BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) The countdown is underway to the biggest sports surprise in recent memory.
City mayors joined track management at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce to unveil the All-Star Race Countdown Clock, Wednesday afternoon.
BMS joins Atlanta Motor Speedway as the only other facility, other than Charlotte’s, to host the All-Star event.
Sullivan County officials have allowed up to 30,000 fans to be in the stands. While fans begin buying race tickets, business owners and city leaders are pumped for the flock of people expected to come and bring revenue to the city.
It is an historic opportunity for both Bristols.
“Three races in one year is big. Three races in a pandemic year is making even more history,” City of Bristol, Tennessee Mayor Margaret Feierabend said.
“It will be a tax generator for both of our cities,” City of Bristol, Virginia Mayor Neal Osborne said. “I’m just excited that it’s happening and it’s a big day for us.”
The last time the NASCAR All-Star race was held outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway was in 1986.
With the pandemic going on, city leaders have faith in how business owners will host visitors.
“We anticipate during the time of the race that that’s also critically important that we welcome people with hospitality, and some of that hospitality is doing some of the protocols to keep them safe,” Mayor Feierabend said.
“I know people are excited to have people coming back into town. This won’t be as big a town as some previous years. I know that hotel owners are excited to have some people coming in,” Mayor Osborne said.
AirBnB owner, Karen Hester, is thrilled to have the All-Star race come to BMS. She has implemented precautionary health measures to help keep her guests safe.
“We have everything stocked and ready. We’ve been opened up for a couple of weeks, since COVID. We’re following all of the precautionary guidelines and sanitizing measures. We have wipes in all the lofts. Disinfecting wipes and Lysol sprays,” AirBnB owner, Karen Hester said.
Restaurant hot-spots like, Quaker Steak and Lube will ensure a full staff brings the utmost service for the NASCAR fanatics.
“It’s high energy, you know, you get a lot of people that get really motivated about the race going on and they’re screaming to the TV but it’s a lot of fun. We all enjoy having all the race fans in here,” Quaker Steak and Lube bartender and server, Meta Grayson said.