Busy few days of local racing action ahead

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Mar 20, 2018 at 9:17 PM

The local racing season picks up the pace this week with the Bristol Motor Speedway season preview on Wednesday and the Kingsport Speedway opener on Saturday.

The BMS season preview show will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Bass Pro Shops at The Pinnacle in Bristol.

Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon headlines the list of racers, which includes his brother, Ty, also a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series driver; his father, Mike, a former Xfinity Series driver; and his grandfather, Richard Childress, a 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee who served as car owner for six of Dale Earnhardt's seven Cup Series championships.

The drag racing contingent includes eight-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher, two-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan, Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett and Pro Stock driver Alex Laughlin.

Fans are invited to come early to Bass Pro Shops and check out vendor displays, including a free pulled pork sandwich from the Food City smoker while supplies last. An NHRA autograph session with DSR drivers will be held at the aquarium from 6-6:20, first come first serve.

The BMS Season Preview show is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include Q&A panel sessions and news announcements. The event will end with Team NASCAR vs. Team NHRA in "Feuding Families Bristol Edition." Fans will have multiple chances to win tickets to BMS events during the evening.


Kingsport Speedway hosts its season-opening Food City 175 on Saturday.

There are feature races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Late Model Series (60 laps), Modified Street (30 laps), Pure 4 (30 laps), Mod 4 (30 laps) and Pure Street (25 laps).

Grandstands open at noon with practice, followed by qualifying and racing. The first race is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Several drivers have already taken to the track for pre-season testing, with two final days of practice set for Thursday and Friday.


This week’s schedule originally offered three local events, but the 16th annual Spring Thaw at Volunteer Speedway, which was set for Thursday, has been canceled. With the Wednesday forecast calling for snow and overnight freezing conditions, officials from the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series and Volunteer Speedway decided to cancel the race since no suitable make-up date was available.


The motocross contingent got its season started last weekend with the Thor Mega Series opener at Muddy Creek Raceway.

Jay Brown of Blountville doubled up with wins in the 450C and 250C classes. Brown rode a Honda to the 250C win over Roan Mountain's Lucas Vance, who steered a Yamaha to a win in the second moto.

Chris Furches of Jonesborough won the ATV Novice race, while two other Jonesborough racers, Billy Warren (ATV 35+) and Jake Hillman (51cc Beginner), posted runner-up finishes. Other second-place finishes included Madison Hensley of Johnson City (Girls 10-16) and Benjamin Carrick of Kingsport (250 D).

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