Buckle-up NASCAR Nation, Bms Is Going Back to the Future With Throwback Food City 500 That Will Transport You to the Early 1990s, an Era That Popularized NASCAR

Bristol Motor Speedway is planning to transport fans back to the future so to speak during the upcoming Food City 500 weekend, March 16-17, 2024.

And the track is bringing along some of its longtime friends to help run the time portal machine, including pro wrestler Bill Goldberg, legendary pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch and the Trackside Live duo of Kenny Wallace and John Roberts, just to name a few.

After three years of racing on the dirt to honor NASCAR’s roots and pay tribute to the origins of the Cup Series, the hallowed high banks at Bristol have been scrubbed off, both literally and figuratively, and are now ready to do business as usual, on the speedy all-concrete surface. NASCAR Cup Series teams are primed and ready to get back to “Racin’ the way it ought’a be!”

The much-anticipated weekend will feature the Food City 500 in its longtime traditional Sunday afternoon spot, taking the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET. On Saturday afternoon Bush’s Beans Practice and Bush’s Beans Qualifying will take place for both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to set the starting lineups. On Saturday evening, the hungry rising stars in the Craftsman Trucks will take center stage for the WEATHER GUARD Truck Race at 8 p.m. ET.

The last time the track hosted a Food City 500 on concrete under normal conditions in front of fans in the grandstands was back in April, 2019. At that memorable race, Kyle Busch held off his older brother Kurt for the victory that Sunday afternoon. After the race, Kurt playfully joked that he would’ve wrecked his brother to grab the win for himself if he could’ve gotten closer to his rear bumper as the laps wound down. 

To elevate the fan-experience for our guests this March, Team BMS has put together plenty of fun throwback touches during the weekend to remind fans of the great history that the World’s Fastest Half-Mile possesses and the focus is especially centered on the early 1990s. Specifically 1992.

Heck, there’s even going to be a shiny silver DMC DeLorean straight from the set of Back to the Future on display in the reimagined BMS Fan FUNZONE. We wouldn’t recommend trying to take that little baby for a spin. Especially if you see a mad scientist type running around in a long white coat. One wrong button and you just might end up directly in the middle of Alan Kulwicki’s memorable Victory Lane celebration on Sunday afternoon, April 5, 1992. If you crashed the team photo, you would be the only one holding a cell phone by the way.

Another retro auto on display in the Fan FUNZONE will be one of the chase vehicles from the 1990 bestseller, Jurassic Park. We can’t confirm if there will be actual dinosaurs walking around it. The BMS Fan FUNZONE, by the way, is going to have a ton of interactive elements this year, with RC cars that you can race, several fun inflatables, the euro bungie, axe throwing and much more. You will certainly want to make a pit stop there before you head to your grandstand seats.

Fans who join us for the weekend will also notice the throwback walls inside the track. They’ve been painted retro red and white just like they were in 1992. A trio of Cup drivers – Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones and rookie Zane Smith – helped get the painting started several weeks ago when they were here for a top-secret test session. Those walls have seen a lot of action over the years and have gained much notoriety for being the only black walls on the circuit for a long time. Don’t worry, the retro red and white is only going on for this throwback Food City 500 weekend. After the race is over, the BMS Ops team will return them back to their new traditional black color for September’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race.

Perhaps the best visual element of the overall throwback theme is the vintage race logo. When Food City came on board as the entitlement sponsor of the Bristol spring Cup race, the logo that you see right now was the very first Food City 500 logo in NASCAR history. It’s snazzy appearance with bold colors and lines has been a longtime fan-favorite.

By the way, for those keeping score that’s 33 consecutive years as the entitlement sponsor of the Food City 500 for the popular regional grocery chain. That ranks second all-time for event sponsors in NASCAR history and gives a glimpse of the commitment and dedication that Food City has to Bristol Motor Speedway and the sport of NASCAR Cup Series racing.

On the entertainment side, BMS is planning to go vintage as well with longtime headliners Kenny Wallace and John Roberts once again doing what they do best on Sunday afternoon (noon -1 p.m.) on the Food City Fan Zone Stage before the start of the Food City 500. The pair will interview drivers, talk about the race and definitely work in some antics and high-jinx. You can look forward to a fast 60 minutes of fun, so you better arrive to the stage early.

