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THE RACE: Food City 500

Winston Cup Race #6 of 36 for the 2002 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, March 24, 2002 in Bristol, TN

  • TV: Fox - 1:00pm/et

  • Race re-air: Speed Channel on Wednesday, March 27th, 8:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: 12:30pm/et, with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • NASCAR on TV

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes and ?

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Posted Awards/Purse: $4,032,688 (was $3,591,445 in 2001)

  • Entry List:

  • 2001 Race Winner: Elliott Sadler, 86.949mph, started 38th

  • Track Race Record 1st Race: Cale Yarborough, Apr 1977, 100.989

  • Track Race Record 2nd Race: Charlie Glotzbach, July 1971, 101.074

  • Track/Race Length: 0.533-mile concrete oval, 500 laps, 266.5 miles

  • Pit Road Speed: 35mph


  • Practice: Friday, Mar 22nd, 11:20am -1:20pm/et; and Saturday, Mar 23rd, 9:30 - 10:15am/et.

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, Mar 23rd, 11:15 - 12:00noon/et on TV-FX tape delayed at 3:00pm/et after the BGN race.


  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, March 22nd, 10:20am/et

  • Qualfying Order: Food City 500 at and/or

  • First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, March 22nd at 3:05pm/et, TV-FSN 3:00pm/et and live via PRN Radio(link below) and via's Racecast (paid).

  • NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is now a paid subscription service).

  • Second-Round Qualifying: there is no longer a 2nd round of qualifying (since the 2001 season)

  • Track/Event Qualifying Record: Steve Park, March 2000, 126.370mph

  • March 2001 Pole Sitter: #6-Mark Martin, 126.303, finished 34th.

  • Track Specs: Bristol Motor Speedway
    0.533-mile concrete oval
    Degree of banking in corners: 36 degrees
    Degree of banking in straights: 16 degrees
    Straightaways are 650 feet long.
    Concrete racing surface is 40 feet wide.
    Seating capacity: ~147,000
    Bristol has two pits roads: 21 pit stalls on the front stretch and 21 on the back stretch(1 must be shared)

  • Track Homepage: Bristol Motor Speedway

    PAST RACE WINNERS of All past races at Bristol

  • All Time Bristol Winners and Pole Sitters (BMS Site)


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires Required: Left/Right
    Winston Cup: 1,000/1,020
    Busch Series: 470/470

    Tire Numbers:
    Left: D-6340
    Right: D-6342

    Tire Circumference:
    Left: 87.3 in.
    Right: 88.6 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front - 26 psi Right Front - 40 psi
    Left Rear - 26 psi Right Rear - 38 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front - 20 psi Right Front - 36 psi
    Left Rear - 20 psi Right Rear - 33 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 150-165 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Goodyear brought to Bristol twice in 2001 . . . both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series will compete on the same tires this weekend . . . other NASCAR tracks where teams will compete on this same combination this season are Darlington, Las Vegas and Rockingham, meaning that Winston Cup teams are wrapping up a stretch where they have run on these tires four times over the past five weeks . . . Bristol is unique in that it is the only major NASCAR track less one mile in length where inner liners are required . . . teams will run this tubeless safety spare in only the right-side tires at Bristol, as compared to in all four tire positions on the speedways . . . inner liner inflation should be 12-25 psi higher than that of the outer tire.

    Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Tire Development: "This set-up was introduced last year, and teams had minimal tire wear and minimal give-up over the course of a fuel run. Because of that, teams can now utilize a number of different pit strategies, including two-tire and even no-tire stops at Bristol. In fact, Elliot Sadler won last year's spring event here by electing to stay out and not take tires during the final round of pit stops. He completed the final 162 laps on the same set of tires and was able to hold off drivers that pitted for fresh tires. Really, that changed how teams raced at Bristol last fall and into this year."


  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $10,000 at Bristol for leading the points and winning the race (Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if he is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finisher in the point standings(3-17-2002)


Radio Coverage:
Performance Racing Network(PRN)
including Internet coverage (NOTE: now a paid subsription thru
Airtime: 12:30pm/et
Announcers: Doug Rice and Mark Garrow
Turn Reporters: Chuck Carland
Pit Reporters: Brett McMillan, Steve Richards and Pat Patterson

Satellite/Backhaul Listing's:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations

Scanner Frequencies:
are linked on my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page
(NOTE: these pages are NOT maintained by Jayski and are NOT on the site).

Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Bristol, TN Area:
Bristol Herald Courier
Greenville Sun
Kingsport Times-News
Knoxville News
The Tennessean

Weather Forecast:
Weather forecast for Bristol, TN by The Weather Channel
Weather Underground - Bristol, TN
Weather Point - Bristol, TN
The Weather Pit

Track/Travel/Camping Info for the Fans:
ARS Racing - Bristol Track Review
Bristol Chamber of Commerce
RaceDiva Track Reviews
Red Barn Campground

Driver Appearances:
any I know of are listed on my Driver Appearances/Chats page with info and links

TV Coverage/Info/News Pages:
Race Fan TV



  • Provisonals Rules changed a bit: NASCAR Officials announced this week that teams in the Cup and BGN will not be charged for using a provisional starting position if the entry field for an event is equal to or less than the number of starting positions provided by the official entry blank.[such as 43 at a Cup race]. A team is granted a maximum season allotment of eight provisionals [charged provisional, if not in the top 25 in Owners Points] and under this amendment, provisionals assigned to fill starting positions 37-43 will not count against this allotment. Prior to this amendment, teams were charged for a provisional regardless of the number of entries at an event.( For more info on provisionals, see my Provisionals Status page.(3-21-2002)

  • More Pit Road stuff at Bristol: No construction was done at Bristol Motor Speedway to make the stalls more than 2 feet wider and to increase the number of stalls from 41 to 43. NASCAR officials asked the speedway to make the changes but didn't require any construction work. The stall lines are being repainted farther out on pit road to give the teams the needed room and to make the boxes 16 feet by 26 feet. NASCAR officials traveled to the track earlier this season to study pit road and see what changes could be made. Bristol is the only track that still has two separate pit roads, one on the frontstretch and one on the backstretch. The sanctioning body has changed the yellow-flag rules for pit stopts in an effort to make the two pit roads equal.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-19-2002)

  • Bristol Facts: There have been five different Bud Pole winners in the last five NASCAR Winston Cup races at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, in the 14 races at Bristol since 1995, two drivers have won 10 Bud Poles: Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace (five each). The furthest back in the field that a race winner has started was 38th by Elliott Sadler in the 2001 Food City 500. Rusty Wallace leads all other active drivers at Bristol with nine victories.. He is the most recent driver to win both Bristol races in the same year (2000). In the 41 years of twice-yearly NASCAR Winston Cup racing at Bristol (1961 to 2001), a sweep of both races in the same year has occurred 13 times. Kevin Harvick finished 24th in his first NASCAR Winston Cup race at Bristol, the 2001 Food City 500, but led 137 of the 500 laps raced. Harvick finished second in his return to Thunder Valley for the Sharpie 500 but did not lead a lap.(NASCAR PR)(3-19-2002)

  • New Pit Road Rules: NASCAR will change its policies for speeding violations on pit road following confusion over an infraction for which eventual race-winner Sterling Marlin was never penalized a week ago at Las Vegas. NASCAR president Mike Helton announced the changes Sunday morning at the drivers’ meeting prior to the MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The new rules go into effect next weekend at Darlington Raceway. The key change is that, under green-flag conditions, the penalty for speeding on the way onto pit road will now be the same as the penalty for speeding off the pit lane. The new penalty will be what NASCAR is calling a “pass through,” meaning the offending car will have to come off the track and travel the length of pit road at its speed limit without stopping. Under the old rule, a car speeding on the way onto pit road during a green-flag stop was held for 15 seconds in its pit stall. A car speeding off pit road was brought back to its pit box for a stop-and-go penalty. During last week’s UAW 400 at Las Vegas, NASCAR officials said Marlin was speeding as he came to his pit stall after being spun out in Turn 4. NASCAR’s race control officials called for the 15-second penalty, but that message was not heard by the official working in Marlin’s pit stall. Marlin left without serving a penalty and NASCAR decided not to enforce any further sanction, saying that bringing Marlin back to pit road would be too severe of a penalty. Since the usual penalty for speeding on the exit to pit lane was to bring a car back in for a stop-and-go, that raised the question of why the sanction for speeding on the way out should be more severe for speeding on the way in. The rule change announced Sunday addresses that issue. Helton admitted Sunday that not giving Marlin a penalty last week might not have been the right decision. Helton said the change was made to avoid the kind of confusion and miscommunication that happened at Las Vegas. Under the rule that goes into effect next week, a driver speeding on the way in and on the way out on the same pit stop will be brought back in for a stop-and-go penalty. A driver who exceeds the pit road speed limit as he serves the “pass through” penalty for speeding will also get a stop-and-go. The penalty for speeding in or out of a pit stop made under yellow-flag conditions will not change - the offending car will be sent to the end of the longest line of traffic for the restart.()(3-10-2002)
    UPDATE: plus a nice breakdown at RacingOne:
    The New Pit Road Rules

    Speeding Entering Pit Road
    Current Penalty: 15 seconds
    New Penalty: Pass through at correct pit road speed.

    Speeding Exiting Pit Road
    Current Penalty: Stop and Go
    New Penalty: Pass through at correct pit road speed

    Entering and Exiting Pit Road
    Current Penalty: 15 seconds after stop; brought back for stop and go
    New Penalty: Stop and Go

    Speeding on Pass Through
    New Penalty: Stop and Go
    Multiple Violations: NASCAR’s Discretion.(RacingOne)(3-11-2002)

