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Sports Jeff Birchfield NASCAR/Racing

New sponsor for Nationwide race at BMS

February 13th, 2014 8:42 pm by Jeff Birchfield

New sponsor for Nationwide race at BMS

Bristol Motor Speedway announced Thursday new sponsorship of its March NASCAR Nationwide Series race to be known as the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300, presented by Lilly Diabetes.

The race, scheduled for Saturday, March 15, will be part of a doubleheader with the K&N Pitt Lite 125 for the NASCAR K&N Series.

The latest announcement comes just one week after Food City renewed its sponsorship to both the March Sprint Cup Series race and the August Nationwide Series race.

Mike Mason, the Vice President of U.S. Lilly Diabetes, said that more than 11 percent of the Tennessee population has been diagnosed with diabetes.

“We are proud to team up with Lilly Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association in support of Drive to Stop Diabetes,” said BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell. “Diabetes is a prevalent issue nationally and in our local community. We are blessed to have the best fans in the world here at Bristol Motor Speedway, and this sponsorship allows us to call attention to an issue that touches many of them personally.”

The Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 will be part of a full day of racing action scheduled for March 15. Sprint Cup Series practice is set for at 9 a.m., followed by Nationwide qualifying under NASCAR’s new format and final practice for the Sprint Cup Series at noon.

There is a 2 p.m. start time for Drive to Stop Diabetes 300, and the Pitt Lite 125 is to begin at 4:45 p.m.

An entry list of drivers competing in the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 will be coming forward in the next couple of weeks.

A couple of drivers certainly expected are Trevor Bayne, the Knoxville driver, who will be a favorite in the No. 6 Roush-Fenway Ford.

There is also his teammate Ryan Reed in the No. 16 Ford which Lilly Diabetes serves as the primary sponsor.

Reed, a 20-year-old, will make his second Bristol start. He qualified 27th and finished 26th in the Food City 250 last August. 

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Lonesome Pine Raceway officials announced Wednesday the track in Coeburn, Va., will have NASCAR sanctioning for the first time since 2004.

It was also recently announced the track will be a sister track to Kingsport Speedway, as Ervin and Keith Stiltner have taken over as operators for the Joe Loven-owned track.

In a related item, Karen Tunnell has been named the general manager at both facilities.

Nate Monteith and Chad Finchum, winners of the last three track championships at Kingsport, as well as Ryan Stiltner, the defending champion at Lonesome Pine, have committed to racing at both tracks this season.

Monteith, who is driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports this season, hopes the partnership between the local tracks will give him a greater opportunity at winning the NASCAR All-American Series National Championship. 

Several other local drivers have also committed to both race tracks.

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Robert Pressley, the former NASCAR Cup Series driver who has promoted Kingsport races the last three years, is busy running his businesses in North Carolina.

He is also serving as a driver coach for local racer Hayden Woods, a senior at Providence Academy. Woods is a former Legends division champion at Kingsport and Lonesome Pine. He also won a Late Model Stock race at Lonesome Pine last season.

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