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How the Food City Dirt Race qualifying process determines the starting lineup

The Food City Dirt Race uses a unique qualifying system to determine the 40-card race order. We break down all the details for the starting lineup.

Pierce Dietrich breaks down The Food City Dirt Race

NASCAR is headed to Bristol for a double rarity the weekend of March 26th. The Cup Series is running the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway and the Camping World Truck Series is running the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt. This marks the first dirt race since 1970 for the Cup Series, and it is also only the second race weekend this season that will use qualifying runs in advance of the race.

How will the starting lineup be determined?

NASCAR ran qualifying for the Daytona 500, but otherwise has used a performance metric for determining the starting lineup of each race. For the two Bristol races, each series will have four 15-lap qualifying races. The lineup for the races will determined by a formula that weighs finishing position plus positions gained during each heat.

What is the formula for determining the race starting lineups?

Drivers that win their heats earn 10 points, second place earns nine, third place earns eight, and so forth. Drivers earn one additional point for each position gained in their heat, but do not lose points for losing position in their heats. Ties in these combined points totals will be broken by current team owner points.

How will starting lineups be determined for qualifying heats?

The starting grids for each heat will be determined by random draw, conducted in order of current team owner points standings.

What is the schedule of events?

Cup Series

First qualifying race: 6:00 p.m. ET
Second qualifying race: 6:15 p.m. ET
Third Qualifying race: 6:30 p.m. ET
Fourth qualifying race: 6:45 p.m. ET

Truck Series

First qualifying race: 4:30 p.m. ET
Second qualifying race: 4:45 p.m. ET
Third Qualifying race: 5 p.m. ET
Fourth qualifying race: 5:15 p.m. ET

How can I watch the qualifying heats?

Qualifying will air on FS1. It will be available via live stream at and the FOX Sports GO app.