BRISTOL, TN – One of the most anticipated events of the 2022 season, the Bristol Bash, takes center stage this weekend.
The Greatest Show on Dirt is returning to The Last Great Colosseum for an epic doubleheader featuring the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series.
Fans will witness a star-studded field of gladiators battling for $25,000-to-win paydays on both Friday and Saturday at the dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway 1/2-mile. For those unable to attend the breathtaking event, you can watch every lap LIVE on DIRTVision.
Here’s what to watch for this weekend in Tennessee:
GRAVEL THE GLADIATOR: After a 20-year hiatus from the Bristol dirt, the World of Outlaws returned last year, and Watertown, CT’s David Gravel promptly swept the weekend in his Big Game Motorsports #2. A veteran of the wicked fast 1/2-mile surfaces, DG timed in first and second, won both of his heats, started front row both nights, and parked in victory lane after each Feature.
This weekend, Gravel gets a chance to overtake Sammy Swindell as the winningest Sprint Car driver in Bristol Motor Speedway history with a third triumph. The 29-year-old star enters the Bristol Bash third in points with two victories this season, both of them coming on 1/2-miles at Volusia (FL) and Perris (CA).
DOUBLE DUTY: Two weeks ago, reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson finished fourth on the Bristol dirt in the Cup Series. Now, the Team Hendrick superstar is trading his NextGen #5 for Paul Silva’s #57 Sprint Car and Kevin Rumley’s #6 Late Model as he returns to Bristol this weekend as the only driver doing double duty.
The Elk Grove, CA native is a 25-time winner with the Sprint Cars and two-time winner with the Late Models, the only driver in history to win with both premier Series in the World of Outlaws. He’s a NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series winner on the concrete but still remains winless through eight starts on the dirt. A weekend sweep would mean a $100,000 payday in Bristol.
BEEN HERE, DONE THAT: 10-Time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz is set to become the only driver to compete in every one of the eight Sprint Car events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. More impressively, the Fargo, ND native has been a contender to win each of his previous appearances at the high-banked, high-speed 1/2-mile.
In the Features he finished, Schatz’s Bristol average is 3.0 with a 2001 victory to his credit. The only race he didn’t finish was due to a radiator while he was leading the first half of the race. The Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, Ford Performance #15 was one of three drivers to finish in the top-five both nights last year with his best running coming in second on night two. He’ll be going for his second win at the track and second win of the season this weekend.
EN FUEGO: One of several outsiders making the trip to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend is the hottest Sprint Car driver in the country, Anthony Macri. The Dillsburg, PA native is up to eight 410 victories in 2022 with six of those wins coming in a 10-day stretch over the last week and a half.
The Concrete Kid beat the All Stars at Bloomsburg (PA) and Port Royal (PA) to go along with unsanctioned wins at Port Royal again, Williams Grove (PA), Selinsgrove (PA), and Bridgeport (NJ). He holds an average finish of 1.6 in April as the #39M prepares to hit the Bristol 1/2-mile for the first time this weekend.
BACK-TO-BACK: When it comes to the World of Outlaws tour, Carson Macedo and Jason Johnson Racing #41 enter Bristol with the most momentum following back-to-back wins at I-55 (MO) and Tri-State (IN). The Albaugh entry is currently sitting second in the championship standings (-44) and already owns four wins in 2022, twice as much as any other competitor.
With Philip Deitz on the wrenches, Macedo was impressive in his Bristol debut last year with finishes of third on night one and sixth on night two. The Lemoore, CA native is already the first back-to-back winner this year, and now looks to become the first to record a three-peat in 2022.
STREAKIN’ TO BRISTOL: Both the current championship leader in Brad Sweet and current Rookie of the Year leader in Spencer Bayston will take two of the most impressive streaks on tour to the Bristol 1/2-mile this weekend. Both drivers peaked with an eighth-place result last year in Tennessee, and hope for some improvement as they look to extend their stretches.
Since a season-opening trip to the work area which resulted in a 16th-place run, Sweet and the Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 have been nearly flawless with 14 consecutive top-seven finishes. The Grass Valley, CA native leads the Series in Podiums (8) and Top-Fives (12) with his closest challengers several away.
Although winless, Bayston and the CJB Motorsports #5 team have proven themselves as legitimate season-long contenders in only their first foray together. The 23-year-old Lebanon, IN native is at a career-best six straight top-10 finishes including a season-best second-place finish at Lake Ozark. Both Bayston in the Indy Race Parts #71 and CJB with Paul McMahan at the wheel were top-10 finishes at Bristol last year.
NEW CHANCES: For Logan Schuchart and Aaron Reutzel, this weekend represents a new chance at a Bristol win after coming so close in 2021. Both drivers were David Gravel’s biggest competition in stopping the sweep last year but barely missed out on sealing the deal.
Schuchart, of Hanover, PA, controlled the opening 23 laps of last year’s finale before engine issues saw $25,000 slip away from the #1S. The Shark Racing, DuraMAX, Drydene Performance Products #1S enters this weekend with their best streak of the year following three consecutive top-five finishes through Missouri and Indiana.
After finishing on the podium both nights last year in the Roth Motorsports #83, Reutzel returns to Bristol this week in the RSR, Toyota Racing, Mobil1 #8. The Texan sat on the pole of this year’s season opener and earned a third-place finish at the Volusia 1/2-mile.