RELATED: NASCAR announces 2015 schedule for national series
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Bristol Motor Speedway's spring race weekend will move some two weeks or later into the season beginning next year, according to NASCAR's Brett Jewkes.
Jewkes, Vice President, Chief Communications Officer for NASCAR, announced that next year's spring race weekend at BMS would be held April 17-19, ending nearly a decade-long run of mid-March dates.
"NASCAR is not going to confirm anything until Tuesday, but we will confirm one thing to whet your appetite," he said in announcing the date change.
For the past nine seasons, Bristol's spring date has fallen in March. Weather conditions have varied, occasionally warm and spring-like but more often cold and on at least one occasion, snowfall.
"We have the most passionate race fans in all of the sport and the greatest partners," BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell said. "It wouldn't be possible without the race fans, they repeatedly asked that we move to a more traditional spring date."
Race sponsor Food City signed a five-year extension earlier this year to remain title sponsor of the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race, said "we do this because we believe in the fans.
"That's the business we're in ... we like when folks come visit the Tri-Cities," Smith said. "It's been a little tough the last few years with some of the inconsistent weather we've had. When we get to mid April timeframe, we know that there's a lot better chance we'll get to be better hosts and more hospitable ... and bring more people to the Food City 500. I compliment NASCAR and (SMI founder) Bruton (Smith) for working so hard on this."
The average temperature in the Tri-Cities region for April 19 is 69 degrees according to U.S. Climate Data and Accuweather.com.
There was no Sprint Cup race on the weekend of April 19th this season as it was the Easter holiday. Easter will fall on April 5 in 2015.
Bristol Motor Speedway hosts two NASCAR weekends annually -- in addition to the spring races, the track's annual August night races are among the most anticipated of the season.
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