Bristol SuperPass provides access for Driver Intros and Charlie Daniels Band Concert: Attending the 2013 Food City 500 at Bristol? Then take your experience to another level with the Food City 500 Pre-Race SuperPass. Imagine walking the Bristol high banks, being stage-side for the Charlie Daniels Band pre-race concert and being on the track to witness Bristol's highly-popular driver introductions prior to the Food City 500 green flag. It's an opportunity to make your Food City 500 weekend extra special. The Food City 500 Pre-Race SuperPass includes: Self-Guided Track Tour, Food City 500 Pre-Race Concert, and Food City 500 Driver Introductions. Pricing is $80 for Food City 500 ticket holders, and just $40 for Bristol's iBelong season ticket holders. Quantities are limited so call 1.866.415.4158 to reserve your Food City 500 Pre-Race SuperPass.(BMS)(12-21-2012)
"Bristol's 12 Days of Christmas" kicks off Friday: With the holiday upon us, Bristol Motor Speedway gets into the giving spirit as "Bristol's 12 Days of Christmas" giveaway kicks off Friday, Dec. 14. BMS boasts the most loyal and dedicated fans in NASCAR and as a thank you, they have the opportunity to win some great prizes, such as pit passes, autographed items and waving the green flag at Ford Fan Friday qualifying March 15. On Dec. 25, 12 entrants win a hat autographed by 12-time BMS winner Darrell Waltrip, and one of those 12 wins a pair of hot passes for the March 15-17 Food City 500 race weekend. To enter the drawing for the daily giveaway, fans can like the Bristol Motor Speedway Facebook page or visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com and click on the "Bristol's 12 Days of Christmas" banner at the top of the page. To purchase tickets, please contact the BMS ticket office at its toll free number 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL (274-7865). Tickets also may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(12-14-2012)
Charlie Daniels to perform before Brisol race in March: One of the biggest legends in music brings his hard-driving act to the Last Great Colosseum as the Charlie Daniels Band hits Bristol Motor Speedway in March for Food City 500 pre-race show. Prior to drivers receiving the command to start their engines March 17, the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artist delivers his special brand of music, invigorating race fans before the green flag falls on one of NASCAR's most exciting events. And he is eager to hit the stage in the Tennessee hills. Special Charlie Daniels ticket packages are available soon.(BMS)(12-8-2012)
NASCAR Artist Sam Bass intoduces Speedway in Lights poster: Sam Bass, NASCAR's most prolific artist, returns to Bristol Motor Speedway this month with another piece of original artwork commemorating Ford Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA. Bass created artwork for last year's 15th edition of Speedway In Lights, the first in the series. This year's poster features Santa and a car on the World's Fastest Half-Mile decked out with a holiday paint scheme. Bass has created hundreds of NASCAR-related artworks featuring the sport's premier drivers. He appears at Speedway In Lights the next three weekends, Dec. 7-8, Dec. 14-15 and Dec. 21-22 in the General Shale Christmas Village in the BMS infield from 6-10 p.m. The SIL posters are $5 each. Bass has other prints and posters available as well. A portion of the proceeds from poster sales benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. Tickets for Ford Speedway In Lights powered by TVA, open nightly 6-10 p.m. through Jan. 5, are available at the BMS gate. Ticket prices for cars are $12 Sunday through Thursday, and $15 Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $20 each night and bus tickets are $85 each night. Both the Johnson Controls Ice Rink ($7 admission/skate rental) and HVAC Chill Hill ($7) are open through Jan. 15. The rink is closed each Monday for maintenance while Chill Hill is closed Monday through Wednesday. For a complete schedule, please visit bristolmotorspeedway.com. For more information concerning Speedway In Lights, please call 423-989-6900.(BMS)(12-7-2012)
Bruton Smith comments on many NASCAR issues: Bruton Smith, the eccentric billionaire whose Speedway Motorsports Inc. owns eight NASCAR tracks, held court in the Texas Motor Speedway media center on Saturday and addressed a wide range of subjects. Here are some selected notes from his lengthy media session:
• Smith said NASCAR needs to work at "making the racing more exciting." He said NASCAR has made some good moves in recent years - notably double-file restarts - but needs to implement additional improvements. Smith's primary suggestion to improve the racing is to slow the cars down and thus make it easier for drivers to make bold moves.
• Races with too many long green-flag runs are not exciting, Smith said, and he suggested a smaller fuel tank would force drivers to make more pit stops. Fuel-mileage races, he said, are "boring, boring, boring." One solution could be a minimum number of cautions per race to serve as TV timeouts.
• Drivers are "maybe not as eager" right now and NASCAR needs more racers who have a "mean streak."
• Despite a decline in TV ratings and attendance, Smith is still supportive of the Chase. He sounded concerned, though, that the playoff drivers get treated with kid gloves.
• There are no plans to make further adjustments to Bristol's racing surface after a drama-filled night race in August.
• No consideration has been given to moving an SMI race to give Las Vegas a second date, Smith said. He remains hopeful NASCAR will someday see the value in rewarding Vegas with another race.
see more at SB Nation.(11-4-2012)
Bristol 2013 events announced: Bristol Motor Speedway once again kicks off NASCAR's 2013 short track season in mid-March and welcomes fans back for its second Sprint Cup event on the fourth Saturday in August. The main event in March, the Food City 500, which is the fourth Sprint Cup race of the year, takes place on St. Patrick's Day, March 17. The IRWIN Tools Night Race, the sport's most popular event, is Aug. 24. NASCAR kicks off the BMS March race weekend with Ford Fan Friday March 15, followed by the Nationwide Series event March 16, and the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race March 17. August race week begins with the UNOH 200 Camping World Truck Series/Whelen Modified Series doubleheader Aug. 21. The Food City 250 Nationwide Series race is Aug. 23, followed by the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 24. Season tickets, as well as March race weekend only tickets, are now available. To purchase tickets, please contact the BMS ticket office at its toll free number 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL (274-7865). Tickets also may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(9-21-2012)
More changes coming to Bristol?: Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., has been weighing feedback from fans and is considering additional changes to the racing surface at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, one of SMI's marquee properties. Smith, who joined fans in a town-hall-style meeting on Saturday, is considering "tweaking the surface a little bit after watching the replay several more times." Disappointed with attendance at the March race at the .533-mile short track, Smith commissioned a seven-figure grinding project that shaved two degrees of banking from the top lane of the concrete track. Far from eliminating the outside groove as a racing option, the top of the track became the fast way around as the third lane rubbered in. The result was an action-filled race that was well received by a broad consensus of competitors and fans alike. Smith has yet to provide specifics about what additional changes he might consider.(NASCAR Wire Service)(9-3-2012)
Divers find pilots body involved in helicopter crash: Virginia State Police Search & Recovery Team divers with the assistance of the Sullivan County, Tenn. County Sheriff's Office dive team have spent the day searching the waters of South Holston Lake on the Washington County, Va., side for the pilot of the helicopter that crashed late Friday night (August 24, 2012). The divers will continue their search and recovery efforts through the evening. At approximately 10:30 p.m. Friday, a Bell 407 helicopter, owned by Food City, crashed into the lake shortly after takeoff from a nearby residential property. The helicopter had been ferrying passengers from the Bristol Motor Speedway to the residence. The helicopter had just dropped off six passengers and taken off when the crash occurred. Only the pilot, who is male and an East Tennessee resident, was onboard at the time of the crash.
Virginia State Police Search and Recovery Team (SRT) dive members spent much of Friday night searching the wreckage for the pilot. This morning, the SRT brought to the scene a side-scan sonar to use for the search for the pilot. The helicopter did break apart upon impact with the water, with the bulk of the aircraft still submerged in the water. The depths of the water at the crash site ranges from approximately 25 to 40 feet. The FAA responded to the scene Saturday morning to conduct its investigation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.(WJHL)(8-25-2012)
UPDATE: The Virginia Highlands Airport was flying its U.S. and state flags at half-mast Saturday in memory of a missing pilot, although airport employees declined to comment on the crash of the Bell helicopter registered to the parent company of the Food City grocery stores. The pilot has been missing since the late Friday crash into South Holston Lake, though rescue crews have been searching nearly round the clock since then. According to a 2011 article in the online trade publication Aviation International News, Food City's pilot, Bill Starnes, had amassed at least 26,500 accident-free flying hours when he was recognized in November with a National Business Aviation Association Pilot Flying Safety Award, as K-VA-T's chief pilot.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-26-2012)
UPDATE2: After three days of continuous searching, the pilot from Friday night's helicopter crash was recovered from South Holston Lake Monday afternoon (Aug. 27, 2012). Using a side-scan sonar, the Virginia State Police Search and Recovery Team (SRT) located the pilot's body in approximately 80 feet of water about 100 yards from the wreckage of the helicopter. Shortly after 3 p.m., his body was recovered from the water and is being transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy. The pilot, Bill R. Starnes, 64, of Blountville, Tenn., was the only one onboard the Bell 407 helicopter Friday night (Aug. 24, 2012) when it crashed into the lake. The helicopter, owned and operated by Food City, had been ferrying passengers from the Bristol Motor Speedway to a private residence bordering South Holston Lake on the Washington County, Va., side. The helicopter had just dropped off six passengers and taken off when the crash occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m..(WJHL.
