Thrilling dirt racing and playoff excitement return to BMS in 2022, both Cup Series races to be held under the lights
Food City Dirt Race Returns! AS A NIGHT RACE on April 17, 2022!
For the first time in Bristol Motor Speedway’s long and storied history as a NASCAR Cup Series track the iconic half-mile high-banked oval will host a pair of night races showcasing the premier stock car circuit in 2022, it was announced today by NASCAR and track officials.
One will be in its popular dirt configuration on Easter weekend, Sunday night, April 17, and the other will be in its all-concrete setup as host of a round of the NASCAR Playoffs on Saturday night, September 17.
“Magic just seems to happen at The Last Great Colosseum whenever we race beneath the stars and moonlight, so we are thrilled to announce that both of our NASCAR Cup Series races in 2022 will be showcased under the lights,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager, Bristol Motor Speedway. “We can’t wait to put the dirt back down for the Food City Dirt Race on Easter weekend in April and welcome the championship excitement of the NASCAR Playoffs back to Thunder Valley in September for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race.”
It’s only the second time in the modern era that NASCAR will conduct a race on Easter weekend, and also the second time in the modern era that the NASCAR Cup Series will compete on a dirt surface. NASCAR held the majority of its races on dirt in its formative years, but last year’s historic Food City Dirt Race at BMS was the first for the series since The King Richard Petty won on clay in September 1970 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds near Raleigh. The highly-anticipated race will be televised live on FOX in primetime, positioning the Food City Dirt Race as a marquee sports event on the special holiday weekend.
Joey Logano slung the dirt the best among his Cup rivals to score the victory in the Food City Dirt Race this past April, wheeling his No. 22 Penske machine to a determined victory over a host of tough challengers on the red Tennessee clay. The throwback race to NASCAR’s origins was such an instant hit with fans and drivers that series and track officials announced the dirt’s return to the 2022 schedule before the end of the weekend.
Some might call the Easter weekend at Bristol a Racing Revival of sorts, but Caldwell says the special weekend will be one that fans do not want to miss. In cooperation with Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), Bristol Motor Speedway will host a special Sunday service and provide plenty of other family-fun activities. Traditional FanZone and Midway activities will be featured as well.
“We are pleased to see the Food City Dirt Race moved back to mid-April on the schedule and we are certainly thrilled that the race will air in primetime on FOX that night after many have finished with their Easter traditions,” Caldwell said. “For those who join us at the track, in addition to the thrilling racing, we will also have plenty of fun activities lined up throughout the day for our guests to celebrate Easter Bristol-style and create plenty of wow moments and cherished memories.”
The Cup Series also will return to The World’s Fastest Half-Mile in the fall for another nail-biting elimination race in the Round of 16 of the NASCAR Playoffs, the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. It is the third consecutive season that Bristol will be the anchor of the Playoffs’ opening round, where the championship roster will be trimmed from 16 to 12 drivers.
“The NASCAR Playoffs really is a perfect fit for Bristol Motor Speedway with its tight configuration, steep banking, incredible speed and unlimited possibilities for mayhem and chaos,” Caldwell said. “We are proud to once again be the host of the elimination race for the Round of 16 during the Bass Pro Shops Night Race and we look forward to all of the drama and intrigue that awaits us on Saturday night, September 17.”
To purchase tickets for the Food City Dirt Race and the Bass Pro Shops Night Race, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/tickets, or call the BMS Ticket Sales Center at (866) 415-4158.