World of Outlaws to race Sprints, Late Models at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2021

World Outlaws Sprints Bristol
Bristol Motor Speedway
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The World of Outlaws will compete at Bristol Motor Speedway with all four major division in 2021 after the 0.5-mile concrete oval converts to dirt for a NASCAR Cup race earlier in the season.

The Outlaws Late Model division and DIRTCar UMP Modifieds will race April 8-10 in an event titled the Bristol Bash, which will be two weekends after NASCAR makes it’s return to dirt for the first time in more than 50 years. The NOS Energy Sprint Cars Bristol Throwdown and Super DIRTCar Big Block Modifieds will race April 22-24. Both programs will feature a practice session on Thursday followed by complete programs of heats and feature races Friday and Saturday.

The Late Model program will pay $10,000-to-win in a 40-lap A-Main on Friday and $25,000-to-win a 50-lap A-Main on Saturday. The Sprint Cars will pay the same amounts for their two race programs, but the races will be shorter with a 25-lap feature on Friday and a 40-lapper on Saturday.

Bristol will also play host to the Dirt Nationals Super Late Models prior to the Cup race.

BRISTOL ADDED TO SLATE OF 150 COMBINED SPRINT RACES IN 2021

“We’re thrilled to again partner with Bristol Motor Speedway to provide four exciting nights of racing with the best Sprint Car, Late Model, Big Block Modified and UMP Modified drivers in the world,” DIRTcar and World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter said in a release. “The Bristol World of Outlaws events from the early 2000s have remained fan favorites to this day and we’re sure fans will once again be enthralled with what each series will have to offer around Thunder Valley in 2021.”

The Outlaws Sprint Car series competed at Bristol in 2000 and 2001. Sammy Swindell was victorious in both of those races.

“It’s simply been too long since Bristol Motor Speedway has featured the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol. “It’s the perfect time for their return during our 60th anniversary celebration in 2021, and we can’t wait for the World of Outlaws Bristol Throwdown and the World of Outlaws Bristol Bash to hit the dirt high banks at Thunder Valley in April. Both weekends of racing are going to be thrilling and certainly something no true dirt racing fan is going to want to miss.”

 

Miguel Oliveira wins MotoGP Thai Grand Prix, Bagnaia closes to two points in championship

MotoGP Thai Grand Prix
Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images
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Miguel Oliveira mastered mixed conditions on the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand to win the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix. Oliveira showed the adaptability as he navigated a race that began in wet conditions and turned dry over the course of the race. Oliveira won the Indonesian GP in similar conditions.

“It was a long race, but I can’t complain,” Oliveira said on CNBC. “Every time we get to ride in the wet, I’m always super-fast. When it started raining, I had flashbacks of Indonesia. I tried to keep my feet on the ground, make a good start and not make mistakes and carry the bike to the end.”

All eyes were on the championship, however. Francesco Bagnaia got a great start to slot into second in Turn 1.

Meanwhile Fabio Quartararo had a disastrous first lap. He lost five positions in the first couple of turns and then rode over the rumble strips and fell back to 17th. At the end of the first lap, Bagnaia had the points’ lead by two. A win would have added to the gain and for a moment, it appeared Bagnaia might assume the lead.

Early leader Marco Bezzecchi was penalized for exceeding track limits, but before that happened, Jack Miller got around Bagnaia and pushed him back to third. Oliveira was not far behind.

After throwing away ninth-place and seven points on the last lap of the Japanese GP last week, Bagnaia did not allow the competition to press him into a mistake. He fell back as far as fourth before retaking the final position on the podium.

“It’s like a win for me, this podium,” Bagnaia. “My first podium in the wet and then there was a mix of conditions, so I’m very happy. I want to thank Jack Miller. Before the race, he gave me a motivational chat.”

Miller led the first half of the Thai Grand Prix before giving up the top spot to Oliveira and then held on to finish second. Coupled with his Japanese GP win, Miller is now fully in the MotoGP championship battle with a 40-point deficit, but he will need a string of results like Bagnaia has put together in recent weeks – and he needs Bagnaia to lose momentum.

Miller’s home Grand Prix in Australia is next up on the calendar in two weeks.

Bagnaia entered the race 18 points behind Quartararo after he failed to score any in Japan. The balance of power has rapidly shifted, however, with Quartararo now failing to earn points in two of the last three rounds. Bagnaia won four consecutive races and finished second in the five races leading up to Japan. His third-place finish in Thailand is now his sixth MotoGP podium in the last seven rounds.

Aleix Espargaro entered the race third in the standings with a 25-point deficit to Quartararo, but was able to close the gap by only five after getting hit with a long-lap penalty for aggressive riding when he pushed Darryn Binder off course during a pass for position. Espargaro finished 11th.

Rain mixed up the Moto2 running order in the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix as well. Starting on a wet track, Somkiat Chantra led the opening lap in his home Grand Prix. He could not hold onto it and crashed one circuit later, but still gave his countrymen a moment of pride by winning the pole.

Half points were awarded as the race went only eight laps before Tony Arbolino crossed under the checkers first with Filip Salac and Aron Canet rounding out the podium.

American Joe Roberts earned another top-10 in eighth with Sean Dylan Kelly finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th.