Pilot only person on crashed Food City chopper: Divers and troopers remain on the scene this morning of a helicopter crash in the Washington County, Va., side of the South Holston Lake. The first 911 call came in at 10:33 p.m. Friday (August 24, 2012) about the crash. The helicopter, a Bell 407, crashed into the lake shortly after takeoff from a nearby residential property. The corporate-owned helicopter had been ferrying passengers from the Bristol Motor Speedway to the residence. The helicopter had just dropped off the passengers and taken off when the crash occurred. Only the pilot was onboard at the time of the crash. Virginia State Police Search and Recovery Team (SRT) dive members spent much of the night searching the wreckage for the pilot. This morning, the SRT is bringing to the scene a side-scan sonar to assist with the search for the pilot. The helicopter also remains in the water, upside down. Now that it's daylight, the state police will work to remove the wreckage. The depth of the water at the crash site is approximately 25 feet. The FAA is responding to the scene this morning.(WJHL)(8-25-2012)
More Bristol Motor Speedway Notes:
• In 1961, the year Bristol Motor Speedway opened, its two NASCAR events didn't take place in March and August as they do now, but in July and October. In '62 the races were in April and July and in '63 the spring race moved to March while the second race remained in July. As a matter of fact, the summer race stayed in July through 1975. The spring race moved to May in 1964 and back to March the following year and since then alternated between March and April every year but one (1983 when it was in May) until 2000. The first Bristol race has been contested in March every year since with the exception of 2005 when it was in April. As for the summer race, which became The Night Race when lights were installed in 1978, it actually took place in November in 1975 before it took up residence in August in 1976 where it has remained.
• This year's IRWIN Tools Night Race is Aug. 25. Only five times in the past 52 years has the race been run on Aug. 25 - 1979 (Darrell Waltrip was the winner), 1984 (Terry Labonte), 1990 (Ernie Irvan), 2001 (Tony Stewart) and 2007 (Carl Edwards).
• Brad Keselowski has captured the last two Sprint Cup races at BMS in a Dodge. Before Keselowski won the 2011 IRWIN Tools Night Race, the last driver to win at the World's Fastest Half-Mile in a Dodge was Kurt Busch in March of 2006. Before that one has to go all the way back to 1975 for a Dodge win when Richard Petty swept both events. The only other two drivers to win in a Dodge at BMS were David Pearson (spring 1975) and Bobby Allison (spring 1969, summer 1970).
• The combined margin of victory for the last seven Sprint Cup events at BMS has been by less than one second.
• In In the first Night Race at BMS, on August 26, 1978, Cale Yarborough and runner-up Benny Parsons, both driving Oldsmobiles, were the only two cars on the lead lap. Yarborough won by 16 seconds. Darrell Waltrip finished third, more than a lap down, while Dick Brooks finished fourth and Richard Petty took fifth. Other notables in the race were Richard Childress (seventh), Neil Bonnett (20th) and Bobby Allison (22nd).
• Back in the 60s and 70s, it wasn't unusual for drivers to win races at BMS by more than a lap. The very first race, the 1961 Volunteer 500, saw Jack Smith beat Fireball Roberts by nearly three laps - even with a driver change.
• In April of 1977, Cale Yarborough won the Southeastern 500 by more than seven laps. The last driver to win by at least one lap was Darrell Waltrip, who accomplished the feat in the 1981 Busch 500. Ricky Rudd finished second, the only car one lap down and Terry Labonte was third, the lone car two laps down.
• None of the last 15 Sprint Cup races at BMS have been won by a driver starting outside the top 20. The last driver to win with a worse starting position than 20th was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the 2004 Sharpie 500 after starting from the 30th slot. Elliott Sadler owns the distinction of winning from the worst starting position at BMS when he won the 2001 Food City 500 after starting 38th.(BMS PR)(8-25-2012)
IRWIN Tools Set to Honor America's Tradesmen at Bristol and Beyond: With the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) just days away, IRWIN Tools has numerous initiatives planned across the country to celebrate tradesmen's skill and contributions, kicking off with a salute to "America's Real Working Hands" at NASCAR's most popular event, and culminating with the second annual National Tradesmen Day on Sept. 21. Throughout race weekend, IRWIN and BMS officials will build awareness for National Tradesmen Day, which is set for Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. In an exclusive opportunity, 300 professional tradesmen from across the country will serve as the IRWIN Tools Night Race Grand Marshals. At the base of the track's turn four, these individuals will give drivers the command to "start your engines." As a special tribute, IRWIN will honor the 23 "Tradesmen of the Track" BMS Operations Team in several ways. More info about the Tradesmen of the Track at nationaltradesmenday.com.(BMS)(8-24-2012)
TDOT sending 'HELP' for race weekend Bristol traffic: The Tennessee Department of Transportation will send special "HELP" to the Tri-Cities this weekend to assist with the heavy traffic expected in conjunction with NASCAR events at Bristol Motor Speedway. Two lime-yellow HELP trucks from Knoxville will patrol the area to assist with incidents to keep traffic moving. The trucks are four-wheel drive and equipped with push bumpers, top-mounted arrow boards, emergency work lights, air compressors, and others tools. Operators can perform a variety of functions from clearing a stalled car off the roadway to changing a flat tire. TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the region to assist with any other issues and portable message signs will warn drivers of any possible delays.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2012)
Girl Scouts hosting Bristol Motor Speedway Overnight: The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians will host Bristol Motor Speedway Overnight, an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the organization. The event, which has an overnight component, will last from 4 p.m. Saturday until 8 a.m. Sunday. More than 500 are expected to attend. This family-friendly event is open to all members of the community. It will begin with registration at 4 p.m. in the adjacent Earhart Campground. Next, the BMS gates will open at 5 p.m. From 5-6:30 p.m., a hot dog meal will be served and cost is included in the ticket price. From 6:30-7 p.m., the council will hold an opening ceremony and will then move on to activities/games from 7-9 p.m. Finally, a movie will be shown inside the speedway from 9-11 p.m. At 11 p.m., overnight participants will head to Earhart Campground for a campout, or day guests will head home. Activities inside the speedway include crafts, ride-alongs on the track, photo opportunities in Victory Lane, tours of the luxury suites, relay races, face-painting, games and more. Pre-registration is requested and available online at girlscoutcsa.org/events/227. Tickets are $10 via pre-registration and $15 at the gate for the day-only package. Tickets are $15 via pre-registration, $20 at the gate for the overnight package.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2012)
New York City fire truck on display through race weekend: A fire truck used by New York City firefighters who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will be on display through race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. FDNY Rescue 5 will be on display for Food City Race Night Thursday in downtown Bristol, will lead that night's transporter parade, will be used during pre-race activities and be on display at BMS. It is part of the REMEMBRANCE RESCUE PROJECT, an educational nonprofit effort that allows people, especially youngsters, to see, touch and learn from this piece of American history and remember the day when thousands of lives were lost. The project is raffling off the Ultimate Bristol Race Experience with proceeds benefiting the project. Tickets can be purchased at www.wepay.com/stores/therrp or visit the rescue during the race.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2012)
NASCAR Hauler Parade at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway invites you to the 15th annual Ford Transporter Parade, Thursday August 23rd. It's a Bristol tradition and an event you will not want to miss. Featuring the brightly-colored, multi-million dollar machines that haul your favorite Sprint Cup Series cars from track-to-track across America, the parade is an amazing 10-mile trip through Bristol, Tenn., down Volunteer Parkway (Hwy. 11E) to "The Last Great Colloseum" that is Bristol Motor Speedway. The parade leaves Bristol Mall at approximately 9 PM, following Food City Race Night. Be sure to look for the famous fireworks and the Food City big cart along the parade route. More info and the map of the parade route at bristolmotorspeedway.com.(8-22-2012)
Guest Welcome Village to debut at Bristol this week: Race fans visiting Bristol Motor Speedway for its yearly NASCAR weekends know there isn't a more fan-friendly track on the circuit. For the upcoming August Race Week events, the Speedway will extend its attention to the fans with the introduction of the Bristol Guest Welcome Village. The Guest Welcome Village, located beside the orange bridge between BMS and Bristol Dragway on the Dragway side of the creek, is a designated area that provides guests with information, services and entertainment through the race week and weekend. The Village, which will be staffed with personnel who can assist guests with any questions they might have about BMS and its events, features a stage for entertainment and driver and celebrity appearances, concessions, tented areas with cooling stations with misting and cool seats, picnic tables, closed-circuit television, WiFi access, games and more. The BMS Guest Welcome Village opens Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 8 a.m. It will be open at 10 a.m. Aug. 23 and at 8:30 a.m. on both Aug. 24 and Aug. 25. The Village will remain open each race night for one hour following completion of each event.(BMS)(8-21-2012)
