BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Despite rising cases across the region, NASCAR still plans for drivers to take the track at Bristol Motor Speedway in just two days for the all-star race.
Preparations for the race have been underway since the news of the race coming to Bristol was announced, but with less than two days until drivers and race fans arrive, efforts for the race can already be seen by those passing by the track.
Vendors can already be seen setting up shop and laying out merchandise across from and next to Bristol Motor Speedway. While these vendors said it won’t be anywhere near the turnout they’ve had in years past, they’re still hopeful they will get plenty of business.
“I’m hoping they get the 30,000. I really doubt it, but I’m still hopeful because NASCAR needs it and needs to put on a good show and these guys out here who have been struggling need this money,” said Steve Hart, Vendor.
Hart said it’s typical to set up a few days before a big race, but this year has been anything but normal. While vendors are getting ready for the race, some stands are selling merchandise that appeals to the pandemic.
“I brought masks for the race for you folks that forget those, but I’ve got women, kids, men, American themed, really anything to suit your fancy,” said Leonard Stanton, Vendor.
Campsites in the area are also preparing for the big race. Shadrack Campground just up the street on Volunteer Parkway is already seeing guests, while others, like Earhart Campground, are waiting to officially open on Tuesday.
BMS officials said they’re on track to host a fun, safe experience on Wednesday and currently have teams going through second and third checks. “That’s what we’ve been doing the past few days, double-checking, making sure our procedures in place are right. We’ve got a tremendous plan, now we just have to make sure we execute that plan well,” said Jerry Caldwell, The General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway.
BMS officials are also reminding people they need to wear a mask if they will be in attendance at the race. A mask mandate was also issued for all of Sullivan County last Friday.