BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – For the first time in 50 years NASCAR Truck Drivers will hit the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway.

However, Bristol isn’t known for dirt, so the speedway had to undergo an extensive makeover in order to make the magic happen.

Officials with Bristol Motor Speedway said 2,300 truckloads of compacted dirt were used to fill the high banks of the Speedway.

While the thought of creating a dirt track may seem like no more than just pouring dirt onto concrete, it’s actually a very specific and complicated process.

Everything from the color to the quality and the location the dirt comes from goes into making the perfect recipe for racing.

Twenty different sites were tested around the region in order to find the right dirt for the job. “We tested different sites and got really, really lucky and had three sites that we were able to take the dirt from one was our original dirt track on-site that we stored from 2001, we used that as a base layer, and then the second layer came from Gentry campground which is right off Whitetop road which is as a bird would fly probably like a half-mile and the last site was in Bluff City,” said Senior VP of Operations and Development, Steve Swift.

The process itself even goes beyond just the dirt. Engineers started with sawdust as a base, a few different layers of the selected dirt, lime treated clay, and then, of course, the race layer that touches the tires and makes the magic happen.

Source: Bristol Motor Speedway

While engineers knew what they were doing, building the perfect dirt track in the winter months, isn’t exactly ideal.

“We did some things to the dirt, naturally with the time of the year we were doing it, it was not the best time to be placing dirt on anything so we added some lime to the process. Lime helps to dry it out, make it harder and make compaction better. We would not be at the racetrack we see today without that product and without doing that process,” said Swift.

After doing their resource and sourcing more than 23,000 cubic yards of dirt, it was time to get to work on transforming the speedway.

“We had about 16 actual working days that we were able to place the dirt and get the dirt in, but it takes a long time to finish the dirt,” said President of Baker’s Construction, Chad Baker.

Source: Bristol Motor Speedway

While it was a lengthy process to perfection, Swift said it was a worthwhile one to be bringing a racing tradition back to life.

“To see it actually look like a race track and feel like a race track, and look professionally done. I’ve been to a lot of dirt tracks and this one just looks so much different,” said Swift.