Start time, TV information and more

The opening round of the Cup Series playoffs Ends Saturday night Under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway (USA Grid).

Kyle Larson earned a safe place in the last 12 after beating Darlington. Tyler Reddick has a safe spot After winning at Kansas. Ten more drivers will move on after taking the checkered flag at Bristol. Four will see their championship dreams come to an end.

Ford has won four of the past seven races at Bristol with four different drivers. Chris Buescher, who is 13 points above the cut line, is the defending winner. Kyle Larson won for Chevrolet in 2021. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin swept the 2019 season for Toyota.

Busch has the most Bristol wins among active Cup drivers with eight. Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are tied for second with three wins each. Hamlin and Joey Logano had two wins at Bristol while Larson and Buescher had one win each.

Details of Saturday’s race in Bristol

(All Eastern times)

Begins: The order to start the engines will be given at 7:39 p.m….and the green flag is scheduled to be raised at 7:48 p.m

Before the race: The Cup garage opens at 3:30 p.m….Drivers meeting at 6:45 p.m….Drivers introduction at 7 p.m….Invocation will take place at 7:31 p.m….MRO kids will perform the national anthem at 7:32 p.m.

distance: The race is 500 laps (266.5 miles) long on the 0.533-mile paved track.

Phase: The first stage ends at lap 125. The second stage ends at lap 250.

Starting lineup: Qualifiers will be scheduled Friday at 5:20 PM on the USA App and NBC Sports.

TV/Radio: USA Network will broadcast the race at 7:30pm…and the countdown to green will begin at 7pm on USA Network. …The post-race show will be on Peacock. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. … SiriusXM NASCAR radio coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.

flow: NBC Sports App

Climate prediction: Underground weather – The sky is partly cloudy with the possibility of scattered rain. A high temperature of 70 degrees and a 16% chance of rain at the start of a Cup Series race.

The last time: Aric Almirola started from pole and led 36 laps. He finished 28th after a mechanical problem. Brad Keselowski led 109 laps, won the first stage and finished ninth after having to pit for a flat tire. Christopher Bell led 143 laps, won the second stage and finished fourth after recovering from a missing wheel. Chris Buescher won after leading 169 laps, including the final 61 laps.

Four qualifying drivers — Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch — failed to finish last year’s race due to crashes and mechanical issues. Four others – Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez and Austin Cindric – finished outside the top 10 and several laps behind the leaders.

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