Despite rain delay, fans show up for Food City 500 race

BRISTOL, TN - Today's rain didn't deter eager fans hoping to get a glimpse of some of their favorite NASCAR drivers this afternoon. 

NASCAR fan Jamie Chitwood said, "It don't matter to me, I just want to see this race." 

After a rain delay Sunday, die hard fans are back again to catch a glimpse of their favorite drivers in action. Jamie Chitwood and his family came from Terre Haute, Indiana. 

"My mother-in law bought me tickets for Christmas, I wasn't going to give them up," Chitwood said. 

While the rain may have dampened a few spirits it did not deter people from coming out here to Bristol Motors Speedway for the Food City 500. 

"We love racing, we love Bristol, Michele Mitchell said. 

Michele Mitchell's love for racing extends to her grandson Jackson, all dressed up in full race car driver gear. 

Jackson wasn't the only kid in the crowd, Sullivan County and Bristol City School systems canceled classes Monday. Bristol Motor Speedway Provided free ticket for the race to student like Graham Bailey. 

Obviously you don't want the school buses getting into the middle of all of the traffic from the race but for them to get to come free that is a good opportunity to get them into it," Chad Bailey said. 

Since 2014 there have been several rain delay's during the Food City 500 race. In 2014 the race was delayed by nearly 4 hours, that's with starting and stopping because of the rain. In 2015 there was a  rain delay of about 1 hour and a half and in 2016 no rain delay was reported. 

Like this year, last year's race was delayed to the following day. Still through it all, race fans say weather won't stop them from coming back next year. 

"Yea the rain is a bummer but you just got to wait it out, you can't control mother nature," Chitwood said. 

Officials here at BMS say this isn't the first time they have partnered with area schools for special programs like free tickets for students. 

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