  • One Engine Rule for 2002 UPDATE 3: starting in the 2002 season, Cup teams must use the same engine to qualify and race, NASCAR announced Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. In the event the engine used to qualify the car does not start the race, then at the desretion of the Winston Cup Series director, the starting position will be relinquished and the car will drop to the rear of the field prior to the start of the race. According to NASCAR, certain events during the 2002 season may require ammendments to this rule, such as the Gatorade Twin 125-mile qualifying races and the Coca-Cola 600, due its length.(
    UPDATE: NASCAR has decided to allow teams to change engines following qualifying Feb. 9 for the Daytona 500. Beginning this season, teams are required to use the same engine for qualifying and the race. The move for Daytona was made because of the 125-mile qualifying races held prior to the race.(That's Racin')(1-8-2002)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR's one-engine rule makes its debut this weekend [at Rockingham]. Teams must use the same engine to qualify, practice and race. If a team must replace an engine before the race, its driver is dropped to the back of the field at the start.(Sporting News)(2-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3: The single-engine rule requires Cup teams to use the same engine in practice, qualifying and the race itself on a given weekend. Any team suffering an engine failure AFTER qualifying will be forced to go to the back of the field for the start of the race.()(2-22-2002)
    BEEN ASKED: can a team change an engine prior to qualifying or during the first practice on Friday? Have seen conflicting columns on what the rule really says - some say the rule takes effect AFTER qualifying and some say one engine for ALL practices, qualifying and the race. So not sure what happens if a team loses an engine in the early practice, sure we will find out soon enough.(2-22-2002)
    AND about changing parts...NASCAR’s rule doesn’t prohibit teams from replacing parts on the engine, such as valve springs, intake manifolds, lifters, rocker arms, cam shafts, etc. Heads nor the engine block CANNOT be changed.(2-24-2002)

  • Spoilers - not at Daytona: the spoliers on the Winston Cup cars are as follows:
    Chevy: 6 1/4" height, 55" wide
    Dodge: 6 1/4" height, 55" wide
    Ford: 6 1/4" height, 55" wide
    Pontiac: 6 7/8" height, 57" wide
    not sure of the angle.(2-22-2002)

  • That's Racin': Food City 500 Race Info/Random Thoughts

  • CNN/SI: Thunder Valley - Wallace returns to conquer the concrete at Bristol

  • FoxSports: Totally NASCAR's Food City 500 preview

  • Frontstretch: Raceday Today - Food City 500

  • Food City 500 Preview

  • Crew Chief Club


news and links

  • Bristol Pit Road: drivers/teams did not have the choice of pit stalls at Bristol. They were assigned by the qualifying results. Some teams that qualified in the 15-22 area wanted pit on the back pit road, closer to the front but were told the stall were assigned by qualifying results. So #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr who qualified 23rd, got the first pit al on the backstretch pits.(FSN Totally NASCAR).(3-26-2002)

  • Kurt Busch wins The Food City 500 at Bristol: #97-Kurt Busch won his first ever Cup race in his 48th career start. It puts Busch into the 2002 The Winston. It is the 4th ever win for a car #97 and the first time the car #97 has won since Parnelli Jones won using the number at Los Angeles on May 30, 1959. Busch also won from a back stretch pit stall. #41-Jimmy Spencer ended up 2nd and #28-Ricky Rudd was 3rd. #31-Gordon gave #8-Earnhardt Jr a nudge on Pit Road (expect a fine for that - remember Stewart last year). Gordon, Earnhardt Jr and their crew chief's and owners have been called to the NASCAR trailer to discuss the situation.
    The top ten finishers were:
    1)  #97-Busch (89 laps led)
    2)  #41-Spencer (54 laps led)
    3)  #28-Rudd
    4)  #8-Earnhardt Jr (laps led 181)
    5)  #18-Labonte
    6)  #17-Kenseth
    7)  #48-Johnson
    8)  #25-Nadeau
    9)  #2-Wallace
    10) #29-Harvick
    #20-Tony Stewart with Todd Bodine subbing ended up 15th.
    2001 Cup Champ - #24-Gordon ended 31st, 20 laps down.
    2002 Points Leaders - #40-Marlin ended up 19th, 1 lap down.
    Cars on the lead lap: 18 of 43
    Cautions: 14 for 101 laps
    DNF's (out of the race): #26-Nemechek (accident); #71-Trickle(?); #21-Sadler(accident); #10-Benson(?).
    Lap Leaders: #24-Gordon; #41-Spencer; #8-Earnhardt Jr; #99-Burton; #20-Stewart; #97-Busch.
    Caution 1 - didn't take long, lap 4, #-1Park, tapped #44-Jones who spun out.
    Caution 2 - lap 42, #14-Compton got spun out by #12-Ryan Newman and hit the inside retaining wall.
    Caution 3 - lap 52, #43-Andretti spun out by #29-Harvick and went into the wall, but was able to drive it around and stay on the lead lap.
    Caution 4 - lap 82, #1-Park, passed #55-Hamilton too low and lost the car and spun it around, no damage to the car.
    Caution 5 - lap 112, #02-Sadler, got spun by #55-Hamilton, but didn't hit anything until #88-Jarrett tried to go high to pass by Sadler and had no room, tapping Sadler in the left rear quater panel.
    Caution 6 - lap 132, #10-Benson was tapped by #40-Marlin, Benson spun out and backed into the outside wall.
    Caution 7 - lap 158, #24-Gordon went too low on the track and spun out, backing into the outside wall, quite a bit of damage, but should still be able to stay out on the track after repairs are done.
    Caution 8 - lap 165, just after the green flag flew, #23-Stricklin and #26-Nemechek got together. The #26 Ford is damgaged quite a bit.
    Caution 9 - lap 209, #20 Stewart tapped #12-Newman when Newman got loose. #90-Mast and #30-Green also spun out and got together behind the wreck. Newman's car is extensively damage. The #24-Gordon car is back in the garage getting repaired.
    Caution 10 - lap 282, the #99-Burton car got into the #12-Newman car (just after he returned back to the track after repairs), #88-Jarrett tried to stop but could not and bumped the #12.
    Caution 11 - lap 242, #21-Sadler was tapped by #45-Petty and spun into the inside back stretch wall, and while #31-Gordon was checking up, #1-Park hit and spun Gordon.
    Caution 12 - lap 365, #20-Stewart lost it and spun a bit, after that, Todd Bodine replaced Stewart in the car and stayed on the lead lap.
    Caution 13 - lap 406, #1-Park spun by himself, #14-Compton spun slowing down, neither made contact. Leader #8-Earnhardt Jr came in to pit, the 2nd place car #97-Busch and #41-Spencer (3rd) stayed out.
    Caution 14 - lap 476, #02-Sadler cut a tire and hit the wall, he drove away. #97-Busch let #20-Bodine get his lap back.