Bristol guests to receive flag, coupons courtesy of Outback: Bristol Motor Speedway guests at the Aug. 25 IRWIN Tools Night Race will receive a couple of special rewards from Outback Steakhouse just by finding their seats. As part of the continued involvement in NASCAR racing by the popular restaurant chain, the seat of each guest provides not only a great spot to watch the IRWIN Tools Night Race, but also a flag to wave at the start of the event, as well as a coupon for $10 off at Outback on any two entrees. Outback gives fans a free Bloomin' Onion the Monday immediately following a Sprint Cup race if Ryan Newman finishes among the top 10. To date, Newman, who has one win, has placed among the top 10 eight times this season, giving fans plenty to cheer about on Mondays.(BMS)(8-17-2012)
Pre-Race concert at Bristol: Grammy Award nominated country music artist Jamey Johnson will perform Aug. 25 at the Lawless Pre-Race Concert prior to the start of the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. This will be the first trip to BMS for the award-winning singer/songwriter, who is set to release his latest album, "Livin' For A Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran" Oct. 16. "Lawless," billed as a "Western crime film", set in Virginia's Franklin County, stars Shia LaBeouf and will be released at the end of August. Tickets still are available for all three nights of racing at BMS. For more information, please call the BMS ticket office at 1-866-415-4158 or visit www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(8-10-2012)
Michael Buffer particpating in Bristol driver intros: Driver introductions for the Sprint Cup races at Bristol Motor Speedway are unique in the sport - and for the upcoming IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 25, a couple of new twists have been added. Well-known ring announcer Michael Buffer, whose "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" catchphrase is known world-wide, takes part in driver introductions, adding his distinct voice to each driver's entrance from a stage in Turn 3 of the track. Fans have been involved pre-race ceremonies at BMS before, including introducing themselves before the drivers. This time, BMS guests get to determine who does it the best. Fans will be asked to vote, via the Sprint Unlimited Text to Vote, for the driver's introduction they like best. The winning driver then will receive $10,000 that will go to his or her favorite charitable organization. In the distinctive pre-race ceremony at Bristol Motor Speedway, Sprint Cup drivers select a specific song to make their entrance. Many become memorable, including Brad Keselowski's "Won't Back Down", and Tony Stewart's "How Do You Like Me Now?" The highlight of last March's ceremony featured Denny Hamlin dancing "The Dougie" on his way down the ramp.(BMS)(8-7-2012)
Speedway Children's Charities Golf Tournament August 20: Before cars take to the track at Bristol Motor Speedway, race weekend kicks off with the 14th Annual Speedway Children's Charities Golf Tournament presented by Baker's Construction Services at Tri-Cities Golf Course on Aug. 20. One of the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities largest fundraisers each year, the tournament sets the tone for a week of unparalleled racing action which takes place at the World's Fastest Half-Mile later in the week. The tournament, which features a four-person captain's choice format, begins at noon with a shotgun start. Companies may purchase a team, as well as sponsor a hole for $750, or for $600 without a hole sponsorship. A sponsorship includes the company's sign on the tee or hole, four players, cart and green fee and a goody bag, along with lunch (provided by Chick-fil-A), dinner (provided by Levy Restaurants) and beverages. Individuals who would like to participate in the tournament may sign up for $150. This includes one player with cart and green fees, as well as a goody bag, lunch, dinner and beverages. To sign up for the tournament, please contact Betsy Holleman at (423) 989-6975 or via email at email@example.com.(BMS)(8-7-2012)
Bristol ticket holders can drive the track: Jealousy may soon hit the drivers in the NASCAR garage area. On Saturday, Aug. 11, race fans with tickets to any BMS racing event during IRWIN Tools Night Race Week will be allowed to drive their own vehicle around the revamped concrete surface, an advantage any NASCAR driver surely would enjoy. Those with tickets to the IRWIN Tools Night Race, the Food City 250 or the UNOH Perfect Storm Doubleheader can come to BMS from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Aug. 11 for an open house to showcase the Bristol high banks. After showing their tickets, fans will line up behind the Official BMS Pace Car for laps around the "World's Fastest Half-Mile." In addition to track laps, Camping World Truck Series competitor Ty Dillon will be on hand from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to provide ride-along laps to several lucky fans in a street truck. Those without tickets should not fret, however, as they will be available to purchase on site.(BMS)(8-4-2012)
"We Back Pat" ticket packages at Bristol: Knoxville's Trevor Bayne, a crowd favorite at Bristol Motor Speedway, is back on track in the Nationwide Series for the Food City 250 Aug. 24. Bayne is highlighted in two special ticket packages at BMS to celebrate his return to the World's Fastest Half-Mile as he pilots the "We Back Pat"-themed Roush Fenway Ford in honor of the University of Tennessee's Pat Summitt. The Food City 250 package currently is available, starting at $60, and features a ticket to the Food City 250, a "We Back Pat" t-shirt and admission to a special question-and- answer session with Bayne. Also available is a package for the weekend, which contains a ticket to both the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup event Aug. 25 and the Food City 250, a "We Back Pat" t-shirt and admission to the Q&A, starting at $125. A portion of the proceeds from the ticket package will benefit The Pat Summitt Foundation. For more information, call the BMS ticket office toll free at 1-866-415-4158 or visit www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(8-3-2012)
UNOH extends sponsorship to include Bristol truck race: The University of Northwestern Ohio, like many drivers during a NASCAR race weekend, will be doing double duty at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, sponsoring two events. The sponsor of the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event at BMS since 2009, the college also will sponsor the UNOH 200 Camping World Truck Series event Aug. 22, the second half of the Wednesday night doubleheader. Dr. Jeffrey Jarvis, the president of the University of Northwestern Ohio, says the partnership with BMS continues to be extremely beneficial for the university. "Everyone at the University of Northwestern Ohio is very excited about extending our partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway to the Camping World Truck Series," he said "We've been sponsoring the Modified event since 2009 and the opportunities it has given our students, staff and facility since we started have been immeasurable. Steve Farmer, Vice President of Business Development at UNOH, feels moving to the Camping World Truck Series made perfect sense. "With the success we've had sponsoring the Modified race, it just makes more sense for us to be associated with the Truck Series because it is a higher profile event," he said. "It'll be more exposure for the University of Northwestern Ohio and our students and our programs." UNOH is on board as sponsor of the Truck Series race through 2016. This will be the final year of its sponsorship of the Modified event.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(7-23-2012)
Bristol Tickets Still Available: Seats in some of the more popular locations at Bristol Motor Speedway rapidly are becoming hard to come by with the IRWIN Tools Night Race quickly approaching. While the Wallace Tower and The Pit Road Party Zone sections are full, the Allison Grandstand on the front stretch of the World's Fastest Half-Mile, as well as several other popular sections, continue to fill with little more than five weeks remaining before NASCAR returns to the newly revamped .533-mile oval. Seats remain available for all three nights of racing in August. Race week Aug. 22 with a doubleheader, which features the Volunteer 200 Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event. On tap Aug. 24 is the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race, followed by the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup event Aug. 25.(BMS)(7-19-2012)
Bristol Camping and RV Options: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced a new come-as-you-are test program aimed at those needing housing options for the IRWIN Tools Night Race in August. After hearing from BMS guests about lodging costs and gas prices, BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell said this added opportunity gives a choice to fans who love the camping experience, but currently are not in the position to incur the fuel costs of pulling their RV to Bristol. "We obtained a number of RVs that will sleep up to seven," Caldwell said. "Really nice travel trailers parked on a site with full water, power and sewer hookups, these units rent for $1,500, plus tax, for the week. For a full crew of race fans, that's under $230 a person for the entire week or just under $35 a day. That's a tough deal to beat."
