Two NASCAR Cup Series playoff races are in the books, and three drivers have punched their tickets to the Round of 12.
It has been a successful opening round for Joe Gibbs Racing, which celebrated victories at Darlington Raceway with Denny Hamlin and at Richmond Raceway one week ago with Martin Truex Jr. Hendrick Motorsports also got some good news at Richmond when regular-season champion Kyle Larson clinched a berth in the next round of the playoffs on points.
Now the action turns to Tennessee’s Bristol Motor Speedway for the first elimination race of the playoffs. Following Saturday night’s race, four drivers will be sent packing and see their 2021 championship aspirations dashed, while nine additional drivers will join Hamlin, Truex and Larson in the second round.
Here is everything you need to know to get ready for Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway:
START TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. GREEN FLAG: 7:47 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN. Pre-race broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.
RADIO: Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
STREAMING: NBC Sports website (for those who sign in with their cable/satellite provider) and NBC Sports app.
RACE DISTANCE: 500 laps around the 0.533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway for a total of 266.5 miles.
STAGE LENGTHS (laps per stage): Stage 1: 125, Stage 2: 125, Stage 3: 250.
LAST TIME: Joey Logano won the inaugural dirt race at Bristol on March 29, leading 61 laps and holding off Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 0.554 seconds. And one year ago in the 2020 playoff race, Kevin Harvick led 226 laps, including the final 32, before edging Kyle Busch by 0.310 seconds.
PLAYOFFS: Here are the standings prior to Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway (x-clinched berth in round of 12):
1. x-Kyle Larson, 2,151; 2. x-Denny Hamlin, 2,127; 3. x-Martin Truex Jr., 2,113; 4. Joey Logano, 2,093; 5. Ryan Blaney, 2,081; 6. Kevin Harvick, 2,078; 7. Chase Elliott, 2,072; 8. Christopher Bell, 2,070; 9. Brad Keselowski, 2,066; 10. Kyle Busch, 2,061; 11. Aric Almirola, 2,056; 12. Kurt Busch, 2,053; 13. Alex Bowman, 2,053; 14. Tyler Reddick, 2,048; 15. William Byron, 2,035; 16. Michael McDowell, 2,015.
LINEUP: The starting lineup was determined by using NASCAR’s competition-based formula. Martin Truex Jr., who won last Saturday’s playoff race at Richmond Raceway, will start on the pole alongside his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.
Here is the lineup for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race (car number in parentheses):
1. (19) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota
2. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota
3. (22) Joey Logano, Ford
4. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
5. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
6. (20) Christopher Bell, Toyota
7. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford
8. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford
9. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota
10. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford
11. (48) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
12. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford
13. (8) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet
14. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet
15. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet
16. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford
17. (42) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
18. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
19. (21) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford
20. (14) Chase Briscoe, Ford
21. (99) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet
22. (43) Erik Jones, Chevrolet
23. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet
24. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford
25. (17) Chris Buescher, Ford
26. (41) Cole Custer, Ford
27. (37) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet
28. (23) Bubba Wallace, Toyota
29. (77) Justin Haley, Chevrolet
30. (38) Anthony Alfredo, Ford
31. (7) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet
32. (78) BJ McLeod, Ford
33. (52) Josh Bilicki, Ford
34. (00) Quin Houff, Chevrolet
35. (51) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet
36. (53) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet
37. (15) James Davison, Chevrolet
38. David Starr (66), Toyota
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NASCAR race today: Start time, TV info for Bristol playoff race
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