    NOTES: On the start of the race, #31-Robby Gordon jumped the green flag start and was penalized a drive thru pit road. #15-Waltrip hit the wall with the side of his car, still out there running. #4-Skinner penalized for speeding on pit road. #24-Gordon was told after his accident to pick up the pace as he was running too slow. Todd Bodine is standing by to sub for Tony Stewart in the #20 Home Depot Pontiac.
    See for Sunday's Food City 500 results and for Updated Winston Cup points standings and for two columns: Sunday's Race Rewind - Plenty of trouble to go around and Busch's win unforgettable, Spencer says.(3-24-2002)

  • No Stand-by for Stewart UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart doesn't plan to have a driver standing by in his pits today. Stewart, sore from last week's crash at Darlington Raceway, underwent physical therapy at the Motor Racing Outreach trailer yesterday after the final practice yesterday.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-24-2002)
    UPDATE: Todd Bodine was standing by for Stewart and ran the car the last 130+ laps after Stewart spun and was not feeling good. Bodine finished the car on the lead lap in 15th, allowing Stewart to stay in the 12th place Drivers points standings.(3-24-2002)

  • Food City 500 Lineup

  • Happy Hour Practice is over at Bristol for the Food City 500 (will be televised on FX at approx 3:00pm/et, after the BGN race). Fastest were #25-Jerry Nadeau at 122.521 and #20-Tony Stewart at 121.597. Slowest were #02-Hermie Sadler at 119.753 and #71-Dick Trickle at 119.232. See for Saturday's 'Happy Hour' practice speeds.(3-23-2002)

  • AM Practice at Bristol had #30-Jeff Green being the fastest at 123.039mph and #25-Jerry Nadeau 2nd fastest at 122.819. Slowest were #02-Hermie Sadler at 119.693 and #71-Dick Trickle at 118.518. See for the Speeds from Saturday's first Cup practice.(3-23-2002)

  • Qualifying is over Bristol for the Food City 500. #24-Jeff Gordon wins the Bud Pole with a speed of 127.216mph, wasting the old track record of 126.300 held by Steve Park and set in March 2000. It was Jeff Gordon's first ever pole at Bristol and 40th career pole. #31-Robby Gordon (no relation) was 2nd with a speed 126.478, four drivers broke the track record. The top 5 starters are:
    1)  #24-Jeff Gordon, 127.216 New Track Record
    2)  #31-Robby Gordon, 126.478 New Track Record
    3)  #19-Jeremy Mayfield 126.461 New Track Record - tied with Spencer, higher in Owner Points, he gets it
    4)  #41-Jimmy Spencer 126.461 New Track Record
    5)  #4-Mike Skinner 126.237
    Provisional Land (no charged):
    37th) #6-Martin, 123.762, 9th in owners points
    38th) #5-Labonte, 122.232, 20th
    39th) #26-Nemechek 109.178, 30th
    40th) #23-Stricklin 121.659, 39th
    41st) #90-Mast, 122.874, 41st
    42nd) #71-Trickle, 122.544, 46th
    43rd) #02-Sadler, 122.022, 53rd
    #5-Labonte and #90-Mast have used four provisonals, none charged this week die to the new rule if there are 43 or less drivers/teams entered. Nemechek had some problems on his lap, spun a bit, didn't not hit anything, but the lap counted. #99-Burton had some suspension problems and went out later then his scheduled spot of 31st. Six drivers/teams tied for spots, tie goes to the team higest in OWNERS POINTS, see my Provisional Page for info.
    For qualifying results/starting lineup, see or or MotorsportOne. See for a column: Jeff Gordon edges Robby for pole.(3-22-2002)