But that isn't the only choice race fans have for the August races. "We put a call out to RV owners interested in renting their units," Caldwell said. "We plan three levels of pricing, $500, $750 and $1,000 for the week depending on the unit and the owner's requirements. Our friends at Race Lodging are handling the private-unit and full-hookup RV bookings for us." RV owners wanting to rent their units and fans booking the full-hookup RVs may call (423) 764-5454 or go to www.racelodging.com.(BMS)
AND Additional options are available for campers coming to Bristol Motor Speedway in August as officials continue to find ways to attack the challenges of coming to the IRWIN Tools Night Race events. Speedway officials secured property for approximately 250 additional low-cost camping spaces to help in the financial challenge of traveling. The additional camping options are nearly 150 tent-camping spots for only $50 for the week of the IRWIN Tools Night race and more than 100 non-hook-up RV parking (shower house included) for only $99 for the week. Fans interested in any of these options may call (423) 989-6944.(BMS)(7-17-2012)
Pat Summitt named Food City 250 Grand Marshal: Food City will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its sponsorship of the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 24 with a very special guest serving as grand marshal. The legendary Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history who won eight NCAA national championships while coaching at the University of Tennessee, will give the command for drivers to start their engines for the Food City 250, the most popular Nationwide Series race on the NASCAR schedule. This will mark Summitt's first visit to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." "I have always loved sports and will be honored to be the Grand Marshal for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway," said Summitt. "It will be a thrill to hear the engines fire up and the crowd while I say, 'Drivers, start your engines.'" Summitt, who stepped down as coach of the Lady Vols in April of this year, was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's disease in August of 2011 and is now the Lady Vols' head coach emeritus. She is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with 1,000 wins. She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in 2009. In 38 years of coaching the Vols (1974-2012) she never had a losing season and finished her career with an amazing 1098-208 record.Most recently, she was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards. Trevor Bayne, a Knoxville resident and NASCAR Sprint Cup/Nationwide Series driver, will pilot a "We Back Pat"-themed Roush Fenway Ford sponsored by YourRaceCar.com in the Food City 250.(BMS)(7-14-2012)
Outside groove gone at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway has witnessed the initial laps on its recently altered surface. On day one of a two-day Goodyear Tire test #14-Tony Stewart, #31-Jeff Burton and #15-Clint Bowyer circled the half-mile concrete oval, and will wrap up the session on Wednesday. While it's impossible to predict how the racing action will be when NASCAR hits Bristol for August race week and the IRWIN Tools Night Race, the trio of drivers offered their comments following a full day of lapping the banks of Bristol. The same drivers will return on Wednesday to complete the Goodyear Tire test. Goodyear has mandated that the test sessions are closed to the public and media.
#14-Tony Stewart (who is the only driver to try to run the high groove): "Well, you've definitely lost the top groove. Guys who run up there aren't going to be able to do that because it's pretty slick up there. There's going to be less room to race, that's for sure. We've gone from a three-groove track to two grooves and any time you've got less room to get around it can get pretty interesting. I'm one of the guys who likes that high groove so it's really going to change things up for me. It'll change things for everybody though because when you take away room to race on a track this small with 43 cars… yeah, it's going to tighten things up."
#15-Clint Bowyer: "That outside line – the upper groove – is out of play now. There's going to be a lot closer racing then we've had here in the past. I don't typically run up there but a lot of guys do and I can't see them going up there now. If they do… it's pretty slippery and they'll figure that out in a hurry. The closer we have to race just means something's going to happen. Is it going to make fans happy? Well, narrowing up the track means less room to get around so there's no question there's going to be closer action."
#31-Jeff Burton: "Goodyear is looking to bring a tire with more grip. I really think they have found some stuff that is really promising. As for the track itself, I really can't imagine running up there in that top groove. I think it is going to force everyone more to the middle and bottom of the track. The drivers aren't going to be happy, but the spectators probably will be because it is going to put more cars in a closer space. By taking away that groove, it is going to change your mind about going up there. I think it is going to be two grooves, unless Goodyear brings a tire with a lot of grip. If that is the case, you'll want to run around the bottom. Making the groove smaller is a good thing, it is going to put the action back to the bottom and middle of the track. What has changed is up near the wall, the bottom is the same. Tony experimented and tried out that top groove, and I know he won't be trying that again. If people liked the older track more than the new, they are going to like this. This takes the top groove out and brings it back toward the old track. Taking the groove out moves the track closer to what it used to be."(see more quotes at bristolmotorspeedway.com)(6-13-2012)
Hotels partner with Bristol for lower-cost options: Twenty-four properties stretching from East Tennessee to Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina comprise the first group participating in the Bristol Motor Speedway Fan-Friendly Lodging Partnership Program for the IRWIN Tools Night Race in August. A continued effort to help guests of BMS with the overall cost of a trip to Bristol, the Fan-Friendly Program includes properties that require reduced or no minimum-night stays at lower costs than previous years. Prices for rooms at participating properties start at $35 and visitors are urged to check distance and research the property to determine which one best fits their needs.(BMS)(6-10-2012)
Earnhardt, Jr to appear at Bristol Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club: When it comes to popularity, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bristol Motor Speedway have plenty in common as both are number one in the hearts of race fans. Put Earnhardt Jr. and the World's Fastest Half-Mile together and it's a can't-miss combination that makes for an unforgettable experience as the driver of the Diet Mountain Dew-sponsored #88 goes after the coveted IRWIN Tools Night Race trophy Aug. 25. Adding to the excitement for Earnhardt Jr. fans is the opportunity to be the audience when the former BMS winner is scheduled to make an appearance in the hospitality area at the Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club that afternoon. The Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club features an exclusive member's-only gift pack, a Saturday track tour, door prizes, entertainment, a souvenir program, and NASCAR celebrity appearances. The Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club is available for the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Limited tickets are available at a cost of $180 for adults and $135 for children 12 and under. To purchase Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club individual hospitality, please call Amy Denton at (423) 989-6930.(BMS)(6-4-2012)
Bristol Motor Speedway Modification Project reaches halfway point: The starter has given the field the crossed-flags as the historical track-modification project at Bristol Motor Speedway reaches the halfway point. The milling of the upper groove in Turns 3 and 4 of the World's Fastest Half-Mile is complete and the construction, or destruction, crew has relocated the equipment to Turns 1 and 2. Work resumed late Thursday (May 17). "It's been an interesting process," said BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell. "We are asking this machinery to do something it wasn't designed to do in unique conditions. We intended for this surface to last 15 to 18 years and now after five we are tearing up a large part of it and it isn't giving up without a fight. We have had to replace a few machine parts doing it, but things are going well and the project will be complete in time for Goodyear's tire test in mid-June."(BMS PR)(5-21-2012)
Bristol providing more camping spaces for fans: A week after responding to fan requests by making major changes to the track surface, Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Caldwell announced the next BMS fan initiative. Attacking the continuing economic challenges facing guests, Caldwell revealed a bold plan to arrange access to enough area property to expand BMS camping options by 700 spaces. Caldwell said it was an easy choice when deciding the Speedway's next fan project. A limited amount of camping spots remain on BMS property, but Caldwell said his goal is to have many of the 700 additional sites in place before current supply is gone. The August race week at BMS kicks off Aug. 22 with a doubleheader, which features the Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event. On tap Aug. 24 is the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race, followed by the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup event Aug. 25.(BMS)(5-6-2012)
