2020 NASCAR All-Star Moving to Bristol
(BRISTOL, TN - JUN 15, 2020 - RIS) For the first time since its 1986 running at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the 2020 NASCAR All-Star race will not be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This year, the July 15 Wednesday evening event will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway, with the stands open to 30,000 fans.
In. making the announcement, Speedway Motorsports Inc. president Marcus Smith stated that fans who have already purchased tickets for the Charlotte event can either swap their tickets for the Bristol event or get a refund.
The 1986 edition from Atlanta saw local favorite Bill Elliott dominate the event, leading all but one lap of the 83 rounds, with Dale Earnhardt Sr finishing second after leading a lap when Elliott pitted for left-side tires.
"Fans are key, that's what drives our sport," said Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR. "I think everybody's excited. As Marcus said, it came up fairly quick - it's one of those curveballs, but I think in a good way. With every challenge comes some opportunities.
"I think all the teams recognize that this is an opportunity for us to showcase our sport, to do something we've always talked about and let's take a chance and see how it works...."
It's real impressive to see the problem solving that's gone into this," said Marcus Smith. "We love the history of the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but given the opportunity to be able to host the event at Bristol ... it gives fans the opportunity to go and enjoy an sporting event that they haven't been able to do in quite some time. We think this is good for NASCAR, it's good for NASCAR fans, and we feel like that's the best way for us to serve the community."
Smith added that the entire Covid-19 situation has helped the sport "be a little more quick to consider options.
"New is a fun thing in our sport," Smith added later.
"I called Steve O'Donnell and he did all the hard work and I appreciate that. He made it look easy."
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.