career, and he has since referred to it as "one of the most defeating and toughest days" of his life, as well as one of the "most rewarding."
"Bristol, there's just no margin for error," DiBenedetto told NBC Sports on Friday. "It's really, really fast. It's an insanely fast short track. You're on edge already even when you have your car dialed in. … It'll work out fine, for sure, but you just really are out and out praying that your car is dialed in right because it's very sensitive. "If you're off just a little bit at Bristol, it can affect you worse than these tracks where it's a big race track — a mile-and-a-half — and you don't have to worry about going a lap down if you miss it or things like that, so this one will be a little bit more treacherous."
DiBenedetto will have another opportunity to secure the first Cup Series win of his career during Sunday's race. He will start in ninth place while Hamlin will start 10th. The Supermarket Heroes 500 starts at 3:53 p.m. ET with the green flag.