There’s a buzz in the air as Bristol Motor Speedway celebrates 40 years of night racing during the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race weekend, Aug. 16-18.

Guests from all 50 states and over 20 countries will descend upon East Tennessee this coming week to celebrate the party of the summer, where heroes both on-and-off track will be honored and a race winner celebrated under the lights. There’s nothing like the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race and the fun begins today.

“The energy around this place in August is electric,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “There’s nothing like seeing our friends and their families arrive in East Tennessee to celebrate the American tradition of night racing at Bristol. This is truly America’s Night Race.”

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

Highlights of the race week include:

Tri-Cities Race Week Parties: Race fans are in for a treat as the three major cities in the Tri-Cities open their arms to showcase the best of the region. All three parties will feature entertainment, food, games, driver appearances and more.

  • Kingsport: Monday, Aug. 13 from 4:30-10 p.m. at High Voltage
  • Johnson City: Tuesday, Aug. 14 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at King’s Commons
  • Bristol: Wednesday, Aug. 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on State Street

For more information on the parties, check out the events page on Bristol Motor Speedway’s Facebook page.

Food City Family Race Night: One of the longest-running (Food City celebrates its 31st year of sponsoring the event) and most popular fan fests on the circuit, Food City Family Race Night moves to BMS’ Hospitality Village on Thursday, Aug. 16. Running from Noon to 6 p.m., Food City Family Race Night is the place for Cup Series autographs, games, food/craft vendors and more. The official NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour autograph sessions will also be held at the event. For full details, including a list of driver appearances, visit

Fitzgerald Peterbilt Transporter Parade: The Fitzgerald Peterbilt Transporter Parade returns in 2018 with a modified route. Haulers will be on display from Noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Bass Pro Shops at The Pinnacle with Austin and Ty Dillon available for autographs inside from Noon to 1 p.m. Guests are asked to pick their spot on BMS property between the North and South Speedway entrances off Hwy 11E/Volunteer Pkwy by 4 p.m. The haulers will roll by Bristol Motor Speedway around 4:10 p.m.

UNOH 200/Bush’s Beans 150 Doubleheader moved to Thursday: The ever popular NASCAR Camping World Truck Series/NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour doubleheader moves to Thursday night, Aug. 16 to provide three consecutive nights of racing under the lights. The UNOH 200 will serve as the official regular season finale for the NCWTS, meaning drivers will give their all for one final chance to qualify for the 2018 playoffs.

Musical Entertainment: Race fans will be in for a treat as the likes of Joe Nichols, Lee Greenwood and Tim Dugger take to the stage. Country star Nichols will get the crowd rocking during the State Water Heaters Pre-Race Concert while Greenwood will celebrate the good ole United States with “God Bless the USA” during pre-race. Dugger will rock out with the fans on the Trackside Live stage in the Fan Zone following the conclusion of the Food City 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday night.

Neighborhood Heroes: As the home of America’s Night Race, BMS is paying tribute to four true American heroes, individuals who have gone above and beyond in their community. These four honorees will be celebrated during pre-race ceremonies of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. The four heroes are:

  • Bristol Police Dept. Sgt. Matt Cousins: Helped stop an active shooter who had opened fire on passing cars near the Days Inn located on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, Tenn.
  • Nashville-based Tennessee Highway Patrol Officer Russell Bernard: Helped save a woman’s life whose neck had been impaled by a deer antler after the animal had impacted the windshield of her car
  • Chattanooga Fire Dept. Captain Steve Everett: While off duty, came upon a major house fire and rescued a woman inside the burning home with assistance from several civilians
  • Knoxville Police Officer Jay Williams: Wounded in the shoulder by one of TBI’s most wanted criminals during a traffic stop, but held return fire due to bystander. His initial confrontation ultimately led to the criminal’s capture

Pre-Race Highlights: Pre-race at BMS is a place to respect heroes, both on-and-off track

  • Lt. Col Oliver North will lead the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance
  • BMS welcomes three members of the 5th Special Forces Group that entered Afghanistan on horseback following the events of 9/11 and inspired the best-selling book, “Horse Soldiers” and the big screen hit, “12 Strong”- Master Sgt. Scott Neil, Major Mark Nutsch and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bob Pennington
  • The MRO Children’s Choir returns for the National Anthem
  • Joe Everson will paint patriotic scenes during the National Anthem and “God Bless the USA”
  • Four T-38 Talons from the 469th Flying Training Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita, Texas will fly overhead as fireworks light up the sky
  • NASCAR’s gladiators will walk down the ramp at driver intros, signaling their entry into battle

Racing Action: Some of the best drivers in the world hit the high banks at one of the most demanding circuits in racing with action in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race), NASCAR XFINITY Series (Food City 300), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (UNOH 200) and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (Bush’s Beans 150).

Tickets for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race are still available, starting at $80. Visit or call (855) 580-5525.

BMS PR/Photo ©2016, John Harrelson / NKP

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