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Daytona 500 champ to headline BMS season preview at the Pinnacle

Jeff Birchfield • Mar 7, 2018 at 4:30 PM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Austin Dillon will headline a group of motorsports stars from NASCAR and the NHRA at the Bristol Motor Speedway season preview on March 21 at the Bass Pro Shops location at the Pinnacle.

Fans are welcome to attend the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m. They will have Q&A sessions with the drivers and the chance to participate in fun interactive games. There are also photo opportunities and the chance to win prizes, including tickets to BMS events.

Dillon, the Daytona 500 champion, will be there along with his brother, Ty, also a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver, and their father, Mike, a former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver.

The stock car racing family will be joined by the NHRA drag racing contingent of car owner Don Schumacher and his son, Tony, an eight-time Top Fuel champion, Matt Hagan, a two-time Funny Car champion, and new Schumacher Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett.

Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Chevrolet, has a best finish of fourth in eight Bristol Cup races. He has one Bristol win, which came in the 2016 Food City 300 Xfinity race.

Ty Dillon, driver of the No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet, finished 15th at last year's Food City 500. He also has three top-five finishes at Bristol in the Xfinity Series, most recently last August.

Mike Dillon, current general manager for Richard Childress Racing, was a driver in all NASCAR three national series. He made nine Xfinity starts at Bristol and 154 series starts overall.

Don Schumacher is the most successful car owner in NHRA history with over 300 victories. As a Funny Car driver, Schumacher won three IHRA wins at Bristol Dragway and in 2014 was inducted as one of the Legends of Thunder Valley.

Tony Schumacher has 83 Top Fuel victories, 148 final-round appearances and eight championships, all NHRA records. He also owns the Bristol Dragway record with five Thunder Valley Nationals wins.

Hagan, who lives a couple of hours from Bristol Dragway up Interstate 81 near Christiansburg, Va., has 27 career wins and two championships. He won the 2015 Thunder Valley Nationals and has posted a career-best speed of 338.85 mph.

Pritchett, driver of the Papa John's Top Fuel dragster, has eight career wins and has made 12 final rounds. She's in her first season with the Schumacher team after reaching the final round at last year's NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.


In an effort to attract younger race fans, Bristol Motor Speedway is offering several discounts to college students.

Tickets are just $35 for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Food City 500, when they normally run $110 in the Darrell Waltrip-Section W. For the Saturday Xfinity Series race, it's just $20 — $45 less than the regular price. Students can purchase combination tickets for both days for just $50.

Each college student may purchase two discounted tickets with a valid college ID. Tickets will be emailed via the .edu email address provided by the school or picked up with a valid student ID at any ticket window.

Upgrades, which include the prerace track walk prior to the Cup event and the postrace winner's celebration, are available.

Free parking is also available at White Top Creek Park or at Speedway Parking and Camping on Highway 394. The BMS Park & Ride will pick up and drop off at ETSU Lot No. 9 for just $20 per person and you can bring your own cooler into the stadium.


Volunteer Speedway is scheduled to begin its weekly points racing this Saturday with a six-division racing program. The Steel Head Late Model, Crate Late Model, Sportsman Late Model, Modified Street, Open Wheel Modified and Classic divisions are scheduled for the four-tenths-mile dirt track.

Adult grandstand admission is $10, with kids 12-and-under admitted free. Adult pit and tier-parking is $25 with kids 12-and-under $15 with an adult signed release.

With rain in the forecast, grandstand and pit gate opening times will be released leading up to the Saturday race.

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