Grammy Award-winning worship leader Chris Tomlin and best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado will headline a live Easter celebration service prior to the start of the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 17. Special guest Gary LeVox, most well-known and beloved as the lead singer of Rascal Flatts, also will perform during the much-anticipated event that was announced today by BMS officials.
The Easter celebration will begin at 4 p.m. (ET) on a stage in the BMS fan midway area outside the stadium near the E Parking lot between the Green and Orange bridges. Lucado will provide the main message during the service, Tomlin will sing several of his most acclaimed songs and a variety of speakers from the NASCAR industry will make appearances, highlighted by team owner Joe Gibbs and the Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) chaplain. Meanwhile, LeVox, who is now pursuing a solo career, will perform during the Easter celebration and also sing the National Anthem during pre-race ceremonies for the Food City Dirt Race.
The Easter celebration precedes the start of the Food City Dirt Race NASCAR Cup Series race, which will take the green flag at 7 p.m. (ET) and air nationally on FOX (NASCAR RaceDay at 6 p.m. ET on FOX/5:30 p.m. ET on FS1). Food City is celebrating its 30th anniversary as sponsor of the BMS spring Cup race.
“We are honored to provide an amazing late Sunday afternoon Easter service highlighted with appearances by Chris Tomlin, Max Lucado and Gary LeVox,” said Jerry Caldwell, president of Bristol Motor Speedway. “Hosting the Food City Dirt Race under the lights that night gives us and our partners the opportunity to recognize the importance of the day, while complementing our tremendous on-track action. Our community is a faithful one and we can’t think of a better place for this mega-celebration to culminate than right here at Bristol Motor Speedway, the ‘Home to Big Events.’”
It is estimated that 20 to 30-million people across the world sing one of Tomlin’s songs every week in church services in nearly every language. The Texas native now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is considered to be one of the most successful Christian touring artists today, having sold out venues everywhere including New York City’s Madison Square Garden and Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Tomlin has over 4.5 billion global streams and has earned a Grammy, for one of his most esteemed songs, “How Great Is Our God.”
“For me, Easter is a reminder of the hope we have in Jesus and to be able to celebrate that hope together with thousands of NASCAR guests this year is a dream come true,” Tomlin said. “I am so grateful to everyone at Bristol Motor Speedway for inviting me to join them for this historic event.”
Lucado is a pastor, speaker and best-selling author who has more than 145 million products in print. A minister for more than 40 years, he was named “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today and was also called “The Best Preacher in America” by Reader’s Digest. He currently serves at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.
“One of my favorite days of the year to speak has always been Easter,” Lucado said. “Having this amazing opportunity to share God’s word with the NASCAR guests gathered at Bristol Motor Speedway through a special Easter celebration event is an honor. I would like to encourage all prayer warriors out there to say a prayer for all who will hear the Easter story during this gathering.”
After 20 years as front man to one of the most influential groups in music, Rascal Flatts’ LeVox is embarking on a solo career that combines his love of music and strong Christian faith. The Ohio native’s debut single “the Distance” is one of five songs on LeVox’s debut Christian collection, ONE ON ONE, out now via Big Machine Records.
“I’m more than excited and honored to sing our beloved national anthem at Bristol Motor Speedway on Easter,” LeVox said. “I can’t wait to see everyone there!”
In addition to Gibbs and MRO’s Billy Mauldin, several other special guests from the NASCAR industry also will be featured during the special Easter celebration, with additional inspirational messages, music and videos planned to take place during the 90-minute celebration.
“Easter has always been a special time for our NASCAR community,” said Mauldin, president and senior chaplain, MRO. “This year, gathering together at Bristol, to worship and celebrate with Chris Tomlin, Max Lucado and all the NASCAR fans, has everyone looking forward to the day. It’s Bristol, and Easter, Baby!”
On Sunday evening the NASCAR Cup Series will return to its roots with the Food City Dirt Race. The green flag is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) (FOX, PRN Radio, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).
The weekend starts on Good Friday with Bush’s Beans Practice Day that will have both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series machines on track for two 50-minute practice sessions during the afternoon.
On Saturday, Bush’s Beans Qualifying will be held for both Cup and Truck competitors with each series participating in four blind-draw 15-lap qualifying heat races to set the fields for the main races. The Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt will follow Bush’s Beans Qualifying with an 8 p.m. (ET) start (FS1, MRN Radio, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).
— Bristol Motor Speedway —