NASCAR adjusts stage lengths at Bristol to combat tire problems

NASCAR announced on Saturday afternoon a handful of competition adjustments for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Bristol Dirt Race (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) following the sanctioning body’s discoveries from Friday’s opening practice sessions on the dirt surface.

Working in collaboration with drivers, teams, Bristol Motor Speedway and Goodyear, NASCAR will extend the Stage 1 and Stage 2 distances, add two competition cautions and increase tire allotment. The result: there are now important additional opportunities to prep the track during the competition cautions, and more opportunities for teams to change tires — all of which should result in better racing for the first NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt in 50 years.

The tweaks:

• Stages: Stage 1 will now end on Lap 100 (previously Lap 75) and Stage 2 will now end on Lap 200 (previously Lap 150). The race will still consist of 250 laps.

• Competition cautions: There will be competition cautions on Laps 50 and Lap 150 — the exact midway point of Stage 1 and Stage 2. That will allow NASCAR two additional opportunities for track prep and also allows teams the chance to pit. Laps will not count once NASCAR sends the free pass car around.

• Goodyear tires: Each team will receive an additional set of tires, for a total of six (one set used in qualifying race and five stickers). Higher-than-anticipated tire wear was prevalent during Friday’s practice, necessitating the adjustment.

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