Inside the oval, longtime ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch, who worked the race here in 1992 for ESPN, and his daughter, rising NASCAR pit reporter Jessie Punch, will give us all the scoop during the weekend on Colossus TV.

Another entertainer who will be making a popular return to resume his duties as Bristol event dignitary and ambassador will be professional wrestler Bill Goldberg. This will be Goldberg’s fourth appearance at Bristol Motor Speedway since he nearly broke the Internet when he picked up and carried Chase Elliott across the stage during driver intro ceremonies in 2019.   

Finally, the popular ‘80s band Spank! will crank out their popular 1980s music following Saturday night’s WEATHER GUARD Truck Race. Spank! is scheduled to perform after the checkered flag falls on the Food City Fan Zone Stage. Stay tuned to the track’s website and social media channels to find out more details about upcoming music and parties that are planned for the weekend.

Just for fun, let’s hop aboard our Bristol Motor Speedway Time Portal and give it a whirl to take us all back in time and find out what has changed, what remains the same and if there are any real comparisons for 1992 to 2024. OK, better buckle-up before we smash the big red button. Hang on!

Time Portal Topic                 Back in 1992?                                                How About Now?

BMS Spring Cup race sponsor         Food City                                                                       Food City

Reigning Cup Series Champion       Dale Earnhardt Sr.                                                        Ryan Blaney

Cup Rookie of the Year                    Jimmy Hensley                                                              Ty Gibbs

Bristol Cup track record speed         122.474 mph                                                                 132.075 mph       

Previous season winner                   Rusty Wallace                                                               Christopher Bell

Event dignitary                                  TN Senator Jim Holcomb                                              Bill Goldberg, pro wrestler

Track walls color                               Red and white                                                               Red and white again

Track slogan                                     Racin’ the way it ought’a be!                                         It’s Bristol, Baby!

Souvenir Program                             Traditional glossy booklet, $5                                       Playbill booklet or digital file, free

Bristol Cup ticket price                      $50                                                                                $50

Food City 500 logo                           Cool colorful design                                                      Same cool colorful design

Top drivers                                        Earnhardt, Wallace, Kulwicki                                        Blaney, Logano, Elliott, Bell

Track owner                                      Larry Carrier                                                                  Speedway Motorsports

Large shopping center                      Mall of America                                                             Mall of America

Mega social influencers                    Paula Abdul / Cindy Crawford                                       Cristiano Ronaldo / Selena Gomez 

U.S. President                                  George H. W. Bush                                                       Joe Biden

Avg. auto price                                  $16,950                                                                         $38,450

Website                                             GoRacing.com                                                              BristolMotorSpeedway.com

Telephone                                         Single home phone                                                       Personal cell phone                         

Space exploration                             Space Shuttle Endeavour                                             Space X

Avg. gallon of gas                             $1.05                                                                             $3.34

Notebook                                          Mead Trapper-Keeper                                                   Apple iPad

Musicians                                         U2, REM, Garth Brooks, Creed, Metallica                     Taylor Swift, Morgan Wallen, Drake, Luke Combs

Best song                                          End of the Road by Boyz II Men                                   Flowers by Miley Cyrus

Track TV announcers                       Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett, Benny Parsons                         Mike Joy, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick

TV pit reporters                                 Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch, John Kernan                     Jamie Little, Regan Smith, Josh Sims

TV network                                       ESPN                                                                            FOX

Weekday racing news                      RPM 2Night on ESPN2                                                 FOX RaceHub on FS1

Cup car brands                                 Chevy, Ford, Oldsmobile, Pontiac                                Chevy, Ford, Toyota

The Bristol race weekend will feature action in the NASCAR Cup Series with the tradition-rich Food City 500 on Sunday afternoon, March 17 (3:30 p.m., FOX and PRN Radio) with current champ Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin leading the way.

Saturday afternoon’s Bush’s Beans Practice and Bush’s Beans Qualifying for both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will set the starting lineups for each race and precede Saturday night’s WEATHER GUARD® Truck Race. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series stars Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Nick Sanchez, Corey Heim, Ty Dillon and Christian Eckes, among others, are scheduled to take the green flag at 8 p.m. ET for the 250-lap thriller (FS1, MRN Radio).

To purchase tickets for the Food City 500 or the WEATHER GUARD® Truck Race, please visit the BMS website, or call the BMS Ticket Sales Center at (866) 415-4158. For a limited time tickets can also be purchased at your neighborhood Food City store.