Bristol Motor Speedway will be teeming with action today, although it’s not the only racing in the area today.
Volunteer Speedway kicks off its season with the 12th annual Spring Thaw, and Kingsport Speedway has a night of NASCAR All-American Weekly Racing Series action scheduled.
At BMS, spectator gates open at 10:30 a.m. for Ford Family Fun Day. Food City 500 qualifying highlights the day’s action, although fans can also watch practice for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.
As the on-track action winds down, Food City Race Night goes from 4-9 p.m. Many of the biggest names in the sport such as Danica Patrick, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are scheduled to participate in this year’s race night.
For those itching to see some dirt track action, the 12th annual “Spring Thaw” is scheduled for tonight and Saturday night at Volunteer Speedway.
A 40-lap Super Late Model feature, along with Modified Hobby Racing highlights tonight’s action at the track off Interstate 81 at Tennessee exit 23.
The $10,000-to-win Spring Thaw (a 60-lap Super Late Model feature), along with Pro Late Model racing is on tap for Saturday night.
In addition to the top dirt track stars like Scott Bloomquist and Jimmy Owens, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Ty Dillon and Joey Coulter are scheduled to race. Chase Elliott, the son of 1988 NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, will also be making his dirt late model debut.
Grandstands open at 5:30 p.m. each day with racing to begin around 8:30 p.m.
Kingsport Speedway has another of its weekly racing programs scheduled for tonight.
The 3/8-mile concrete oval got off to a wild start last Saturday afternoon as Knoxville driver Chad Finchum won the late model feature in which every car on the 20-car grid had some kind of damage.
The program consists of the following features: Late Model Stock (60 laps), Street Stock (30 laps), Pure 4 (25 laps), Legends (15 laps) and Rookie Pure 4 (12 laps).
Practice begins at 6 p.m. followed by qualifying at 7 p.m. and racing action a little after 8 p.m.
There have been several announcements in recent days concerning Sunday’s Food City 500.
They include new University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones being named the grand marshal of the race.
San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Daniel Kilgore has been named the race’s honorary starter.
The former Dobyns-Bennett High School standout appeared in all 18 games for the 49ers this season, and last month became only the second former Applachian State player to play in the Super Bowl.
Country music legend Charlie Daniels will play a concert and then lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance prior to Sunday’s race.
Jeff Foxworthy is the grand marshal for Saturday’s Nationwide race, sponsored by his Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips. Austin Dillon, driver of the black No. 3 in the Nationwide Series, will give the command to start the DRIVE4COPD 125 K&N Pro Series race which takes place following the Grit Chips 300.
Also, the speedway unveiled a couple of mascots for this weekend. Bump and Run, brother and sister raccoons, will be throughout the facility and fans are encouraged to have their pictures taken with them.
Ford has more wins at Bristol (33) than any other track on the Sprint Cup Series.
However, the Blue Oval ranks second among manufacturers in Bristol wins. Chevrolet has the most Bristol wins (42), although both Ford and Chevy have been shut out of victory lane recently.
Over the past five races, Kyle Busch posted two wins in a Toyota, Brad Keselowski scored two wins in a Dodge, and Denny Hamlin won last August in a Toyota.