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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 heads to Bristol each spring for a double rarity. The Cup Series runs the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway and the Truck Series runs the Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt. The spring Bristol race used to be on a normal track, but in 2021, NASCAR turned it into a dirt race. In 2022, they moved the race from during the day to in the evening. Prior to this, the Cup Series had not run a dirt race since 1970.

How will the starting lineup be determined?

NASCAR runs traditional qualifying for most races if the weather does not force a cancellation. It is single-car, single lap qualifying, with some featuring a single run and some featuring two rounds. For the Bristol dirt races, the Cup and Xfinity Series 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: 5:00 p.m. ET
Fourth qualifying race: 5:15 p.m. ET

How can I watch the qualifying heats?

Qualifying will air on FS2. It will be available via live stream at and the Fox Sports app.