Bristol Motor Speedway’s slots on the NASCAR schedule traditionally draw guests from 50 states and as many as 12 countries.

But as a stop on the state of Tennessee’s new Sunny Side Trail, Bristol Motor Speedway welcomes folks year-round as well.

“The impact of our NASCAR and NHRA weekends positioning us as one of the top-three tourist attractions in the state,” said Kevin Triplett, BMS Vice President of Public Affairs. “But the other 49 weeks a year we continue to draw guests from all around the globe. Now, being a stop on the Sunny Side Trial, we can make those guests aware of other treasures we have here in Northeast Tennessee.”

Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker also highlighted the newly opened Sunny Side Trail, a mapped driving route covering 12 East Tennessee Counties-including nearly 300 points of interest.

Sunny Side Trail is the second of 15 regional trails launching over the next several months as part of a statewide tourist development initiative, "Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways."

Sunny Pickens, a rambling musician character created to promote the trail via social media will provide an insider's guide to the best of the Sunny Side Trail at www.sunnysidetrail.com.

Although many of the stops on the Sunny Side Trail highlight the history of Northeast Tennessee’s role as the First Frontier of a young nation, Triplett said there is a distinct connection between those attractions and BMS, which will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2011.

“The type of personality possessed by the individuals who crossed these mountains to explore our area more than 200 years ago is the same type of spirit embraced by our owner Bruton Smith to push him to build up this facility,” he said. “And it is similar to what is inside the drivers of these race cars to make them gamble with the unknown.

“Around 60 percent of the guests camp and actually come to our region a few days in advance of our events. Several of the stops of the Sunny Side Trail: Rocky Mount, Sycamore Shoals, Bristol Caverns, Bays Mountain and others, are within 30 minutes of BMS and provide those guests with additional activities to add to their experience of being here. And they can start by coming in August to the IRWIN Tools Night Race, our 100th NASCAR Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.”

To buy tickets to the IRWIN Tools Night Race and other events at Bristol Motor Speedway, fans can visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office toll-free at 1.866.415.4158.

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