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NASCAR star Kyle Larson ahead of Bristol race: 'We don’t need to be racing on dirt'

Kyle Larson will be on the pole when the green flag drops at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday night for the Food City Dirt Race, but it doesn’t mean he’s ecstatic about participating in the event.

NASCAR went to a dirt surface beginning with the 2021 race. Joey Logano won the first race on dirt and Kyle Busch won the race last season. Larson has never won at Bristol. He was close in 2018, but Busch pushed Larson out of the way with six laps to go and won the event.

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Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 08, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 08, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

But Larson’s near-win came on concrete. The 2021 NASCAR Cup champion echoed similar remarks he made before last year’s dirt race: NASCAR doesn’t need it.

“I think we all really enjoy the concrete surface here at Bristol. I think the crowd’s typically bigger – it seems like at this point now for the concrete stuff. I don’t know. It’s up to the series and the promoters, but I would love to get back to running two races on the concrete here,” Larson said Saturday.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, drives during qualifying heat #3 for the NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 08, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, drives during qualifying heat #3 for the NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 08, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

When asked about for which track he would like to be on the dirt, Larson replied, “None.”

“We don’t need to be racing on dirt,” he said. 

Busch also expressed his displeasure with the dirt surfaces as well.

“Cut the cord. As Richard Petty says, dirt takes our sport backward,” he said.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 08, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 08, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Larson will line up with Austin Dillon in the first row. J.J Yeley and Christopher Bell will be behind them. Busch starts in fifth alongside Tyler Reddick.

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