FRM Bristol Dirt Preview: Gilliland, Alfredo and McDowell Ready for Something New

FRM Bristol Dirt Preview: Gilliland, Alfredo and McDowell Ready for Something New NK Photography Photo
It's time to get dirty with the NASCAR Camping World Truck and Cup Series. NASCAR will race at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway this weekend, on dirt. It is one of the most anticipated races of the season.
 
Todd Gilliland and his No. 38 Speedco Ford F-F150 team will practice on Friday and race under the lights on Saturday night. Gilliland will go through heat races on Saturday to determine his starting position.
 
Michael McDowell will pilot the No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang this weekend. He will also practice on Friday, run a heat race on Saturday and then compete in a 250-lap feature on Sunday afternoon.
 
Anthony Alfredo returns in the No. 38 DUDE Wipes Ford Mustang. Alfredo will make his first start on dirt, but is looking forward to the new challenge.
 
Saturday's 134-lap Camping World Truck Series race starts at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised live on FS1.
 
Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race begins at 3:30 p.m. ET with the live broadcast on FOX.
 
 
The biggest question heading into the weekend is, "What will this be like?" Gilliland, for one, is not concerned.
 
"It will be fine," quipped Gilliland. "We raced at Eldora and there were a lot of questions before the first race there, but we put on a great show. I expect the same this weekend. I think the fans will love it and we'll see great racing. It's just like grassroots racing, and that's fun."
 
Gilliland has reason for optimism heading into Saturday night's race in his Speedco Ford F-150. He finished fifth at Eldora in 2019.
 
"Eldora was fun and Bristol will be fun, too," said Gilliland. "It's not easy, and it's totally different, but it is fun. I think we have a chance for a great night, but there will be a full field of trucks. So, we'll have to work hard and race hard, too. I'm looking forward to it."
 
 
McDowell is another driver who is also looking forward to a new challenge and something different on the schedule.
 
"This brings so many new elements that we usually don't face," said McDowell. "How do you set up the car, what will track conditions be like and how will the track change, what will the tires do? So, you have a lot of things that you're thinking about. But, this helps us too. We're in a level playing field because nobody knows for sure. So, yeah, I love it."
 
McDowell enters the weekend 13th in the standings and knows this is a chance to gain more points.
 
"This is a great opportunity for us," explained McDowell. "Because it's not an 'aero' race and nobody has done this with a Cup car. We are all new. I think this is a great chance to earn a lot of points, race up front and get a good finish for Love's Travel Stops."
 
 
Ready to clean up any mess on Sunday afternoon will be Anthony Alfredo and his No. 38 DUDe Wipes Ford Mustang.
 
"We have the best partner for this race with DUDE Wipes," said Alfredo. "They help us stay clean.
 
"But, really, I think that will be a big part of a good race. Who can stay out of trouble and keep their car free of major damage. If you go out there and get too aggressive, you're going to end up in a had situation. We'll want to take care of the car and be there for the last laps of the race. Then you can really throw it wide open."
 
Alfredo will be making his debut on the dirt, but has relied on iRacing to get used to the track.
 
"I've said that iRacing is very realistic and it has helped me," said Alfredo. "It's what I had to learn this week, so I've been making laps and hopefully it helps this weekend."

FRM PR