Drivers comment on Bristol changes: Bruton Smith's decision not to seek driver input on how to fix Bristol Motor Speedway didn't sit well with several competitors in the Sprint Cup Series. And not all drivers are convinced the decision by the Speedway Motorsports Inc., chairman to grind the top groove will return racing at the half-mile track in Tennessee to the bumping and grinding it was known for before the 2007 reconfiguration. "I think they're wasting their time,'' points leader #16-Greg Biffle said on Friday at Richmond International Raceway. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. agreed. "I believe the racing will be the same,'' he said. "I know they probably didn't have a lot of time between now and (the August) race to do everything they wanted to do. Just grinding will take away a little groove, but once we lay a little rubber down it'll be just like it was, which I think is fine.'' Kevin Harvick definitely took issue with Smith's comment during Wednesday's news conference that "I do not consult race drivers when I am building a speedway.'' "They were all gung ho on wanting to meet at Texas,'' Harvick said. "The next thing you knew, nobody showed up, nobody called, nobody wanted to talk anymore. I guess maybe they were embarrassed that they just wound up grinding it.'' Harvick said he was told by Don Hawk, SMI's vice president of business affairs, that Smith wanted to discuss changes at Bristol with him at Texas. Hawk acknowledged that Smith wanted to meet with Harvick and his team owner, Richard Childress, and the meeting didn't happen. Hawk said he apologized to Harvick and Childress via text. He added that several other drivers were contacted via text for input on the project, and that some responded and some didn't. He said Smith talked to Brad Keselowski by phone.(ESPN)(4-28-2012)
Goodyear will test at Bristol's new surface: With the track changes at Bristol Motor Speedway, Goodyear felt the need to hold a tire test to evaluate the new surface. We're happy with our current tire set-up at Bristol but we always have to keep up with track changes, so we plan to run a test to determine what will best suit the specific modifications made to Bristol," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of worldwide racing. "We will start out our test with the existing Bristol tire set-up, in order to determine if the changes to the track surface require any changes to our tread compound formulation. We'll then evaluate if the track surface has changed and if we'll need to bring back something different for the race in August." Being a concrete surface, we always need to manage the 'rubbering in' process," added Grant. "Concrete seems to be more sensitive to taking rubber, so we need to make sure we get the right combination of tires to match up with this race track. The most important thing to us is making sure the actual racing surface is the same from the bottom of the track to the top." Goodyear's tire test will be held at Bristol on June 12-13. Participating teams are to be determined.(Goodyear)(4-25-2012)
Bristol Motor Speedway will remove progressive banking: Less than a month after fan feedback convinced him to make changes to the concrete surface at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, announced his plans for significant modifications to the track. "I said when this process began last month that I would listen to what the fans said they wanted," Smith said. "After a week to 10 days, there was no question that the overwhelming majority was asking for alterations to the track. Since March 28, when we announced that changes would be made, we have listened to fans, heard from drivers and talked to engineers about what to do and how much time we had to do it. Once we knew the direction, we located the right equipment to make it happen." The changes concentrate on the progressive banking applied when the current track surface was put in place in the summer of 2007. "The majority of fans we heard from said they wanted adjustments made and the bulk of those said the progressive banking was what they didn't like," said Smith in explaining the decision-making process. "So, that's the focus of our efforts. And that is what we are working to change." When the deteriorating BMS track surface was replaced in 2007, variable banking was added. Often referred to as "progressive" because the degrees increase from bottom to top, the layout provided multiple lanes of racing on the famed short track. Smith said the choice to change the track surface did not come easy, but listening to the race fans always has served him well. "More and more fans kept asking us to do something to the track," Smith said. "So I put it out there. They spoke and we listened. I want them to be happy; I want them to love their experience in Bristol. This will accomplish that and I know they will be pleased with the result."(BMS)(4-25-2012)
Bristol Motor Speedway to announce changes on Apr 25th: On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Jerry Caldwell, BMS general manager, are scheduled to make a special Bristol Motor Speedway announcement concerning alterations to the track surface. Prep work has already begun at BMS as teams have started removing the SAFER Barrier (BMS PR). See video of the removal at the Bristol Herald Courier.(4-12-2012)
Prep Work Beginning at BMS With Removal of SAFER Barrier.(image from BMS PR)
Bruton Smith talks to Tennessee Governor about aid for track: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the owner of Bristol Motor Speedway discussed potential state assistance for the NASCAR venue Friday, two days after plans were announced to renovate the struggling track. Haslam and Bruton Smith, the North Carolina-based owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc., met in Nashville to hold "preliminary discussions" about potential aid. Speedway Motorsports plans to resurface Bristol before its next race in August in response to declining attendance and fan complaints about the quality of racing at the state's only Sprint Cup track. Restoring the track to its original configuration will cost about $1 million, according to The Associated Press. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, said he had spoken with Haslam about potential aid to Bristol, which lies within Ramsey's Senate district. "Attendance was down over 50,000 people, and just the lost sales taxes for two races would be $1 million in revenue," he said. "We have done things in the past - for tracks, for minor league ball clubs - and Bristol has never asked for anything before."(Tennessean)(4-5-2012)
Bruton Smith say changes will be made at Bristol: After more than a week of studying requested fan input, Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, announced he has ordered the go-ahead to make changes to the track surface at Bristol Motor Speedway. "The race fans have spoken," Smith said. "We had input that included a wide range of opinions. But the majority we heard from said they wanted to see changes made. As a result, I have ordered the equipment and work will begin within the next two weeks to allow time to have everything ready for August." Smith said an announcement regarding the scope of the work will be made soon. "The question we wanted to answer as quickly as possible was 'Is something going to be done?' Smith said. "The answer to that is 'yes.' We will have the details in two weeks as to what that 'something' is.(BMS)(3-28-2012)
Tires -- not reinventing speedway -- might be Bristol's answer: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had some advice for Bruton Smith: talk to the drivers before firming up plans to reinvent Bristol Motor Speedway. It might be a good idea for Smith to talk to Goodyear, too, given that changing the tires at Bristol might be a far less expensive alternative to changing the racetrack. Track owner Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., said he was embarrassed by the turnout for last Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the .533-mile track. Consensus was that the grandstands, which can seat 160,000 fans, were roughly half-full. Possible solutions could a include to a return to the one-groove racetrack that disappeared with a 2007 reconfiguration that added graduated banking and opened the outside lane. Side-by-side green-flag racing replaced the typical Bristol bump-and-run, which inevitably led to a rash of caution flags. Tires with more grip and faster degradation might change the complexion of racing at Bristol, if cars with new tires become significantly faster than those on old rubber. "I think if we show up at Bristol with a tire that lays rubber down and is really soft, and it wears out… we need to get it back to where tires mean something," said Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. "Nobody really ever comes in and takes four tires and blows the field anymore." The bottom line is that, if tires degrade rapidly, you'll have cars running radically different speeds on the racetrack, and the mixture of speed and strategy should improve the action.(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-25-2012)
Bruton Smith considering changes to Bristol Motor Speedway UPDATE: Bristol Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith is considering about $1 million worth of changes to return his Tennessee track to the way it was before a 2007 reconfiguration. "We are going to take a very hard look at it this week," Smith told The Associated Press on Monday. "We have everything in our computers that shows us what the track used to be and what it is now, and we started working on that last night. I'll have an answer for you next week on if we'll alter the track." But Smith insisted it was the rain, not fan apathy over the current style of racing at Bristol, that contributed to Sunday's poor crowd. "We certainly thought it was going to be better, but the rain got us," Smith said. Bristol once was one of the toughest tickets in all of professional sports, but attendance has waned the past several years and its spring race has particularly suffered. The speedway says it seats 160,000, and although the grandstands appeared half empty Sunday, NASCAR's listed attendance was 102,000. Smith said 8,120 sold tickets went unused. But he remained adamant the attendance decline has nothing to do with the new racing at Bristol. At the same time, though, Smith said he began talking to his Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials on Sunday evening about changes to the track. Smith said SMI will study fan comments this week. "I want to be sure that the fans like what they see," he said. "If the fans like three abreast through the turns, we do nothing. If they don't, then we'll alter the track. The fans vote is the most important thing." If changes are made, they'll be done in time for NASCAR's Aug. 25 return to Bristol.(more at the Associated Press / Bristol Herald Courier ans SHARE your input HERE)(3-20-2012)
