NASCAR Bristol Dirt live updates: Christopher Bell wins

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Charlotte Observer NASCAR reporter Alex Zietlow was at Bristol Motor Speedway and was providing updates during Sunday’s Cup race. LIVE UPDATES HAVE NOW CONCLUDED. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST RACE STORY.

NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Dirt race live updates

Stage 3

Lap 250: Christopher Bell wins! Holds off Tyler Reddick from the front. Best dirt racers in the Cup Series showed out tonight. More to come.

Lap 225: Fifteen to go! Kyle Busch spins into pit road, but it prompts a caution. We’re likely going to have a green-white checkered in this one. What’s new? (Busch’s car was unfit to continue, so his day ends at Lap 225.)

Lap 175: The 41 and the 5 are together again! This isn’t a happy story though: Ryan Preece appeared to nudge Kyle Larson into the wall, and then once the 5 stayed steady, Preece shoved him into the wall again. His suspension broke because of it. Larson is done for the night. Here’s a look at the contact.

Lap 157: Kyle Larson spins out all alone! Took no tires at the end of Stage 2. That sends him to the back of the field. That essentially ends his chances at a win (right?!).

Stage 2

Lap 150: Tyler Reddick has won Stage 2, holding off dirt-racing poster child Kyle Larson and Richard Childress Racing duo Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch. Those earning points (in order): Reddick, Dillon, Larson, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Justin Haley and Aric Almirola. Red flag comes out for stage break. One more stage to go!

Lap 126: It... hasn’t been a great day for Brad Keselowski. He spins out right around the pit road entrance on the back stretch. That’s eight cautions now.

Lap 105: Joey Logano is done for the day. It appeared that his engine blew. Smoke fumigated out of the back of the car before he limped to pit road. He then took his car behind the wall and had crew members work under the hood before he hopped out of the car. Logano won the Truck Series race here less than 24 hours ago.

Lap 103: Ryan Preece spins out. Seventh caution of the night. Single-car incident. Joey Logano has taken his car behind the wall.

Lap 89: Michael McDowell spun out on his own and prompted a caution, but what he did was remarkable nonetheless. He made a complete 360 — and the rest of the field fanned out around him to avoid him — and then continued racing like nothing changed. See for yourself. (McDowell did a 360 spin again a few laps later! This one didn’t prompt a caution, though.)

Lap 81: Caution out again. Jonathan Davenport spins out all by himself.

Lap 78: Tyler Reddick, Bubba Wallace, Martin Truex Jr. and Ty Dillon stayed out on the stage break and are leading Stage 2. Kyle Larson right behind them.

Stage 1

Lap 75: Kyle Larson gets his second stage win of the season. A pile-up in Turn 4 prompts a caution. Most of the field will finish Stage 1 under caution. Among those involved in the wreck: Denny Hamlin (damage on the front-right), Corey LaJoie, Josh Berry and Daniel Suarez.

Lap 58: Another single-car spin, this time Brad Keselowski. Third caution out.

Lap 38: Another caution. Matt Crafton of the No. 51 spins out by himself. Gets in the way of Joey Logano — the 22 is in the middle of some action again.

Lap 12: Caution out already! Bubba Wallace was beginning to go around, and his spin collected Joey Logano and a few others. William Byron appeared to nudge Logano a few times as Logano tried to check up to give Wallace space to straighten out. If we can extrapolate anything from yesterday’s truck race: There will be a ton of cautions today. (Also of note: Logano sped on pit road just now. That’ll be a pass-through penalty.)

Green flag at 7:17 p.m.: Let’s go racing!

7:16 p.m.: Engines have been fired! Ready to go. One guy you’ve probably heard of but might not be well-acquainted with: JJ Yeley. He’s known to be a remarkable dirt racer. Starting third. He hasn’t notched a Top 10 this year.

6:20 p.m.: A fun announcement was just made at the media center: NASCAR RaceDay at the track was at Bristol this evening and will return for six more race weekends in 2023, including the Coca-Cola 600 next month. That means the Speed Stage is coming back, too. The effort is being spearheaded by NASCAR great Kenny Wallace.

4:45 p.m.: Some minute-by-minute housekeeping: Red Carpet Walk: 6:15 p.m.; Driver Intros: 6:20 p.m.; Invocation: 7 p.m.; National Anthem: 7:01 p.m.; Command: 7:08 p.m.; Green Flag: 7:14 p.m. The average time of this Cup race is 3:20:51 — so this should all wrap up around 10:30 p.m.

4:34 p.m.: Chase Briscoe, who grew up racing on dirt tracks across his Indiana home state, will start in P14 on Sunday. He will do so with a soft cast on his left hand after suffering a broken middle finger on Thursday. He is set to have surgery next week. In other lineup news: Truck Series star Matt Crafton will be running in place for Cody Ware in today’s Cup race; Ware cited “personal” reasons for his absence. And Chase Elliott, the Cup superstar, is reportedly getting close to his return to racing after suffering a broken leg last month. Friday will mark six weeks since his injury.

4:30 p.m.: It’s true that Kyle Larson is starting on the pole. It’s true he’s had a busy week on dirt: battling Jonathan “Superman” Davenport down the stretch on Thursday night at Volunteer Speedway and then spotting for Rajah Caruth during Saturday’s Truck race. It’s also true that much ado has been made about him being one of the best dirt racers of all time this week as the NASCAR Cup Series descends on the only dirt track on its schedule. But all this considered, Larson is approaching this weekend with his patented nonchalance. (Larson, interestingly, has even publicly opined that NASCAR should remove a dirt race from its Cup schedule. “These cars aren’t dirt cars,” he said in part.)

Food City Dirt Race: How to watch

  • Place: Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt

  • Date: Sunday, April 9

  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

  • Purse: $7,808,640

  • TV: FOX, 6 p.m. ET

  • Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

  • Distance: 125 miles (250 laps)

  • Stages: Stage 1 (Lap 75), Stage 2 (Lap 150), Stage 3 (Ends on Lap 250)

Starting lineup for Bristol race

Position

Driver

Car No.

1

Kyle Larson

5

2

Austin Dillon

3

3

JJ Yeley

15

4

Christopher Bell

20

5

Kyle Busch

8

6

Tyler Reddick

45

7

Austin Cindric

2

8

Ryan Preece

41

9

Ryan Blaney

12

10

William Byron

24

11

Bubba Wallace

23

12

Joey Logano

22

13

Michael McDowell

34

14

Chase Briscoe

14

15

Todd Gilliland

38

16

Ross Chastain

1

17

Alex Bowman

48

18

Erik Jones

43

19

Aric Almirola

10

20

Harrison Burton

21

21

Jonathan Davenport

13

22

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

23

Ty Gibbs

54

24

Matt Crafton

51

25

Justin Haley

31

26

Kevin Harvick

4

27

Martin Truex Jr.

19

28

Chris Buescher

17

29

AJ Allmendinger

16

30

Denny Hamlin

11

31

Josh Berry

9

32

Ty Dillon

77

33

Brad Keselowski

6

34

Daniel Suarez

99

35

Corey LaJoie

7

36

Noah Gragson

42

37

BJ McLeod

78