  • Pole Progression at Bristol, a long list:
    #5-Labonte, 1st out to qualify,122.232, starts 38th provisional
    #90-Mast, 2nd out, 122.623, starts 41st provisional
    #44-Jones, 3rd out, 123.786, starts 36th
    #9-Elliott, 4th out, 124.267, starts 30th
    #55-Hamilton, 5th out, 125.740, starts 12th
    #21-Sadler, 11th out, 125.798, starts 10th
    #41-Spencer, 14th out, 126.461 New Track Record, starts 4th
    #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 15th out, 126.461 New Track Record - tied with Spencer, higher in Owner Points, he gets it, starts 3rd
    #31-Robby Gordon, 18th out, 126.478 New Track Record, starts 2nd
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 42nd out, 127.216 New Track Record, will start on the pole

  • Friday practice is over at Bristol. #24-Jeff Gordon was the fastest with a speed of 126.863mph (track record is 126.370mph set by Steve Park in March 2000), 2nd fastest was #25-Jerry Nadeau at 126.470 and 3rd was #4-Mike Skinner at 126.162. Slowest were #23-Hut Stricklin at 122.827 and #02-Hermie Sadler at 122.795. #48-Jimmie Johnson wrecked his primary car during practice, but is unhurt, and will have to go to a backup car for the rest of the weekend. See for Speeds from Friday's Winston Cup practice.(3-22-2002)

  • Qualifying Order is up for Bristol. See above for the links. 43 cars on the list, first scheduled out is #5-Terry Labonte, last scheduled out is #24-Jeff Gordon.(3-22-2002)

  • Bristol has full field: has the entry list up for the Food City 500 at Bristol and 43 drivers/teams are entered, including the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy - no driver listed (but am hearing it'll be Dick Trickle), and the #02 Autism Awareness Car driven by Hermie Sadler. No #49-Shawna Robinson (not on BAM Racing sched either) or #85-Carl Long listed. See links above.(3-18-2002)

  • How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers). For provisionals standings see the Jayski's Provisional Status page

  • an interesting point: When NASCAR officials decided to disallow Jerry Nadeau's qualifying time at Daytona in Feb 2001, it raised an interesting question. With the Winston Cup series having only one round of qualifying the rest of the season, what happens if an unapproved part is found? According to NASCAR, drivers no longer have to post an official qualifying time to use a provisional, they only have to practice. So a driver could have a penalty on a qualifying issue but still have access to one of the seven provisionals for the race(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-11-2001)

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites: NASCAR Online


  • Dragster at start/finish line: Doug Kalitta, who won the top fuel class in the NHRA Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway last year, will have his top fuel dragster on display at the start-finish line at today's Food City 500. "What we're trying to do is bring a little more awareness to the Winston Cup fans that we've got a race coming up next month," Kalitta said. "We'll start our car so the fans can hear what it sounds like, and we're just out here trying to promote the Mac Tools brand."(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-24-2002)

  • Bristol and Lots of Rain UPDATE 2: More than two inches of rain fell on the Mountain Empire in 24 hours this weekend, causing slight flooding in some areas. Several race fans who arrived early to camp out the week before Sunday's Food City 500 were forced to seek higher ground Sunday, when, by 7:00pm/et, 2.6 inches of rain had fallen since the night before. "Everybody has gotten out of the water," said Bristol Motor Speedway spokesman Ben Trout. "We have operations personnel on site. They're monitoring the rainfall and water level." Trout said the rain forecast over the next three days should not hamper the weekend's race activities. "We're not quite sure how it will affect us, if it will affect us at all," he said. "We may have to pack a few more hours of work into a given day, but we think everything will be just fine. It won't affect race weekend activity at all." Forecasters have predicted rain through Wednesday morning. A system that moved through the area Sunday brought 24-hour rainfall totals to more than 2 inches in most areas by 7 p.m.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-18-2002)
    UPDATE: an column today at the Herald Courier - Deluge of rain, flooding has not dampened the spirits of race fans.(3-19-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The flooding that affected the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region on Sunday and Monday will not impact Bristol's race weekend schedule. Although several satellite campgrounds around Bristol Motor Speedway experienced flooding, high water on Speedway property was minimal. The high water receded prior to dawn on Tuesday and BMS operations personnel have the facility race ready. "I can't say enough about our operations team here at BMS," said Jeff Byrd, BMS general manager. "Once the water went down, they went to work and Bristol Motor Speedway is ready to welcome the thousands of race fans for what we know is going to be an excellent weekend of racing."(BMS PR)(3-20-2002)

  • non survivor to wave flag: "Survivor: Africa" hero "Big Tom" Buchanan, of Rich Valley, VA., was part of the third installment of the "Survivor" series and made the elite "final four" before falling short of the million dollar grand prize. Despite not winning in "Survivor," the goat and cattle farmer earned the respect and admiration of TV viewers across the nation, and it is for that reason Food City officials say they chose him to be the honorary starter for this year's NASCAR Winston Cup spring race [Food City 500] at Bristol Motor Speedway. Buchanan will also make appearances prior to the race at the Food City Family Race Night held in Knoxville Wednesday and Kingsport at the MeadowView Conference Center on Thursday.(Kingsport Times News)(3-18-2002)

