While the world waits for the return of motorsports, fans can now get their fix by attending NASCAR races at circuits such as Bristol Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR scene has been affected by the pandemic, with events being either postponed or canceled. However, the speedway circuit has chosen to continue with its program as a way to create memories for fans who have missed out on the action.
The question is, is Bristol Speedway going to dirt? And if so, when?
The Changing Times
These platforms have enabled NASCAR to maintain a presence in the social media world, even as its television audience has declined. The speedway circuit has been actively engaging with its audience through social media platforms, using them as a way to connect with fans while also providing updated information about upcoming events.
Racing Will Be Back When It Can
Although the return of motorsport is still a ways off, the speedway circuit has decided to go ahead with its program as a way to generate interest in the sport during these trying times. The question is, will dirt be involved?
Bristol Motor Speedway is the home of the Brickyard Shootout, one of the more interesting exhibition races in NASCAR. The first running of the event was in 1966 and was a part of the then-Tri-Cities area of Washington, Ohio, and Kentucky. The name “Brickyard” comes from the nickname of the area’s airports, which are located near the cities of Bristol, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio. To this day, the races are still held at the speedway despite the distance between cities. The last running of the event was in 1975. Since then, the Brickyard Shootout has been on hiatus, with the last official event being in 1992.
That could be about to change. Late last year, the speedway announced that it was returning to the schedule in 2021. While this may come as a surprise to many, it shouldn’t. The racing industry has largely shifted to digital platforms, with many tracks, such as Bristol Motor Speedway, choosing to continue their relationship with their audiences through social media platforms. This shift to digital media has helped keeps the sport alive as fans around the world are still able to follow the action live, even when restrictions are in place to limit unnecessary travel.
Dirt Is On Its Way Back
Before the pandemic, dirt track racing was considered an endangered sport. This is largely thanks to poor management by the major motorsport organizations as well as illegal doping by the drivers themselves. These factors led to a drastic decline in the popularity of the sport, with tracks closing down and owners selling off their stakes. The last NASCAR races held on dirt were the AAA Grand National Series events in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in June and July 2019. Although the series did not officially announce that it would be switching to a new surface, many believe that the desire for speed and the expense of doing so on asphalt makes dirt a natural fit for NASCAR in the future. Here’s hoping that’s true.