Truck Series regulars and Cup moonlighters ready for Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt
The field for the WEATHER GUARD Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway is absolutely stacked with talented drivers, highlighted by a tough contingent of series regulars and an eager group of Cup Series moonlighters.
When the green flag drops at 8 p.m. on Saturday night for the 75-mile race (40/90/150 laps) on the clay-covered high banks of The World’s Fastest Half-Mile, every driver in the field will be chasing the signature BMS Trophy and elusive BMS Gladiator Sword.
Defending winner Ben Rhodes leads the long list of favorites, having won at BMS last year in dramatic fashion in his No. 99 ThorSport Racing machine and grabbing a second-place finish at this race in 2021. The Kentucky driver has said (gasp!) that he actually prefers dirt-covered Bristol to concrete Bristol.
“I really enjoy it,” Rhodes has said. “I might be the only one that thinks this, but I enjoy the dirt in Bristol more than the concrete actually.”
Another Truck regular who comes into the event riding a wave of momentum is Carson Hocevar. He earned his first career victory last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and is eager to get his No. 42 Niece Motorsports Chevy back on the Bristol dirt after finishing a disappointing second to Rhodes last year.
“I wouldn’t say that we lost the race last year, we ran really well,” Hocevar said recently. “We were just eventually beat by the better truck. Ben had the fastest truck all day and he nearly let one get away from him. We were in position to take advantage, but he was able to get back out in front and get by us at the end. It was disappointing, but I feel like we are ready to give it another shot this year. It was a lot of fun.”
In fact, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is so deep with a strong group of experienced regulars that you almost expect great performances from them all, including defending series champ Zane Smith, Christian Eckes, who won at Atlanta last month and finished fifth on Bristol dirt last year, Hailie Deegan, veteran Matt Crafton, Bristol UNOH 200 winner Ty Majeski, Matt DiBenedetto, Stewart Friesen, Grant Enfinger, and Parker Kligerman, who his driving the No. 75 Chevy for Abingdon, Va.-based Henderson Motorsports.
There’s also a young group of Truck Series stars on the rise and will certainly factor into the Bristol equation, including Nick Sanchez, who led a ton of laps last weekend in Texas, Chase Purdy, Corey Heim, Rajah Caruth, Daniel Dye and Bret Holmes.
Meanwhile, the list of Cup stars who will be trying to do what Martin Truex Jr. did in 2021 by stealing a victory in a rare Truck Series appearance, includes defending Cup champ Joey Logano, who won the Cup race on dirt in ’21, and will be driving the No. 66 for ThorSport. Dirt-lover Chase Briscoe will be piloting the No. 22 truck, William Byron will be at the controls of the No. 51 Chevy for Kyle Busch Motorsports and dirt Late Model star Jonathan Davenport – who is entered in the Cup race in the No. 13 for Kaulig Racing – will drive the No. 7 Chevy for Spire Motorsports.
A few other drivers to keep an eye on include California-based dirt specialist Tanner Carrick, who is going to drive the No. 30 machine for On Point Motorsports. Talented Midwest dirt racer Tyler Carpenter will drive the No. 41 for Niece Motorsports and dirt Late Model racer Andrew Gordon will once again pilot the No. 47 for G2G Racing.
The Craftsman Truck Series stars will hit the track for the first time on Friday during Bush’s Beans Practice Day. They will have two sessions, at 5:35 p.m. and 8:02 p.m.
On Saturday the Craftsman Trucks will participate in Bush’s Beans Qualifying. There will be four 15-lap heat races to determine the starting lineup for Saturday night’s WEATHER GUARD Truck Race on Dirt (8 p.m., FS1, MRN Radio). The heat race fields will be determined by random draw.
The race weekend will finish on Sunday night as the NASCAR Cup Series returns to its roots with the Food City Dirt Race (7 p.m., FOX, PRN Radio). The Cup Series teams will participate in Friday’s Bush’s Beans Practice Day and Saturday’s Bush’s Beans Qualifying.
In addition to cheering on their favorite drivers during the weekend and enjoying the Easter Celebration, Bristol Motor Speedway fans will definitely want to take advantage of so many activities to make a complete weekend of family fun. There will be great video entertainment provided by Colossus TV, the world's largest center-hung video screen, premium VIP experiences like the Super Fan Suites, tailgating, a visit to the BMS Kids Zone, BMS Fan Zone and Fan Midway, on-site camping, concerts and other entertainment at the Food City Fan Zone Stage like the Race Day Revival with Kenny Wallace and John Roberts, great food and beverages in the concession stands throughout the property, and so much more.
To purchase tickets for the Food City Dirt Race, WEATHER GUARD® Truck Race on Dirt and Bush’s Beans Qualifying, please visit the BMS website, or call the BMS Ticket Sales Center at (866) 415-4158.