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BMS to host NASCAR races on May 30-31

Jeff Birchfield • May 14, 2020 at 5:25 PM

NASCAR released a revised schedule Thursday with racing set to return — without fans — to Bristol Motor Speedway on May 30-31.

The Cheddar’s 300 Xfinity Series race will be held May 30 with the Food City 500 for the NASCAR Cup Series scheduled for May 31 with both races broadcast on FS1. The races originally scheduled in April were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will give every sports fan a morale boost which we all need during these challenging times,” said Jerry Caldwell, BMS executive vice president and general manager during a track-hosted Zoom conference. “America deserves a return to live sports. To make that happen safely, that’s our No. 1 goal.

“Having no fans, that’s the bittersweet part of this. They’re the backbone of Bristol Motor Speedway, but we understand why the restrictions are in place. Racing without fans is something we never want to do, but this is certainly an unprecedented time.”

NASCAR returns to the track Sunday with a 400-lap race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The Food City 500 will be the fifth Cup Series race in 15 days.

Rescheduled races at Atlanta, Martinsville and Homestead-Miami will follow the Bristol event. The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at BMS is still on tap for Sept. 19.

Fans who had already purchased tickets to the Food City 500 will be given a 120 percent credit for the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season at any Speedway Motorsports NASCAR race.

“We would love to welcome everybody back here that have purchased tickets for our Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race,” Caldwell said. “That will be in the playoffs in September. Hopefully, we will allow fans back for that event and they can use the credit they have.”

For the May weekend, there won’t be any tailgating or other related activities on property. Those entering the facility will have to undergo health screenings and take mandated precautions. Caldwell mentioned there’s a huge responsibility for NASCAR being the first major sport back.

“For sports fans around the world, it’s exciting to return to some sense of normalcy and see some live events,” Caldwell said. “It’s great that NASCAR is the first sport back, but it comes with a lot of responsibility and we have to do it correctly. We have to insure the safety of our communities, our competitors and everyone here with the event. To just hear those cars rumbling, to see the cars back on the high banks, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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