UPDATE: Speedway Motorsports, Inc., CEO Bruton Smith said yesterday that he is moving ahead with plans to return Bristol Motor Speedway to its previous configuration. Speaking on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's The Late Shift with Buddy Baker and Jim Noble, Smith said feedback from fans has been overwhelmingly in favor of changing the legendary speedway's layout. "I'd say it's about 75% from the race fans that they'd like to see us put it back the way it was five years ago," he said. Smith said he has already consulted with engineers about making the necessary changes. "It will absolutely still be concrete," he said, "but we will (redo) the profiling. We have on paper exactly the way the track was before we came in and redid it. We're going to have all the elevations, the ingress and egress as it was before we completely redid it. We will here again offer race fans (the track) the way it was. It's not a major change that we did," insisted Smith. "We took up all the old concrete that was breaking up and causing a lot of problems. We completely redid the speedway, and fans got the idea that it's not the same. I guess it's not the same, since they told us that, and the race fan is always right. When the race fans speak, you listen. And that's what we're doing now." The SMI owner said the changes will be made before the Aug. 25 Sprint Cup Series night race. "You have a good contractor, your plans, your blueprints and a million dollars, and you just go ahead and do it. I've got engineers working on this as we speak. I have not taken this up with NASCAR yet, but that's what we will do," Smith said. "Once we're ready, we'll do it. There will be a press announcement of exactly what we're doing. I want it to be exactly correct -- the way these fans perceive it -- and I want to see 165,000 fans scrambling for tickets the way they have in the past."(Godfather Motorsports)(3-21-2012)
Changes made in BMS pitroad timing-lines: NASCAR has added two pit road timing lines on each side of the track at Bristol to lessen the advantage of certain pit stalls. #2-Brad Keselowski raised eyebrows during his victory at the .533-mile track last August by accelerating rapidly from his pit stall and slowing suddenly as he approached the next time line. Since pit road speed is measured across areas separated by the timing lines, certain stalls located just beyond timing lines have been particularly advantageous. Consequently, a driver can go as fast as possible in the segment in which his or her pit stop occurs without fear of a speeding penalty, effectively circumventing for a short burst Bristol's 30 mph pit-road speed limit. The timing lines added to the frontstretch and backstretch pits effectively cut the timing segments from the length of 11 pit stalls to six.(NASCAR Wire Services)(3-18-2013)
Irwin Tools Bristol night race pre-sale tickets now available: Fans at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend may purchase IRWIN Tools Night Race tickets during an exclusive pre-sale event. Guests with tickets to today's Ford Fan Friday, Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300/Widow Wax 125 or Sunday's Food City 500 can purchase 2012 IRWIN Tools Night Race tickets before they go on sale to the general public March 18 at 2 pm/et. The pre-sale tickets are available at any ticket booth or via telephone at 423-BRISTOL (274-4785). An August race weekend package, which includes the IRWIN Tools Night Race, as well as the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race, is available for $99. IRWIN Tools Night Race Tickets start at $75, Food City 250 pricing begins at $45 and the Camping World Truck Series race tickets are $30. Season tickets are still available through this weekend for the best savings of 25% off.(BMS)(3-18-2012)
BMS App Debuts this weekend: Race fans visiting Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekend's racing activities have a new informational tool to help them keep track of all the excitement at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile." The Bristol Motor Speedway app provides fans access to race and event schedules, GPS-enabled property maps and several other features to help them get even more from their experience at BMS. Guests can use GPS maps to find their current position, as well as various locations around the BMS property. Restrooms, ATMs, first aid stations and entrance gates are just a few of the amenities featured on the maps. One of the apps most popular features, fans can set GPS coordinates to make finding their seat or locating their car or campsite a breeze. Adding to the app's interactivity, guests can create their own customized schedule, called "My Schedule," which will alert them when a special event is set to take place. Additionally, fans can add driver appearances and other activities to their individual schedule. For more info or to download the App, go to bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-16-2012)
Carl Edwards To Serve as Honorary Starter for NNS race at Bristol: Carl Edwards is used to seeing the green flag fly from behind the wheel of his Roush Fenway Ford Fusion or Mustang, but this weekend he'll get a truly different perspective as he serves as Honorary Starter for Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. As part of its multi-year sponsorship agreement with BMS that runs through 2014, the Region Area Ford Dealers have continually looked for ways to activate and improve the race weekend experience for fans. Ford Fan Friday, where race fans can attend Q&A sessions and get autographs from their favorite drivers, has become a highly-anticipated event. The inclusion of Edwards in this special role continues that philosophy. "It's an honor. I've sat in the grandstands to watch races at Bristol and I've been fortunate to race and win there as well, but this will be something totally different and I'm really excited about it," said Edwards, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol in 2007. "I think Ford has a revolutionary and smart technology with EcoBoost that delivers both performance and fuel economy, which is something fans care about." In addition to Edwards' participation, Ford Group Vice-President of Global Marketing, Sales & Service Jim Farley will serve as the race's Grand Marshal. Farley has been a driving force behind the use of racing as a marketing tool for Ford EcoBoost.(BMS)(3-14-2012)
Tennessee Air National Guard to sing National Anthem at Bristol: Members of the Tennessee Air National Guard's 119th Command and Control Squadron from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville, Tenn. will sing the national anthem Sunday, March 18 prior to the start of the Food City 500. The McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base Quartet consists of native Tennesseans First Lieutenant Stephanie McKeen, Second Lieutenant Sarah Miller, Senior Airman Amanda Winkler and Technical Sergeant Jeannine Brown. The foursome has been handpicked to perform for numerous local, state and federal celebrations and events, including the National Guard 375th Anniversary Celebration and numerous senior leaders military events. Monroeville will perform the anthem Saturday, March 17, prior to the Ford EcoBoost 300/Widow Wax 125. The six-man group, all of whom hail from Northeast Tennessee, boasts a crossover sound between progressive bluegrass and acoustic country. Group members are Daniel Salyer, Eli Johnson, Travis Houck, Zane Petty, Matthew Munsey and Matt Flake.(BMS)(3-9-2012)
Kellie Pickler performing at Bristol: Country music sensation Kellie Pickler will perform in the Pepsi pre-race concert at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the Food City 500 March 18. The 25-year-old Pickler shot to stardom after finishing sixth on the fifth season of American Idol in 2005. Among the hits from her first two albums, Small Town Girl and the self-titled Kellie Pickler, are "Red High Heels", "I Wonder", "Don't You Know You're Beautiful", "Best Days Of Your Life", "Things That Never Cross A Man's Mind", and "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You". The first 500 fans who purchase a Track Tour for the Food City 500 also will receive on-track access to Pickler's concert, which will take place on the backstretch. They also will be able to stay on the track for driver introductions. Track Tours are $35 for IBelong members and $65 for non-members. Fans with Pit Road Party Zone access or iBelong Garage Experience passes also can attend Picker's concert.(BMS)(3-3-2012)
Ford to sponsor Bristol's NNS race: Ford Motor Company announced the expansion of the automaker's partnership at Bristol Motor Speedway with the sponsorship of the upcoming Nationwide Series race. The Ford EcoBoost 300 takes place March 17 at the World's Fastest Half-Mile, adding to Ford's involvement at BMS, which also includes sponsorship of Ford Fan Friday qualifying and the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Ford also is the official vehicle of BMS. BMS season tickets, which include the Food City 500 and IRWIN Tools Night Race (Aug. 25) Sprint Cup races, as well as both the Ford EcoBoost 300, the Food City 250 and the K&N race, also are on sale. Pricing for all four races begins at just $175 in the Wallace Tower. A March race weekend package also is available starting at $99 that includes the Food City 500 and the Ford EcoBoost 300/K&N East Series 125 events. A package in the Wallace Tower for both Sprint Cup races also is now available for $99, while packages for fans 15 and younger are available for the March races at half price. Lower row seating for the Food City 500 is available, with tickets starting at $65.(BMS)(2-17-2012)
