After the success of last spring’s huge NFL Draft that brought hundreds of thousands of football fans to downtown Nashville, NASCAR has decided to get into the game by bringing their annual Champion’s Week celebration to Music City December 3-5. After ten years in Vegas and decades of history visiting the Big Apple before that, the racing organization has chosen Nashville as the next site for their biggest celebration of the year. They’ll officially crown the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion at a gala awards ceremony at the Music CIty Center on Thursday night, December 5, but that’s just part of the festivities that will be taking place downtown over the course of the three-day celebration.
Champion’s Week waves the green flag in a uniquely Nashville way Wednesday night with NASCAR Night at the Opry in the venerable Ryman Auditorium. Rascal Flatts will headline a bill of country music performers which will also feature appearances by some of the winningest drivers of the year. Throughout the three days of activities, various drivers and other NASCAR personalities will hold autograph sessions to offer the chance for their fans to interact with the stars. These signing events will take place at the NASCAR Fan Fest which will be set up at the base of Broadway next to the Cumberland River.
In an event that will turn up the volume on the already raucous Lower Broad strip, all sixteen of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff drivers will participate in what organizers are calling Burnouts on Broadway. The drivers will jump in their cars and lay some rubber on the streets of downtown while putting off billowing clouds of smoke from their shredding tires in the traditional celebration ritual of NASCAR race winners. The tires will squeal beginning at 6:00 Wednesday night, December 4 and continue until they’re running on their rims.
The Playoff Series drivers’ cars will also be on display throughout the week at Fan Fest offering the opportunity for racing aficionados to get up and personal with the powerful machines and experience all sorts of multimedia exhibits and what they are calling “amplified social media engagement.” That means you can take a selfie in front of Martin Truex’s Toyota and share it with all your jealous friends!
Fans will get to see their favorite drivers dressed to the nines as they walk the red carpet before the big awards ceremony on Thursday night. As Ricky Bobby demonstrated in “Talladega Nights,” drivers usually have some “smokin’ hot wives,” so there will be plenty of eye candy for both makle and female fans. NBC Sports Network will televise the gala awards ceremony, but fans can watch them live and in person by purchasing a NASCAR Champion’s Week Fan Package for $450 or an upgraded VIP experience for a hundred bucks more.
In addition to honoring the 16 playoff finalists and crowning the 2019 champion, the awards ceremony will also reveal the winner of the coveted Most Popular Driver award voted on by the fans of the sport. Chase Elliott won the award last year after almost three decades of the category being dominated by popular drivers Bill Elliott (Chase’s dad) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Voting on the NASCAR website will remain open until December 4, so you can still help to choose this year’s winner.
One thing is for certain, it’s gonna be fast and loud on Lower Broad come this December. (Actually, that’s true most nights…)