  • Pit Road at Bristol: NASCAR officials are reworking pit-road rules for next weekend's race at Bristol, and pit boxes will be restriped about three-feet wider. It is not known if NASCAR will add a rule that requires all crewmen to be inside that box while working on the car; drivers say they will continue to park as close to the outside of the pit box as possible, to avoid getting blocked in. The key rules change, though, will be for all the cars to pit on what will be considered one pit road. The Bristol track will still have two pit roads, with half the pit boxes on the front stretch and the other half on the back stretch, but drivers will have to run through both pits on every pit stop. That is, all drivers will have to enter the back stretch pit road off turn two and not return to the track until leaving the front pit road going into turn one.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2002)

  • Testing at Bristol on Tuesday/Weds UPDATE 2: More than 20 NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series teams will visit Bristol Motor Speedway on Tuesday, March 12, for testing in preparation for the upcoming Food City 500/Channellock 250 race weekend. Due to the large number of teams testing, the Speedway will open the Junior Johnson Grandstand (concrete seats) to the public to view the testing free of charge. Track officials ask fans to enter through the South Entrance off Volunteer Parkway (Hwy. 11E) and park in the South Suite parking area. Fans may enter the grandstand via Gate 8 near the Speedway backstretch. Testing begins at 9 a.m. and will last until 5 p.m. Fans will not be permitted to enter the track infield. The list of drivers scheduled to test includes #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip, #99-Jeff Burton, #6-Mark Martin, #2-Rusty Wallace, #24-Jeff Gordon and #20-Tony Stewart. Speedway officials encourage fans to monitor the weather forecast as inclement weather may postpone or cancel the scheduled test.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(3-11-2002)
    UPDATE: Rain washed out today's test session at Bristol. Several NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series teams will give it another try tomorrow.(BMS Site)(3-12-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Morning rain showers forced most of the Cup and BGN teams home earlier on Wednesday. However, at 3:00pm/et, the remaing drivers, including Mike Skinner in the #4-Kodak Chevrolet, ran some afternoon test laps.(BMS Site)(3-14-2002)

  • Bristol News - Construction and Coolers: Contrary to popular belief, there's not a waiting list for tickets at Bristol Motor Speedway. But, add more seats and it won't take long for them to be sold. While 147,000 race fans will be in Bristol for the Food City 500, there is good news for race fans without tickets. Sometime in the next two years, the capacity will grow again. "We don't exactly know how it's going to go yet, this may be something we start immediately following the August race, or it might be something we hold off a year on," Trout said. "The backstretch will be reconstructed in the next couple of years, and it will basically become a mirror image of the frontstretch. "There will be terrace level seating, there will be seats that flip down and then there will be aluminum style bench seats. With that we don't know how many new seats we're going to pick up yet, but we're going to get to the point where we're somewhere between 155,000 and 160,000 fans here watching a race," said Ben Trout, BMS manager of communication. Even though Bristol won't have as many seats as some bigger tracks, put 160,000 fans in a bowl-like "football stadium" and that's still a lot of people. Not only with the seats fill up in a hurry, but there is a waiting list for the suites that will also be constructed when the backstretch is reconstructed.
    Tunnel: For the first time since 1992, a portion of the track at Bristol Motor Speedway was replaced. While the pedestrian tunnel that resulted may not directly benefit most fans, it's certainly a welcome sight to those folks who spend a long race day in the infield. After Martinsville built a similar tunnel last year, Bristol was on the only track on the NASCAR circuit without one. Now an eight-foot high and nine-foot wide structure has been constructed under turn three, running from the Goodyear Tire building and exiting under the Waltrip Grandstands, the same area where the on-track crossover is still located. Not only is the tunnel a welcome addition for media, race officials and sponsors looking to leave or to simply get a breath of fresh air, it will also be accessible by golf cart in case of an emergency. In order to construct the tunnel, a small section of concrete and asphalt was removed. After a trench was dug, a local company, Permatile, constructed concrete boxes that were sealed together to make the tunnel. That portion of track was resurfaced in the same manner it was nearly a decade ago. While no testing has been done to ensure the quality of the track that has been replaced, Trout is confident the surface will hold up fine.[was reported that #23-Stricklin tested there recently](Bristol Herald Courier)
    Coolers Bristol Motor Speedway will continue to allow coolers and other carry-in items no larger than 14 inches. All carry-in items will be inspected. No glass, umbrellas, weapons of any kind, or other items that may pose a safety hazard will be allowed. See the Speedway Fan Info Guide, Page A-19, for a list of prohibited items. Please allow plenty of extra time for this inspection process. BMS will continue this policy as long as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies allow.(BMS Site)(2-28-2002)

  • New Bristol Pit Rules: Bristol Motor Speedway will operate under a plan where one-pit road will be used during pit stops under caution. Currently, Bristol remains the only track in Winston Cup that utilizes two pit roads. Teams that pit on the backstretch are usually at a competitive disadvantage. Winston Cup series director John Darby said event director David Hoots recently made a trip to Bristol and developed the plan to use one pit road under caution. Teams will enter pit road in Turn 2 (the current backstretch pit entrance) drive around down the backstretch and around Turns 3 and 4 and exit in Turn 1. Under green-flag conditions teams will enter and exit pit road under the current two-pit-road scheme. The new plan requires no additional construction at the track, Darby said.()(2-14-2002)

