Bristol, TN

Mega-crowds Return to Bristol Colosseum

John M. Dabbs

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Irwin Tools Night Race - August 5, 2012Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway/Flickr

Grandstand capacities are back to normal for the hottest ticket in NASCAR - The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

NASCAR Nation needs a new ‘National Holiday’ now more than ever
and BMS stands ready to deliver exciting playoff action under the lights. - Speedway Motor Sports

The Bass is back

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Bristol - August 2012Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway/Flickr

We're counting down to the 61st running of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. This September 16-18, the hottest ticket in NASCAR will be back in force. The colossal event is a beacon of patriotism, freedom, and American pride. The Bristol Motor Speedway is hosting its 60th anniversary season, in what is sure to be a weekend worth remembering.

Post-pandemic type safety protocols will be in place, as recommended by the CDC. The Bristol Motor Speedway will see the minimal, but necessary safety standards are kept. They will also see the BMS venue is wide-open for maximum capacity. The event capacity for fans is wide open.

Get out and live a little

Race fans are ready for this opportunity to escape what has become the current reality. BMS is prepared to let them be absorbed in the great outdoors with the most talented drivers and teams on the NASCAR circuit on The World's Fastest Half-Mile.

BMS officials say "this year’s edition of the tradition-rich event will offer an extra injection of maximum post-season adrenaline during each night of racing. All three of NASCAR’s major touring series racing Bass Pro weekend will have Playoff implications swirling around their finishes. Fans should expect nothing less than bruised egos, smashed fenders, incredible triumphs and sparks flying under the lights at The Last Great Colosseum."

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Bristol Motor Speedway night raceZach Catanzareti/Wikipedia Commons

Here is the lineup:

  • Thursday, September 16

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will showcase its first Playoff cut-off race with the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics. The Playoff field will be reduced from 10 to 8 drivers once the checkered flag falls.

  • Friday, September 17

NASCAR Xfinity Series will finalize its Playoff roster during the Food City 300. Once the checkered flag waves the 12 Xfinity Playoff eligible drivers will be identified and locked into the post-season.

  • Saturday, September 18

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will present the first cut-off race for the Cup Series drivers. The Playoff field will be reduced from 16 to 12 drivers by night’s end.

Who will emerge with a hard-earned victory, and claim the coveted BMS Gladiator Sword?

NASCAR Holiday

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race should be a national holiday for the NASCAR Nation. One of the reasons America’s Night Race easily qualifies as a national holiday is because it’s all about fun. Long known as a premier bucket list destination for many, including fans from all 50 states, the race weekend – even during the final stages of a global pandemic – will continue to provide one of the grandest celebrations of family, fun, patriotism and speed that one can imagine.

Consider the facts:

  • Full Capacity Fun: Bristol Motor Speedway is cooperating with local and state officials for race weekend. The facility will be open to full spectator grandstands with no mask mandates in place.
  • Epic Anniversaries: Bristol Motor Speedway is observing its 60th anniversary. We hope you will be here to help us celebrate.
  • Fun with friends: There's a lot to do on the grounds of Bristol Motor Speedway, including stops in the Fan Engagement area.
  1. music
  2. games
  3. food
  4. souvenir haulers
  5. NASCAR-style tailgating with your friends prior to each night's race.
  • Family bonding: The race is perfect for parents to share their love of NASCAR with their kids. The memories you will make at BMS will last a lifetime. BMS is offering free kids tickets on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday kids tickets are only $10.
  • Social Scene: While visiting, check out the popular "It's Bristol, Baby!" sign at the track's North Entrance and take a photo or two beside the iconic landmark.
  • United We Race: You won’t find a more patriotic place. We BMS honors, celebrates, and cherishes American virtues and values. Nobody does it better than Bristol Motor Speedway. See the timeless performances of the National Anthem, and powerful military flyovers. The red white and blue can be seen everywhere around BMS property.
  • Awesome Music: Racing and music are tied together. BMS has a reputation for bringing the most entertaining acts to perform throughout each race weekend. This year’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will have well-known music acts playing all around the property during the weekend. You'll want to check the schedule of performances so you won't miss a single beat.
  • Bring your own stuff: Coolers are not permitted in the stadium, but guests are allowed (and encouraged) to bring some refreshments, food and necessary supplies like sunscreen and ear protection in a 14x14x14 clear plastic bag. Check the Bristol Motor Speedway website for the latest information on event protocols and guidelines for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
  • Now that’s a TV: A great thing about attending a race at Bristol is Colossus TV, the world’s largest center-hung stadium video display.
  • Camping all around: Bristol Motor Speedway owns and operates five campgrounds around the facility and each provides a variety of amenities. They offer full hook-up or non hook-up camping. When camping, you will have easy access to the grounds and all of the excitement going on inside the stadium.
  • Did we mention fast cars and great racing? Some of the most memorable moments in NASCAR have taken place during the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. NASCAR’s best drivers will beat and bang on each other – NASCAR Playoff style – and only the strongest will survive 500 laps inside the high-banked, all concrete oval. You’ll get to see all of your favorite drivers doing what they do best, all but guaranteeing their spot in the Playoffs. In addition to the Cup Series, the race weekend will feature thrilling action in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Menards Series.

Tickets are going fast

Fans who want to be in on the first unrestricted, open event at Bristol Motor Speedway in more than two years should act fast to get their tickets. Demand is at an all-time high and the historic race weekend is positioned to be one of the biggest crowds in BMS history.

You may not here it often enough anymore, but Bristol is - "Racing The Way It Oughta Be!"

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Johnson City, TN
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