newsbristol motor speedway roars back life week prepares say goodbye dale jr august night race

Bristol Motor Speedway roars back to life this week

Rod Mullins

Thunder Valley roars back to life in August and prepares to say goodbye to NASCAR’s most popular driver as NASCAR racing action returns to Bristol Motor Speedway this week in the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity and Monster Energy Cup Series.

bristol motor speedwayDale Earnhardt, Jr. will drive his last Bristol Cup race on the high banks of the Last Great Colosseum and the atmosphere is sure to be electrified under the lights, saying goodbye to NASCAR royalty and a racing legend.

The atmosphere is sure to be supercharged as the charge to the playoffs of the Monster Energy Cup Series is sure to be a no-holds barred event with several teams on the bubble and some drivers looking to get their first win of the season and qualify for the playoffs before time runs out in the next three races.

Earnhardt, Jr. will be one of those drivers along with teammate Chase Elliott, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth, in his last year with the team, Stewart-Haas driver Clint Bowyer as well as newcomers Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones, just to name a few.

Bristol Race Week all gets underway with the Camping World Truck Series (UNOH 200) and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (Bush’s Beans 150) on Wednesday night at BMS.

Thursday, fans will be able to participate in Food City Race Night, one of the longest-running fan-based and fan friendly events on the circuit as Food City celebrates its 30th year of sponsoring the event. Food City Race Night takes place on Aug. 17 from 1-9 p.m. on State Street in downtown Bristol. The event will feature driver appearances, games, food/craft vendors and more.
Another fan favorite, the Fitzgerald Peterbilt Transporter Parade also takes place on Thursday evening as the colorful haulers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series make their way from The Pinnacle to Bristol Motor Speedway down Hwy 11 E/Volunteer Parkway through the city of Bristol. Celebrating its 20th year, the Fitzgerald Peterbilt Transporter Parade is a spectacle complete with fireworks as thousands of fans line up to see these big rigs make their way towards The World’s Fastest-Half Mile.

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race week will also be the last chance for fans to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. race around the concrete high banks of Bristol. Guests will be in for a treat though as Junior pulls the doubleheader: racing in both the NXS and MENCS events. During the week, guests will have numerous opportunities to help Bristol honor Earnhardt Jr including the Dale Jr. Moments Museum, which will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will also features special Q&A’s with Dale’s peers including former crew chief and cousin Tony Eury Jr.

A special wrapped car will be located outside the museum where fans can write their favorite memories. The car will then be donated to Junior and his “car graveyard”.

A limited amount of Dale Jr. collector cards highlighting his top six Bristol moments will be handed out at the gates on Saturday, Aug. 19. During pre-race, those with seats on the frontstretch will be able to take part in a card stunt saluting the driver of the No. 88 Chevy. All guests will also be encouraged to stand up and salute Junior on Lap 88 to show their #Appreci88ion.

To view a schedule of all events and activities during the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race week, check out the BMS Fan Schedule at
Tickets for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race are still available for the August Night Race weekend in Bristol.  Fans can visit or call (855) 580-5525 for ticket information.

By Rod Mullins/Augusta Free Press

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins covers NASCAR for AFP, and co-hosts the mid-week “Street Knowledge” focusing on NASCAR with AFP editor Chris Graham. A graduate of UVA-Wise, Rod began his career in journalism as a reporter for The Cumberland Times, later became the program director/news director/on-air morning show host for WNVA in Norton, Va., and in the early 1990s served as the sports information director at UVA-Wise and was the radio “Voice of the Highland Cavaliers” for football and basketball for seven seasons. In 1995, Rod transitioned to public education, where he has worked as a high school English, literature, and creative writing teacher and now serves as a school program coordinator in addition to serving as a mentor for the robotics team.