Without further ado, we present Tip # 5 on our list of the Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now to properly prepare for April's NASCAR race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Catch up on the previous Bristol Tips below:

  • Tip # 1 - Advice and Information to Plan Ahead for Parking
  • Tip # 2 - Essential Items to Bring
  • Tip # 3 - Bristol Transportation: Event Shuttles and Trams
  • Tip #4 - Stocking Up For The "Must Do" and "Must See" Moments 

Tip # 5 - Schedule Properly To Take In The Full Show, Prepare To Be Blown Away By The New Big Screen, Plus Earn A Bonus Experience For Planning Early

First-Time fans and Bristol old-timers alike tell us it's easy to be surprised by the magnitude of events taking place prior to the actual start of a NASCAR race here.  Did you get goosebumps when you first found out the Doobie Brothers would play a pre-race concert before Sunday's Food City 500?  Have you heard about Bristol's one-of-a-kind way drivers introduce themselves before getting behind the wheel?  Then you'll want to set alarms for key parts of the schedule before you start the day to be sure you're inside the Last Great Colosseum before all the things prior to the Green Flag take place.

Take note:  The Food City 500 officially starts at 1 PM. The Doobie Brothers concert starts on the track's backstretch at 11:20 AM.   The always-entertaining Bristol Driver Intros start at 12:20 PM from Turn 3.  Best advice is to be inside with a mid-morning snack just a bit after 11:00 AM on Sprint Cup Series race day.  That also gives you a little time to gawk at Bristol's new addition, Colossus TV.  You can see the full fan schedule here.  

Sidebar:  Have you heard about this modern marvel of engineering? 

The final phase of construction is taking place right now.  Colossus is a massive new video board behemoth that will premiere during the race weekend.  From the looks of it so far, even the extraordinary name doesn't do it justice.  No wonder it will claim title as the world's largest outdoor center-hung 4-sided screen when fans get the first look. 

With technology described as having the highest viewing quality of any permanent outdoor display in the world - not to mention that each side is 4 and a half times the size of what it's replacing - Colossus TV is gonna be awesome.  And that's just the picture.  We'll save details for now on exactly what's expected from the enormous sound system overhaul that comes with it.  Just be prepared.

The final part of this Trip Tip involves planning early.  Each ticket for Bristol races is renewable, meaning you have right of first refusal for that same seat next season.  If you plan to make a return trip for the 2017 April race weekend, put those wheels in motion while you're on site.  Fans who renew their tickets during the 2016 event weekend get to take part in an exclusive Bristol opportunity known as the Winner's Celebration.

That gathering takes place after the Food City 500 on the barely-cooled-down racing surface at the Start/ Finish Line.  You'll be treated to entertainment, then get to hear from the race winner shortly after he (or she) has hoisted the trophy in Victory Lane.

Look for the banners about renewing tickets on-site, or check with any of the ticket booths for more information.  It's a great way to cap off your Food City 500 awesome experience!

Well there you go - you're now enlightened about each of the Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now to properly prepare for April's NASCAR race weekend.  Next week we'll dig deeper into a new set of hints, this time focused on the best things to do once you make it to Bristol.