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Race week activities kick off Monday at MeadowView

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 11, 2019 at 8:47 PM

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, the largest sporting event of the year in the Mountain Empire region, is just days away.

Leading into the race is a whole week of activities with events in each of the Tri-Cities before the action shifts to Bristol Motor Speedway for 1,150 laps of racing action.

Race week parties start Monday 6-10 p.m. at the MeadowView Conference Resort in Kingsport. The free event, which coincides with the World Long Drive Championship, will include show cars, food and beverage vendors, driver appearances and more.

Johnson City’s turn to host is Tuesday from 6-10 p.m., with another free event, this time at Founders Park. It will feature a Trek bike ride, an appearance by former Cup Series driver and current NBC analyst Kyle Petty, music from country band Dimestore Cowboys, show cars, food and beverage vendors and more.

An interesting side note — Dimestore Cowboys lead singer James Brashears is a former bullrider and rodeo clown.

Food City Family Race Night returns to Bristol’s State Street on Wednesday from 1-9 p.m. The free fan event will host the official autograph session for the playoff contenders in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

That playoff opener is Thursday with the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics. It’s the first time a playoff race has been held at Bristol and will serve as a preview for the Cup Series playoff race at BMS in 2020. Earlier Thursday, the NASCAR K&N Series will race in the Bush’s Beans 150. It’s the second time this season that BMS has hosted the series for the up-and-coming stars of NASCAR.

Friday is perhaps the best value of the week with both Pinty’s Qualifying for the Bass Pro Shops 500, which has returned to a single-car qualifying format, to be followed by the Food City 300 race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Cup Series champions Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are entered in Friday’s race.

Before the race, there is The Parking Lot Party, where it’s a place for college students 18 and older to hang out. It will feature a college party tailgate, games, a mechanical bull, a DJ and more. College students are welcome to bring a cooler. The party runs from noon to 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

After the Food City 300 is the Friday Night Foam Party. It will be a rave complete with a DJ, strobe lights and gallons upon gallons of foam.

The race week concludes with Saturday’s main event.

Pre-race activities include a concert highlighted by Travis Denning, a rising country music star who has written songs for Jason Aldean and Justin Moore. Tim Dugger and Corbette Jackson are opening acts, with festivities to begin at 2:30 p.m. and Denning to take the stage at 5:45 p.m.

Bullfighters Only, the world’s premier freestyle bullfighting competition, will come to the BMS midway. It will feature four 15-minute sessions held through Saturday.

Some of the other special events include the Trackside Live show Friday from 2:30-3:30 p.m. with Kevin Harvick among the special guests. Saturday’s show from 4-5 p.m. includes defending race champion Kurt Busch and Matt DiBenedetto.

The BMS Kids Zone will be located in front of the track off Volunteer Parkway with a racing simulator, video games, euro bungee, a rock wall, inflatables and face painting among the activities. It opens at 10 a.m. each race day.

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, one of the premier races on the NASCAR schedule, has a 7:30 p.m. start time. A couple of the big storylines heading into the race are Kyle Busch’s attempt to tie Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Cale Yarborough for second place with nine Cup Series wins at BMS, and if a driver can win and punch his ticket into the NASCAR playoffs.

Follow the Johnson City Press and Kingsport Times News throughout the week with driver features, previews and other stories leading into the races as well as coverage throughout the weekend.

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