Bristol Motor Speedway officials beefed up an already jam-packed schedule for Food City 500 week by adding another race to one of NASCAR’s most exciting events.

The iconic Speedway will serve as the season-opener for the K&N Pro Series East, with the kickoff event following the 300-lap Nationwide Series race Saturday, March 17 (see their official schedule release here).

The addition of the K&N Series to the spring race weekend is simply another way to add to the fan experience at BMS, said General Manager and Executive Vice-President Jerry Caldwell.

“We have said many times a race weekend at Bristol is 10 pounds in a five-pound sack," he said. "Our goal always is to give our fans more value for their money and we've added a couple of more pounds to the sack. We believe adding the K&N Series to our schedule is something the fans will enjoy because it truly is a great series. A lot of really good drivers and crew chiefs have started out in K&N cars and ended up racing in the Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series.

“I think it’s going to make an already must-see Saturday even more exciting and we’re really pleased to be able to offer this to our fans as part of the ticket for that day. They’ll get to see two great races for the price of the Nationwide ticket and you really can’t beat that.”

Some of the notables to have raced K&N Pro Series East cars include Joey Logano, Ricky Craven, Steve Park along with crew chiefs Greg Zipadelli, Richard “Slugger” Labbe and Frankie Stoddard.

Ryan Truex, brother of Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex, Jr., captured championships in the series in both 2009 and 2010.

The 2012 K&N Pro Series East schedule features 14 races at 12 short tracks across the eastern United States.The 26th season of K&N Pro Series East competition will see NASCAR’s top developmental division visit 10 states, and will be highlighted by the Bristol event.

“The NASCAR K&N Pro Series continues to establish itself as a desired destination for developing talent and the schedule has been designed with that in mind.” said George Silbermann, NASCAR Vice President of Regional & Touring Series. “With a diverse mix of historic short tracks and speedway companion events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, the 2012 calendar will provide competitors with the experience they need to further their careers.”

Tickets for the March 17 doubleheader at BMS are on sale now, beginning at $45.

BMS season tickets, which include the Food City 500 and IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup races, as well as the Nationwide events, also are on sale. Pricing for all four races begins at just $175 in the Wallace Tower.

A March race weekend package also is available starting at $99 that includes the Food City 500 and the Nationwide/K&N Pro Series East events. A package in the Wallace Tower for both Sprint Cup races also is now available for $99. Packages for fans 15 and younger are available for the March races at half price.

To purchase tickets, please contact the BMS ticket office at its toll free number 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL (274-7865). Tickets also may be purchased online.