Bristol going green with Danica for St. Pats Day: Bristol Motor Speedway is "Going Green" in a big way with Go Daddy Girl Danica Patrick during a special St. Patrick's Day celebration for the Nationwide Series event March 17. Breaking a long-standing tradition of eschewing green, once a much-maligned hue in the NASCAR garage, the World's Fastest Half-Mile is embracing the color, right along with Patrick who will be driving a special St. Patrick's Day paint scheme in the 300-lapper that day. Patrick pilots the shamrock covered GoDaddy.com ride for JR Motorsports and makes her second start at BMS. As part of the celebration, fans can purchase a special ticket package for the race which also gives them access to a question and answer session with Patrick at Bristol on the morning of March 17. Fans will also receive a limited edition Danica / St. Patrick's Day event t-shirt, featuring the shamrock-themed #7 GoDaddy.com car. In addition, one lucky fan who purchases the package wins two hot passes and the opportunity to view the race from Patrick's pit box. Fans may visit a special website, www.DanicaGoesGreenAtBristol.com, which will keep them up to date with all the current news surrounding Patrick, tickets and the St. Patrick's Day celebration at BMS. The St. Patrick's Day celebration at BMS will be hosted by George Wendt, known for his 11-year role of the beer-drinking Norm Peterson on the television series Cheers. A post-race pit party also is on tap in the hospitality area with live music. In addition, the creek that runs through the property at Bristol Motor Speedway will be dyed green for the race and the lights that illuminate the stadium at night all will be green. The Patrick ticket package is available for $67 and includes a limited edition t-shirt, a $10 coupon to the JR Nation retail store at JR Motorsports, admittance to the question and answer session and the opportunity to be upgraded with pit passes courtesy of Bristol Motor Speedway. Children's ticket packages also will be available for $37.50 and will include a child's sized t-shirt.(BMS)(1-22-2012)
Bristol Fan Advisory Board accepting new member applications: Bristol Motor Speedway, the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sanctioned facility to institute an advisory group made up of fans, now is taking applications for its Fan Advisory Board. Formed in 2006, Bristol's Fan Advisory Board is a group of loyal fans who provide feedback and new ideas that aid in the growth and development of the Speedway, and its ability to exceed expectations by delivering the ultimate fan experience. Fans may apply online through Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Via online communication and annual meetings, the Fan Advisory Board targets visible issues, identifies challenges and presents ideas to enhance and better the "Bristol Experience." The board is comprised of 30-40 members, consisting of a demographic cross-section of fans. Correspondence and meetings include Bristol senior level management to ensure action items are fulfilled and executed in the vision of the board. Board members serve a "rotational" term that includes three NASCAR race weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway. After serving for three NASCAR race weekends, members rotate off, and new members are appointed.(BMS)(1-19-2012)
Speedway In Lights - Bristol Motor Speedway: It's the region's biggest and brightest holiday tradition. AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights powered by TVA returns to Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway for its 15th season. Open 6 to 10 pm nightly from November 18 through January 7, the entire family will enjoy this four-mile drive throughout Thunder Valley. Millions of lights and hundreds of displays line the route, and you even get to drive on the legendary "World's Fastest Half-Mile." Make sure you take some time to stop in Christmas Village! Enjoy roasting marshmallows, the carnival rides and even visit jolly ol' Saint Nick himself. Returning this season is the wildly popular "Symphony of Lights" which features thousands of LED lights moving to the rhythm of your favorite holiday tunes in the Darrell Waltrip grandstand. Also back for a second straight year is Santa's Sleigh Ride. It's an open-air ride through the lights aboard a holiday themed tram with a tour guide and plenty of fun. Sleigh rides operate only on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 6 pm and 8pm and reservations are required (call 423.989.6900). Sleigh Ride tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. And don't forget, proceeds from your visit to Speedway In Lights benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. So not only will this event put a smile on your face, but it will also brighten the lives of thousands of children throughout the region surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway.(BMS)(12-1-2011)
Random Acts of Kindness Night at Bristol: It was an early Christmas for those who chose to visit AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights powered by TVA at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday evening. For the second season, all visitors were admitted free to the holiday light show as part of Random Acts of Kindness Night in memory of Jeff Byrd, the longtime general manager and president of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway who passed away in October of 2010. Byrd, whose 62nd birthday would have been this past weekend, was a strong advocate of providing a helping hand to anyone who needed it. To honor him, a number of the Speedway’s partners again offered support for what certainly was one of his favorite gestures. At the end of the night, more than 1,100 vehicles passed through the lights and benefited from the act. Random Act of Kindness Night was made possible through the support of Baker’s Construction Services, Can Do Enterprises, Corporal Clean, Express Signs, First Tennessee Foundation, Foster Signs, Green Acres, IT Decisions, JANPAK and Universal Printing. Proceeds from Autotrader.com Speedway In Lights powered by TVA benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for children’s agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The Bristol Chapter of SCC has raised in excess of $6.5 million since 1997. Speedway In Lights is open nightly 6-10 p.m. through Jan. 7. Tickets, which may be purchased at the gate, are $10 for cars Sunday through Thursday, and $12 Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $15 each night and bus tickets are $65 each night.(BMS)(12-14-2011)
Jeff Byrd named to Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame: Former Bristol Motor Speedway president and general manager Jeff Byrd will be inducted posthumously into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Byrd, who passed away in October of 2010, is among 10 inductees who will be enshrined at the annual Hall of Fame banquet in Nashville May 19. A native of North Carolina, Byrd moved to Bristol in 1996 to take the helm at BMS after a lengthy and extremely successful career at R.J. Reynolds. The gregarious Byrd was part of a core group of bright, young people who worked at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. from the 1970s to the 1990s, helping to transform NASCAR into one of the premier spectator sports in the world. Under Byrd's leadership and guidance, Bristol Motor Speedway grew from a 70,000-seat facility to one of the five largest stadiums in the country in terms of permanent seating with approximately 160,000 seats. Byrd's attention to guests - and his mantra of Exceed Expectations - made the race track a fan-favorite and one of NASCAR's most popular venues. During his tenure, Byrd also oversaw the transformation of Bristol Dragway into one of the country's premier NHRA facilities.(BMS)(12-13-2011)
Bristol race dates unchanged in 2012: Bristol Motor Speedway will again kick off NASCAR's short track season in 2012 in March and will welcome fans back for its second Sprint Cup event on the last Saturday in August. The main event in March, the Food City 500, which is the fourth Sprint Cup race of the season, takes place March 18. The IRWIN Tools Night Race, the sport's most popular event, takes place Aug. 25. NASCAR kicks off the BMS March race weekend with Ford Fan Friday March 16, followed by the Nationwide Series event March 17, and the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race March 18. August race week will begin with the Camping World Truck Series/Whelen Modified Series UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader Aug. 22. The Food City 250 Nationwide Series race is Aug. 24, followed by the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 25.(BMS)(9-22-2011)
NASCAR plans more scoring loops at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway is unique among NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks in that it has two separate pit roads - one along each straightaway. That alignment does not fit well with NASCAR's modern method of pitting, which includes strict pit-road speeds and an attempt to make pit stops and the entrance to and exit from the pits as equal as possible. That was not the case in Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race at the track. Race winner Brad Keselowski and others appeared to benefit from the location of their pits, giving them more room to move faster in certain sections of pit road. Other pit spots were not as advantageous. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director John Darby admitted after the race that the situation was not ideal and said NASCAR will address it. "We understand what happened, and we're already looking at it," he said. "We'll probably put in two more scoring loops on each side of pit road." Darby's intent is to add loops on the Bristol surface, thus providing a closer read on speeds. Based primarily on their pit locations, some drivers were positioned to "speed" along portions of pit road, then quickly hit their brakes before being detected. Additional loops should take care of that discrepancy.(SPEED)(8-28-2011)
Bristol Driver Introduction Songs: Instead of run-of-the-mill driver introductions, Bristol Motor Speedway lets Sprint Cup drivers stroll out in front of fans to snippets of the songs of their choice. The speedway on Friday afternoon released a song list for several drivers for Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race. Not all drivers released their song choices; Dale Earnhardt Jr. is keeping his pick a secret until he walks down the ramp. Selections we do know:
• Carl Edwards — "Run This Town" by Jay Z.
