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NASCAR Bass Pro Shop Night Race Preview

Saturday will bring racing fans the last NASCAR Series Playoffs race of the Round of 16, with the Bristol Motor Speedway to play host to the 60th annual running of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. 

The event will be the first time NASCAR will have a race happen on the concrete surface inside the “Last Great Colosseum” this season –  the spring race at the Tennessee track took place on dirt.

This race is expected to be a very exciting one, given that drivers are desperate for playoff points, and it will be as crucial as it will be exciting due to track position being of great importance in any short race.

Race Details

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2021
Start Time: 7:30pm. EST
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway — Bristol, TN
Coverage: NBCSN
Pole Sitter: Martin Truex Jr.
Defending Champion: Kevin Harvick
Distance: 266.5 miles
Laps: 500
Lap Length: 0.533 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-125; 126-250; 251-500)
Surface: Concrete
Turns: 4

Kyle Busch is the favorite going into the event at +400 and the Android betting app will be offering odds. Busch has won the race on three occasions, the most for any active racer, and has two wins this season. 

Kyle Larson follows at +450 while Denny Hamlin is +600 and Chase Elliot at +800. Joey Logano is +1000 with Kevin Karvic at +1100.

You could find a full list of odds right below.

Kyle Busch – +400
Kyle Larson – +450
Denny Hamlin – +600
Chase Elliott – +800
Joey Logano – +1000
Kevin Harvick – +1100
Ryan Blaney – +1500
Kurt Busch – +1500
Brad Keselowski – +1600
Martin Truex Jr. – +1800
Christopher Bell – +2200
William Byron – +2500
Alex Bowman – +2500
Tyler Reddick – +3000
Aric Almirola – +3000
Ross Chastain – +3000
Austin Dillon – +4500
Matt DiBenedetto – +5000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – +8000
Bubba Wallace – +8000
Daniel Suarez – +10000
Cole Custer – +10000
Ryan Newman – +13000
Chris Buescher – +13000
Erik Jones – +15000
Chase Briscoe – +15000
Ryan Preece – +20000
Michael McDowell – +25000
Corey Lajoie – +25000
Anthony Alfredo – +50000
Justin Haley – +60000
Quin Houff – +100000
B.J. McLeod – +100000
J.J. Yeley – +100000
David Starr – +100000
Garrett Smithley – +100000
James Davison – +100000
Josh Bilicki – +100000

NASCAR has ditched the practice and qualifying runs for most races following the interruption on the calendar last season due to COVID-19. Group draws and a formula involving performance metrics were used to make up the starting grids. The formula has been kept for most of the races in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will be no different.

The performance-metrics formula takes several factors into account,  including individual race performances and results over the course of the season. 

You could check the breakdown out right here:

35 percent: Team owner points ranking
25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race

The starting lineup is also below:

1 – #19 – Martin Truex Jr.
2 – #11 – Denny Hamlin
3 – #22 – Joey Logano
4 – #9 – Chase Elliott
5 – #5 – Kyle Larson
6 – #20 – Christopher Bell
7 – #12 – Ryan Blaney
8 – #4 – Kevin Harvick
9 – #18 – Kyle Busch
10 – #2 – Brad Keselowski
11 – #48 – Alex Bowman
12 – #10 – Aric Almirola
13 – #8 – Tyler Reddick
14 – #24 – William Byron
15 – #1 – Kurt Busch
16 – #34 – Michael McDowell
17 – #42 – Ross Chastain
18 – #3 – Austin Dillon
19 – #21 – Matt DiBenedetto
20 – #14 – Chase Briscoe (R)
21 – #99 – Daniel Suarez
22 – #43 – Erik Jones
23 – #47 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
24 – #6 – Ryan Newman
25 – #17 – Chris Buescher
26 – #41 – Cole Custer
27 – #37 – Ryan Preece
28 – #23 – Bubba Wallace
29 – #77 – Justin Haley
30 – #38 – Anthony Alfredo (R)
31 – #7 – Corey LaJoie
32 – #78 – B.J. McLeod
33 – #52 – Josh Bilicki
34 – #00 – Quin Houff
35 – #51 – J.J. Yeley
36 – #53 – Garrett Smithley
37 – #15 – James Davison
38 – #66 – David Starr

Martin Truex Jr. was awarded the pole for the event on Wednesday as a result of the aforementioned metric. He earned an automatic spot in the Playoffs’ Round of 12 by winning at Richmond last weekend and has joined Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson in automatic qualification. Alex Bowman, who will need to have a strong run in Saturday’s race to advance to the Round of 12 has the highest starting position at 11th.

The four drivers, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Kurt Busch, and Michael McDowell,  placed below the cutoff line will all start in a cluster in Rows 7 and 8.

Only Truex, Hamlin, and Larson will be guaranteed to continue chasing the championship no matter what happens.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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