In celebration of Bristol Motor Speedway’s 50th anniversary, NASCAR’s most popular track will mark the anniversary of its inaugural race with a Fan Appreciation Day July 30.

The first NASCAR Grand National race, as the series was called then, took place July 30, 1961, with Jack Smith becoming the first driver in the track’s storied victory lane. Fifty years later, the World’s Fastest Half-Mile, long one of NASCAR’s premier tracks, will mark the occasion with a fan celebration.

Track laps, always a popular event, will be offered at no charge to any fan with tickets to NASCAR events at BMS. Guests who are not ticket holders also may take their own cars around the concrete oval after making a donation of any amount to Speedway Children’s Charities.

Food City will provide hot dogs and chips, and Pepsi will supply drinks while supplies last. Wings, supplied by BKW, also will be available while supplies last.. Several local bands also will be on hand to provide entertainment. A number of Monster Trucks also will be staged in the infield where the Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness will take place later that evening.

While everyone who takes part in the celebration that day will receive 50th anniversary items free, guests also will be encouraged to register for a variety of giveaways, including a four-day Carnival Festiva Adventure Club Caribbean cruise, as well as a big screen television from Aaron’s, groceries/gas for a year from Food City, IRWIN tools, suite seats and tickets to the IRWIN Tools Night Race weekend.

One fan who signs up that day for the Bristol Golden Giveaway will be one of three people selected who will win a trip to BMS for the Aug. 26-27 races, which includes suite seats for the famed IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250, along with pit passes, parking passes and BMS 50th anniversary merchandise. All three fans will attend the pre-race show for the IRWIN Tools Night Race and each will receive a key.

The fan with the key that starts the Official BMS pace car, which will have led the field for all NASCAR events at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile in 2011, will win the 2011 special edition Ford Mustang.

The Fan Appreciation Day begins at 1 p.m. with track laps, which will take place until 3 p.m. The celebration will continue until the infield is cleared at 4:30 in order to prepare for the Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness, which features Grave Digger, the world’s most famous monster truck, along with Avenger, Brutus, Sampson, Gunslinger and War Wizard.

Tickets to the Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness, which begins at 7 p.m., are $15 for anyone attending the Fan Appreciation Day or $20 that evening at the gate. Tickets for children 10 are under are $5. The pit party, which is free for anyone with a ticket to the show, begins at 6 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.

Race week at BMS kicks off Aug. 24 with a doubleheader that features the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 Camping World Truck Series race, and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified Series event. The Food City Nationwide Series race takes place Friday night, Aug. 26.

Fans can enjoy both the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250 for as little as $99. Should they be in town for the Wednesday night doubleheader, fans can take in all four races under the lights in packages starting at $129.

Single-event tickets for Saturday’s IRWIN Tools Night Race start at $90 while ticket prices for the Food City 250 begin at $45. Wednesday night doubleheader tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 are $30.

Parents also can take advantage of reduced ticket prices for children as kids 12 and under can watch the Food City 250 for only $10 while children in that age bracket will be admitted free to the Wednesday night doubleheader.