The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and the Knoxville Raceway are working more closely this year to prepare local businesses and the town for the annual influx of visitors during Nationals.

During the monthly Lunch and Learn session on Tuesday, Chamber Executive Director Hannah Vander Veer and Kendra Jacobs from the Raceway offered tips to businesses on how to position themselves to attract race fans during this week; they say the optimal time will be during the day, especially on Saturday, when visitors don’t have races to see and are looking for something to do.

Vander Veer tells KNIA/KRLS News one change for this coming year is for the downtown parade on Saturday, which is being moved to accommodate drivers.

“This year with the parade, we’re actually pushing it back an hour; so it will be at 11:00 a.m. this year instead of 10:00 a.m. And then we’re also hopefully closing off the immediate square for optimal viewing,” Vander Veer says.

“We’re working on some permitting, we’re working with the city with that; but once that is all finalized we’ll be sure to make some official announcements.”

They are also encouraging businesses to do whatever they can to make sprint car fans interested in coming in and buying from them. Jacobs says this is the one place these fans go every year which is totally about them and their sport, and doing everything from putting up racing decorations to selling race-themed items will spark their interest.