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Events: Food City Race Night

Staff Report • Jul 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Food City Race Night

Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:00pm-9:00pm

Where Food City Race Night is concerned, there’s one thing for certain: there’s not a bigger or more successful fan event held in conjunction with NASCAR races anywhere.

That’s not surprising when you consider that the event goes for most of the day – always the Thursday of August race week at Bristol Motor Speedway – and the cities of Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia basically close State Street down for it.

Food City Race Night is so big in fact, that it’s actually held in two states. Half of the driver autograph sessions, entertainment, etc. will be in Bristol, Tennessee and half in Bristol, Virginia. You can’t get much more unique than that.

This is the 26th year of an event that started out in 1987 with only two stars – Terry Labonte and Junior Johnson – as the main draws. These days there many more driver appearances – and much bigger crowds.

Richard Petty is a regular at Food City Race Night and most of today’s biggest stars, like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick, have all taken part in it.

The event, which now routinely draws 25-30,000 people, became so popular in August that it now takes place before each NASCAR race weekend at BMS. In March, it is held at BMS in the hospitality area and it remains in downtown Bristol prior to the August race weekend.

This year’s Food City Race Night, set for Aug. 22, once again features plenty of autograph sessions with drivers and other NASCAR personalities, live music, free food, racing simulators and more.

Food City Race Night kicks off at 1 p.m. and continues through 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $5 and can be purchased at selected Food City locations. Tickets will be $6 the day of the event with children 12 and under being admitted free of charge.

As always, proceeds from Food City Race Night will benefit a local children’s organization. More than $500,000 has been raised through Food City Race Night and donated to various area organizations over the past 25 years.


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