  • New Bristol Victory Lane UPDATE: Bristol Motor Speedway is in the process of moving victory lane. The old victory lane will be closed and a new one is under construction as the track is constructing a new building adjacent to the Goodyear building and victory lane will actually be built on top of the building.(WCYB)(2-1-2002)
    UPDATE: For the first time, Bristol Motor Speedway fans will be able to enjoy the celebration in victory lane. "This project was the brainchild of (BMS general manager) Jeff Byrd," BMS director of communications Wayne Estes said. "Jeff has forever wanted more fans to see what goes on in victory lane. We have found a way to accomplish that." Over the past few weeks, track workers have been constructing a new building on the backstretch. When work is complete, fans will be able to see the winning car and his crew after the race. "We've had a tent in turn three behind the Goodyear building that has served as the site for the NASCAR church services and drivers meetings,'' Estes said. "By moving the tent and adding the new building, fans almost all the way around the track will be able to watch the victory lane ceremonies. In the past, our victory lane had been tucked away in the middle of the track and kind of shielded on all sides." The new setup will offer a much clearer view. Driver's meeting, church services and post-race interviews will be held in the new building. "Victory lane will now be at the top of the highest building in the infield,'' Estes said. "When a driver wins the race, he will come off the track at turn four, drive through the infield and then make a left hand turn to go up a ramp. It's going to be a long ramp with an S shape that starts out flat and gradually goes up. The driver will be able to wave at everyone in the turn three and four stands as he gets out of the car."(Bristol Herald Courier)(2-13-2002)

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Bristol Motor Speedway


  • 300th for Bobby Labonte: In typical Bobby Labonte fashion, a simple shrug of the shoulders is all you get when he was told this weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway would be his 300th career NASCAR Winston Cup start. For Labonte, he feels as though it's not really that big of a deal. To him, it's just another race, except for the fact that it will take place on the high banks of Bristol. "It's cool that I am making it to my 300th start and all," said Labonte. "But when you look at what Terry (Labonte - 715 career starts this weekend) has done, it really doesn't mean that much. I remember my first Cup start at Dover in 1991. We didn't belong there and we bit off more than we could chew and realized that real quick. There were times like that early on in my career I doubted I would even make 50 starts let alone 300. I have been so fortunate to be associated with two great owners in Bill Davis and Joe Gibbs while racing at the Winston Cup level. Without them, I wouldn't be here that's for sure." When asked about racing long enough to equal the number of starts his older brother Terry has, Labonte quickly remarked, "Absolutely not! That would mean I would have to race at least 11 more years and I am not planning on racing that long I don't think. I love racing and who I work for and all that, but I can not imagine doing this for 11 more years."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(3-20-2002)

  • Trickle back in the #71 at Bristol: hearing that Williams Bros. Lumber Company, an Atlanta based Building Material and Lumber Supplier, has agreed to be the primary sponsor of the #71 Marcis Racing Chevy and driver Dick Trickle for this Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristola Motor Speedway. Williams Bros. was the sponsor for the team and Trickle two weeks ago at Atlanta. See images of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(3-19-2002)

  • #500 for Martin: #6-Mark Martin will make his 500th career start on the Winston Cup circuit this week at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500 on March 24, 2002. Martin first raced on the Winston Cup circuit in 1981, when he ran his self-owned car five times, claiming two poles, two top-10 finishes and one top-five. He made his Winston Cup debut on April 3, 1981 at North Wilkesboro Speedway at the age of 22. A few months later in only this third Winston Cup start, Martin captured the pole at Nashville. A few weeks later Martin captured his second career pole at Richmond. "I didn't really realize that it was coming up on 500," said Martin. "As a kid growing up in Arkansas, and being into racing, NASCAR was the cool thing to do. It has certainly changed a lot since the early days of my career." In 1988 Martin teamed up with car owner Jack Roush and 15 years, 441 races and 32 wins later Martin is still running the #6 Roush Racing Ford Taurus(Roush Racing PR)(3-19-2002)

  • Sharpie Announcement at Bristol: an announcement will be made by the maker of the permanent marker, Sharpie, at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 23 at 9:00am at the brand new Victory Lane Building at Bristol. Not only will the press conference feature this announcement, it will also unveil a special paint scheme to be driven by #97-Kurt Busch of Roush Racing. "Announcements like this one don't come along every day," Busch said. "I'm real excited about it, and am thrilled to have the opportunity of driving this one-in-a-million special paint scheme. I have seen a lot of neat stuff on the track, but this one is sure to get everyone's attention." Beginning in August 2001, Sharpie came on as the title sponsor for the August night race at Bristol and appropriately called it the Sharpie 500. This year, with the addition of their special announcement, they are planning to make it a race that fans won't forget and for one fan it may even change their life.(Roush Racing PR), hmmmm.....sounds like a contest of some sort?(3-19-2002)

