Bristol Motor Speedway officials are busy making preparations to host one of motorsports’ most tradition-rich events, the famed NASCAR All-Star Race, on Wednesday night, July 15, and the winner of that historic race will earn the signature trophy and lucrative $1 million prize in front of a significant number of spectators.
While it is the first time that BMS will host the prestigious NASCAR All-Star Race, it will also be the first time that a major U.S. sporting event will conduct an event in front of a large contingent of fans since the COVID-19 pandemic began earlier this year.
BMS officials understand that hosting such an event comes with great responsibility and the BMS Team is tackling the challenge with cohesive planning and preparation.
"While some new procedures may cause a temporary inconvenience for a limited time, it's a small price to pay to ensure that we can continue to enjoy live sporting events," said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager. "Bristol Motor Speedway is known for a number of firsts in the industry, so we would encourage all of our guests to be supportive of these protocols and set the standard for how large events can be conducted safely during this pandemic."
Caldwell said that while planning for the NASCAR All-Star Race, BMS officials are in frequent contact with numerous federal, local and state partners to exchange information, seek guidance, and make real-time, data-based decisions regarding the best ways to execute fan safety protocols and experiences. Organizations involved in ongoing conversations include numerous civic leaders from throughout the Tri-Cities, Sullivan County Health Department officials, Ballad Health representatives, Tennessee state health experts, the city of Bristol, Tennessee and regional/state travel and tourism advisors.
“We are in constant communication with regional and state leaders and NASCAR about our collaborative plans, and we are all in consensus,” Caldwell said. “Guests will see a few new ways of doing things, all of which are good, old-fashioned Northeast Tennessee common-sense practices that will help ensure the safety of our fans, drivers, vendors, employees and overall community.”
BMS is instituting procedures to reduce contact and crowd density as guests purchase tickets, enter the grounds, enjoy the event and depart the facility. Below are some of the highlighted items that fans need to be aware of while planning their visit. Please review the full details and requirements of the BMS Safety Plan prior to arrival for any updates.
Once the fans are safely in their seats, 19 of the most decorated NASCAR Cup Series drivers, most of them past champions, multi-time winners and future hall of famers, will take to the storied all-concrete high banks at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile, where sparks are sure to fly. Tempers will flare. And at the end of the night, one driver will earn the signature NASCAR All-Star Race trophy and add a nice pile of cash to his bank account.
All-Star eligibility includes 2019 or 2020 Cup Series winners; previous All-Star Race winners; or former Cup Series champions. Drivers who are All-Star Race eligible include: Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliot, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.
The action gets underway on Wednesday, July 15 with the NASCAR All-Star Open, a last-chance qualifier race for those drivers without a starting spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race. The two stage winners and the race winner of the NASCAR All-Star Open will advance into the NASCAR All-Star Race. The winner of the NASCAR All-Star Fan Vote, which is currently ongoing at NASCAR.com, also will earn a starting spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race. The Fan Vote closes at noon on Tuesday, July 14.
Live coverage of the NASCAR All-Star Open and NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be provided by FS1, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio starting at 7 p.m. (ET).
For ticket information, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/