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Race week party starts Monday at MeadowView

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 12, 2019 at 12:49 AM

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 full week of activities with events in each of the Tri-Cities before the action shifts to Bristol Motor Speedway for 1,150 laps of action.

Race week parties start Monday at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport. The free event — which coincides with the Tennessee Big Shots Benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital World Long Drive competition — runs from 6-10 p.m. and includes show cars, food and beverage vendors, driver appearances and more.

Johnson City’s turn to host is Tuesday with another free event from 6-10 p.m. at Founders Park. 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 are on tap.

Food City Family Race Night returns to State Street in Bristol

on Wednesday from 1-9 p.m. The free fan event hosts the official autograph session for the playoff- contending drivers in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

That playoff opener — the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics — goes off Thursday. The first playoff race at Bristol will serve as a preview for the Monster Energy Cup Series playoff race at BMS in 2020. The truck race follows NASCAR K&N Series Bush’s Beans 150 earlier in the day.

Friday offers perhaps the best value of the week. Pinty’s Qualifying for the Bass Pro Shops 500, which has returned to a single- car qualifying format, is followed by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 race.

Former Cup champions Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are entered in the Xfinity race.

On Friday and Saturday at BMS, The Parking Lot Party offers college students 18 and older a place to hang out. Featuring a college party tailgate, games, a mechanical bull, a DJ and more, the Parking Lot Party runs from noon to 7 p.m. both days. College students are welcome to bring a cooler.

Following the Food City 300 is the Friday Night Foam Party — rave with a DJ, strobe lights and gallons upon gallons of foam.

Race week concludes with Saturday’s main event.

A pre-race concert features Travis Denning, a rising country music star who has written songs for Jason Aldean and Justin Moore, with Tim Dugger and Corbette Jackson as opening acts. Festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. and Denning is scheduled to take the stage at 5:45 p.m.

Bullfighters Only, the world’s premier freestyle bullfighting competition, is on the BMS midway. Four 15-minute sessions set to be held through Saturday.

Other special events include the Trackside Live show on 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, located in front of the track off Volunteer Parkway, boasts a racing simulator, video games, euro bungee, a rock wall, inflatables and face-painting among its activities. It opens at 10 a.m. each race day.

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, one of the premier races on NASCAR’s schedule, has a 7:30 p.m. start time. A couple of the big story lines 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 whether a driver can win and punch his ticket into the NASCAR playoffs.

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