BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — Officials on Tuesday announced plans for the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) as Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) is on track to see its second consecutive season on dirt — marking the second time a Cup Series races on dirt since Sept. 30, 1970.

The Cup Series is set to take the dirt track on Easter Sunday for the first time in NASCAR’s modern era — from 1972 to the present.

“Steve [Smith], just like Marcus [Freeman], really encouraged us to say, let’s view this as an opportunity,” BMS President Jerry Caldwell said.

Food City President and CEO Steve Smith said the race will bring family and friends together over the holiday weekend.

“Obviously, that’s a very special day, and the reverence to that is important to us, but it’s also a time that families gather,” Smith said. “And Food City is all about family, and Bristol Motor Speedway is all about family.”

Easter Sunday gatherings will give families the opportunity to watch the races from the comfort of their couches.

“You’re going to have so many people that’s going to be home or down at grandma’s or whatever that will be sitting in front of the TV screen,” Petty GMS Chairman Richard Petty said. “So, from that standpoint, I think it’s going to be a big plus for the Bristol Speedway and for NASCAR all the way around.”

Petty took home the win at the last Cup Series dirt race. According to a release, the April 17 event will mark the 12th Easter Cup Series in history, and of the 11 previous races, five took place on dirt.

Food City and Procter & Gamble’s Gain and Tide announced a partnership for the 2022 season at a BMS press conference, revealing that the NCS Food City Dirt Race will feature drivers representing the two cleaning brands. Petty GMS’s Ty Dillon and Erik Jones will drive the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 decked out in Gain vinyl wrap and the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 wrapped in Tide-brand vinyl, respectively.

Watch News Channel 11’s full live stream of the announcement below:

“I’m excited to have Food City and Gain partnering with the No. 42 team for Bristol,” said Dillon. “Running on dirt last season was a fun experience and one that I’m looking forward to doing again. To have both of our Petty GMS Chevrolets carrying well-known laundry brands is a great opportunity for Erik and myself.

“Also, in my lifetime, we have never raced on Easter Sunday, so I’m looking forward to celebrating the special day with my family in a different way this season.”

Jones echoed Dillon, adding in hopes of enhancing race times seen at events in the previous season.

“To have Food City and Tide back on board our No. 43 Chevrolet for the Food City Dirt Race is a proud moment for our Petty GMS team,” Jones said. “We had a strong run, finishing ninth, last season in our Tide Camaro and hopefully we can improve even more on that effort next month. Food City and Tide have a storied history in our sport, and I’m glad to continue being a part of the next chapter.”

Like Dillon, Jones has also never raced on Easter Sunday, but believes it could become a tradition in the years to come.

“The NFL, NBA — they all play on holidays,” he said. “Christmas, Thanksgiving and you’re always tuned into those games, so hopefully it does kind of the same thing for us.”

Fans can celebrate the partnership by participating in the Ultimate Dirt Race Sweepstakes for the chance to win a $1,500 Visa gift card or other prizes. The Food City Dirt Race at BMS will be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.