newshot temperatures slick track greets drivers ahead sundays short track us nationals bristol motor speedway

Hot temperatures, slick track greets drivers ahead of Sunday’s Short Track US Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway

Rod Mullins

Hot temperatures and slick track conditions greeted drivers for the second day of practice and evening qualifiers at Bristol Motor Speedway as teams prepared for Saturday practice and qualifying races in preparation for Sunday’s Short Track US Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.

This weekend’s inaugural event showcase the world’s best short track racers as they compete for the first time on the high-banks of The World’s Fastest Half-Mile, one of the most famous short tracks in the world.  The event has attracted teams and drivers locally from across the southeast, mid-atlantic and the midwest to challenge famed Last Colosseum.

Friday’s practice sessions saw Chandler Smith of Jasper, GA lead each of Friday’s three practice sessions.  Smith, was the fastest with an overall with a time of 14.457 at 132.725 mph in his Smith General Contracting Chevy SS.

Super Late Model drivers Trevor Noles driver was the quickest in the first practice session with a time of 14.615 seconds at 123.161 mph in his Noles Cabinets Toyota Camry. Noles was also third-quickest in the second session, clocking an effort of 14.592 at 123.355. Noles told the media on Friday that winning at Bristol would be the highlight of his career.

“This would be the biggest win of my career,” replied Noles. “It’s going to take a great car because there is a lot of great competition here. We’ll need a car that can last 100 laps.”

Noles added that his Toyota Camry had been fast from the moment it was taken off the truck. “This thing has been fast off the truck all day long,”

Bradley McCaskill led the Late Model Stock car practice  with a 15.314 (117.540). He was followed by former NASCAR Nationwide Series and Roush Racing driver Danny O’Quinn and JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry.

Doug Moff posted the best lap in Modifieds at a 16.614 at 115.493 while Chuck Barnes Jr. (17.692 at 108.456) and Mark Mason (18.827 at 101.917) led Street Stock and Compacts, respectively.

Nine-time Bristol Winner Rusty Wallace will be in Bristol on Sunday to lead the field to the green flag.  Wallace has been named the official pace car driver for the event as his son, Steven will compete in the 100 lap event sponsored by

The six classes of competition during the event include Super Late Model, Pro/Crate Late Model, Late Model Stock, Modified, Street Stock and Compact divisions. The five sanctioning bodies are represented include CRA (Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Street Stock), CARS Tour (Super Late Models, Late Model Stock), Southern Super Series (Super Late Model), National Short Track Alliance (Modifieds), VORES Compact Touring Series (Compacts).

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Story and Photos by Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins covers NASCAR for AFP, and co-hosts the mid-week “Street Knowledge” focusing on NASCAR with AFP editor Chris Graham. A graduate of UVA-Wise, Rod began his career in journalism as a reporter for The Cumberland Times, later became the program director/news director/on-air morning show host for WNVA in Norton, Va., and in the early 1990s served as the sports information director at UVA-Wise and was the radio “Voice of the Highland Cavaliers” for football and basketball for seven seasons. In 1995, Rod transitioned to public education, where he has worked as a high school English, literature, and creative writing teacher and now serves as a school program coordinator in addition to serving as a mentor for the robotics team.