Schmidts headed to Bristol Motor Speedway

Jay and Michelle Schmidt of Tama stand next to their 19J stock car out front of the Schmidt family business, J&V NAPA Auto, in Tama. The Schmidts will take off for Bristol, Tennessee to participate in the Bristol Dirt Nationals from March 15-20. Jay Schmidt has been racing stock cars since 1997 and can be found most weekends during the warmer months racing with his 19J Schmidt Racing team at dirt tracks around central and eastern Iowa. Darvin Graham/News Chronicle

Racing season will kick off in a big way for the Schmidts this year as they plan to travel to Bristol Motor Speedway in northeast Tennessee to participate in a week-long extravaganza the famed NASCAR venue is hosting for their 60th anniversary.

The high-bank track will be converted from concrete to dirt to allow for eight different dirt racing classes and race sanctioning organizations to come together and compete under one roof. The 2021 event is only the third time the Bristol track has ever been converted to allow for dirt racing.

The Schmidt team recently announced NASCAR driver Austin Dillon will race Schmidt’s stock car at one of the upcoming races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Shortly after the 19J Racing team returns from Bristol, they’ll look to get regional racing started with a string of season opener races at Marshalltown Speedway, the Benton County Speedway, Boone Speedway, Independence Motor Speedway and Stuart Speedway from March 31 to April 3.

Last season Schmidt notched a pair of first place finishes at Boone Speedway to go along with top five finishes in Marshalltown and Vinton.