  • Hermie Sadler to Run Autism Awareness Car at Bristol UPDATE 2: Hermie Sadler has decided to run the Winston Cup race at Bristol [March 24th] in an [#02] Autism Awareness Car. He will have the ribbon on the hood and only has an associate sponsor. We hear that he's using a lot of his own money for this race and wanted to do something for the autism community. Sadler's youngest daughter, Halie, was diagnosed with Autism last February.(MotorsportsTV)(3-13-2002)
    UPDATE: The promotion is a partnership with Fox, which will run a segment during the race featuring information on Autism as well as make an educational video available to special education teachers. The car will also carry the toll free number that people can make contributions to the Autism Society of America:1-800-3-AUTISM. Several associate sponsorships have been sold to companies who have been and want to be affiliated with this promotion and spots are available from $2500.00 to $50,000.00 (for the quarterpanels) and a portion of all sponsorships will donated to the Autism Society of America and all sponsors will be recognized on the Fox segment for their support. Interested parties in sponsoring the car should call (804) 586-8215.(3-16-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The #02 Car will carry Autism "Puzzle" Ribbon on the hood as well as Autism Society of America's (ASA) Toll Free number, 1-800-3-AUTISM. Viewers can call ASA at 800.3.AUTISM, beginning Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd, to make a donation to fund autism research (also can donate online at Join Hermie's Race for Autism(click here). Like any driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Hermie Sadler goes to the track with his mind set on winning.. When the Emporia, VA native takes to the track this weekend in Bristol to race in the Food City 500, however, his mind will also be on something far more important to him than winning Sadler will be also be thinking about Autism awareness and research. Sadler and his family made it public last year that his three year old daughter, Haley Dru, was Autistic after initially keeping the diagnosis private while preparing her for therapy. Now, Sadler is on a mission to educate people about htis disease that affects 1 out of every 500 children born in America. Joining Sadler on his efforts at Bristol is Car-Freshner Corporation, makers of the popular "Little Trees" air fresheners. Car-Freshner and Sadler will team up for some BGN racing also. The Virginia Lottery, who partnered with Sadler for a promotion in 2001, rejoins him as an associate sponsor for this Bristol event, leading into several more Winston Cup races for which they will partner together. Also coming on board with Sadler for this event is Gina Clark, the owner of the internet based real estate company based in Range County, NY contacted Sadler when she learned of the promotion at Bristol. will be an associate on the car at Bristol, and has also generously pledged 25% of the commissions generated by her company to the Autism Society. Another big player in this weekend's event for Sadler is Fox Sports - who will center the efforts of Sadler this weekend on their broadcast, and plans to run a feature during the race to raise awareness for Autism and the reserach that is needed. Artie Kempner, lead director for Fox Sports NASCAR events, also deals with Autism on a dialy basis. Kempner's 7 year old son, Ethan, is Autistic. In addition to the feature story this Sunday, Kempner and Sadler plan to offer an instructional video for special education teachers across the country to help them better understand and relate to Autistic children.(The Patterson Group PR)(3-19-2002)

  • See the 2002 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


  • ET Phone Bristol? UPDATE 4: hearing the Richard Childress Racing Cup cars, #29-Harvick, #30-Green and #31-Gordon (yes Gordon is listed) will run a 20th Anniversary of ET paint scheme at Bristol in 2002, not sure which Bristol, the 1st or 2nd event(11-10-2001)
    UPDATE: ET will be re-released on April 1, 2002 for its 20th Anniversary so I imagine it'll be the spring race(11-11-2001)
    UPDATE 2: now hearing (ironically) that the ET schemes will run on the #24-Jeff Gordon and #31-Robby Gordon cars -
    BUT am now hearing the #30 Green and #31 Gordon E.T. Paint schemes have been cancelled and that #29 Harvick will carry the special ET paint for the re-released movie(11-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: hearing that the car and scheme may be reveiled at the Winston Preview this weekend(1-18-2002)
    UPDATE 4: This Friday, GM Goodwrench Service, in conjunction with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc., and Action Performance Companies will celebrate the 20th anniversary of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by unveiling a pair of specially painted NASCAR stock cars at the Richard Childress Racing shop in Welcome, NC. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Steven Spielberg's timeless and beloved classic, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment will re-release E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial nationwide on March 22, 2002 in a new version along with never-before-seen footage, state-of-the-art computer-generated enhancements and a digitally remixed soundtrack. E.T. will celebrate his 20th anniversary by spending two days as a passenger on a NASCAR® stock car on March 23rd and 24th at Bristol Motor Speedway during two of the season's most anticipated racing events. E.T. will appear on the flanks of two RCR NASCAR cars in consecutive races; first, on the red and black #29 GM Goodwrench Service/Action car during Saturday's BGN race, and then on the blue and black #29 GM Goodwrench Service car for the Winston Cup event on Sunday. The two cars, to be driven by 2001 BGN champion and Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year Kevin Harvick, will be first unveiled to the public at the RCR race shop as part of the Lowe's Media Tour, and then they will be on display from 8:30am until 6:00pm/et time at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. Team owner Richard Childress and Harvick will also be on hand to meet the press at the RCR unveiling. As part of the E.T. 20th Anniversary celebration, Action Performance has been licensed to produce collector merchandise, including die-cast racing replicas, which will be available to consumers through Action's extensive network of distribution channels.(Action Performance PR), see my 2002 Cup and BGN Paint Schemes pages for images of the cars(1-18-2002)

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery, choose current news


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