• Jimmie Johnson — "Don't Mess Around With Jim" by Jim Croce
• Jeff Gordon — "E.I." by Nelly
• Mark Martin — "La Grange" by ZZ Top
• Kevin Harvick — "Show Me What You Got" by Jay-Z
• Clint Bowyer — "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" by Waylon Jennings
• Jeff Burton — A combination of "Coal Keeps The Lights On" by Neal Spears and "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns 'n' Roses
• Paul Menard — "Gypsy Road"
• Kyle Busch — "Rowdy Busch" by Raytona500
• Denny Hamlin — "Bad Meets Evil" by Fast Lane
• Joey Logano — ESPN's SportsCenter theme song
• Matt Kenseth — "Indestructible" by Disturbed
• Greg Biffle — The Sanford and Son theme song
• David Ragan — "I'm From The Country" by Tracy Byrd
• Tony Stewart — "Throw the Hammer Down" by Derek Miller
• Ryan Newman — "Big Green Tractor" by Jason Aldean
• Kasey Kahne — "Made In America" by Toby Keith
• Kurt Busch — "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix A Lot
• David Reutimann — "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" by The Offspring
• J.J. Yeley — "I'm Sexy And I Know It" by LMFAO.(USA Today)(8-27-2011)
Bristol Season Ticket Holders to have Wall of Fame: Bristol Motor Speedway's thousands of loyal fans are being recognized in a rather unique way during its 50th anniversary celebration throughout August race weekend. Thousands of iBelong Season Ticket Holders at NASCAR's most popular track now have their names placed on the inside retaining wall near the exit of Turn 4. BMS is the first track to honor its fans in this manner. "This is simply another way to show our fans just how important they are to us," said Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell. "These folks are absolutely the best and we wanted to do something a little different - and special - to make sure they realized just how appreciative we are of their support.(BMS)(8-26-2011)
Fans to get Bristol trading cards at Irwin Tools Night Race: Fifty years of racing at Bristol Motor Speedway has produced some of the sport's most significant moments and created lasting memories for race fans. In celebration of the track's golden anniversary, every fan through the gates for the Aug. 27 IRWIN Tools Night Race will receive a sheet of trading cards highlighting some of the most memorable events in Bristol's history. Among the 24 trading cards is one featuring the infamous wreck from the 1999 Night Race in which Dale Earnhardt knocked Terry Labonte out of the way en route to his ninth win at BMS, as well as Darrell Waltrip's history-making seventh straight Bristol win in 1984 and Davey Allison's celebration of his photo-finish victory over Mark Martin in 1990. There are four different sheets of the BMS trading cards and each fan will receive one sheet, enabling them to trade with their fellow race fans that evening, prior to the start of the IRWIN Tools Night Race.(BMS)(8-25-2011)
Bristol 50th anniversary poster given away with souvenir program: Bristol Motor Speedway's celebration of its 50th anniversary continues during the upcoming August race weekend with a special poster and souvenir program to commemorate the occasion. The program features a cover by NASCAR artist Sam Bass that gives a nod to the most successful drivers in the track's history: Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch. Inside the program are numerous photos and stories tracing a half century of Bristol racing. With the purchase of the program comes a poster, created by Roger Warrick, which features all 26 drivers who have won the second race of the season at BMS, including all of the drivers on the cover of the program. Among the other drivers on the poster are Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Ned Jarrett, as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Alan Kulwicki, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Benny Parsons and Ernie Irvan. The poster will be given away as part of the souvenir program package, which includes the program, a BMS collectible car and a plastic sleeve to protect the program. Cost of the program package is only $10. Fans wishing to purchase the $15 package also will receive a BMS racing t-shirt. The program goes on sale Wednesday, Aug. 24 just in time for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200/UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader at BMS, and will be sold throughout race weekend.(BMS)(8-24-2011)
Bristol Dignitaries, National Anthems and Flyovers for Bristol announced: One of the most popular groups ever to sing the national anthem at Bristol Motor Speedway returns to perform prior to IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27. Motor Racing Outreach again brings the children of NASCAR drivers and crew members together to sing the anthem before the green flag falls on the sport’s most popular race. Country music’s J.T. Hodges will perform the national anthem prior to the start of Friday night’s Food City 250. Sidewalk Prophets, winners of the 2010 GMA Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, will perform the anthem Wednesday evening, prior to the start of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200, while country music’s Reagan Boggs, a local favorite from Pound, Va., will perform before the UNOH Perfect Storm 150. Joe Gibbs will give the invocation before the IRWIN Tools Night Race, along with Mike Rife (Vansant Church of Christ, Food City 250), Steve Wingfield (Victory Weekend Ministries, O’Reilly Auto Parts 200) and Don Rivers (Racing with Jesus Ministries, UNOH Perfect Storm 150).
Saturday night’s flyover will feature four T-38 Talon Twin-Jet High-Altitude Trainers from Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas while 2 T-45s from Naval Air Station Meridian (Miss.) will be featured in Friday’s flyover.
The grand marshals for the IRWIN Tools Night Race will be Mike Polk, CEO of Newell Rubbermaid and 250 professional tradesmen. Friday’s grand marshal is Sullivan County sheriff’s deputy Carolyn Gudger, while USMC Retired Lt. Col. Tom Talty (UNOH Perfect Storm 150) and Lyk-Nu Automotive’s Bill Seiber (O’Reilly Auto Parts 200) will drop the green flags Wednesday evening.
Honorary Starters are Ace Hardware’s Ken Goodgame (IRWIN Tools Night Race), country music’s Billy Dean (Food City 250), Lock 16 Restaurants’ Gene Miller (UNOH Perfect Storm 150) and VJ’s Auto’s Ricky Brown (O’Reilly Auto Parts 200). The Tennessee Army National Guard will present the colors Saturday evening while Cherokee High School’s NJROTC will present Friday and Dobyns-Bennett High School’s AFJROTC will present the color prior to both Wednesday races.
Tickets are available for all four night races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Fans can enjoy both the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250 for as little as $99. Should they be in town for the Wednesday night doubleheader, fans can take in all four races under the lights in packages starting at $129. To purchase tickets, fans may contact the BMS ticket office at 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL.(BMS)(8-23-2011)
Transporter Parade in Bristol on Thursday: Some of the most popular drivers in Bristol during August race week never actually compete at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
Fans may not know their names but they certainly recognize the colorful vehicles they pilot as they make their way to Bristol Motor Speedway for the hugely popular Ford/Bristol Motor Speedway Transporter Parade. One of a number of entertaining and fun-filled events that take place at BMS during August race week, the Ford/BMS Transporter Parade, which is Thursday evening, Aug. 25, is definitely a fan favorite. Thousands of fans in the area for the four NASCAR races at BMS that week come out early, staking their claim on their chosen viewing position along the 10-mile route from the Bristol Mall to the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Many of the haulers also will carry a child from either the Make A Wish Foundation or the Children’s Miracle Network. The parade is scheduled to start at 9:00 pm/et at the Bristol Mall, following completion of downtown Bristol’s Food City Family Race Night. More than 60 haulers will then make their way from the mall down Volunteer Parkway to BMS. A reception for BMS season ticket holders will take place at 4:30 pm while the transporter drivers will be introduced at 7:45 pm. The transporter drivers will be available prior to the start of the parade to sign autographs at the Bristol Mall. Children attending the event will be able to enjoy a “5-In-1 Sport” jump playhouse. Single-event tickets for Saturday’s IRWIN Tools Night Race start at $90 while ticket prices for the Food City 250 begin at $45. Wednesday night doubleheader tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 are $25 in advance of the race and $30 Aug. 24. To purchase tickets, fans may contact the BMS ticket office at 1-855-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL.(BMS)(8-22-2011)
Darryl Worley performing pre-race concert at Bristol: Country music star Darryl Worley will take to the stage prior to the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway for a pre-race concert Aug. 27.The Memphis-born singer has released six albums, the latest entitled "Sounds Like Life." Worley has had 18 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including three number one songs, "I Miss My Friend", "Have You Forgotten?", and "Awful, Beautiful Life". Tickets are available for all four night races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Fans can enjoy both the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250 for as little as $99. Should they be in town for the Wednesday night doubleheader, fans can take in all four races under the lights in packages starting at $129. To purchase tickets, fans may contact the BMS ticket office at 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL.(BMS)(8-16-2011)
Bristol Fan Appreciation adds carnival; Junior Johnson: Bristol Motor Speedway's Fan Appreciation Day July 30 will feature rides around the track - and rides of a different kind just outside the World's Fastest Half-Mile. A carnival has been added to the festivities, opening Tuesday, July 26 and running through July 30. The carnival will be free from 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Fan Appreciation Day for anyone with a ticket to Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness that evening at the BMS. Fan Appreciation Day is being held in honor of Bristol Motor Speedway's 50th anniversary. The first NASCAR Grand National race, as the series was called then, took place in Bristol July 30, 1961. Junior Johnson, who finished 22nd that day, while Jack Smith went on to take the checkers, will be on hand to give several lucky fans a ride around the World's Fastest Half-Mile.(BMS)(7-26-2011)
Bristol offers low-cost tent camping: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced another low-cost option for fans interested in attending the IRWIN Tools Night Race week Aug. 24-27. As race fans continue to find more economic ways to vacation, Speedway executives have created tent-camping options ranging from $50 to $75 for the week. "One of the things we have heard consistently from our guests who are coming to the races and others who want to come is the desire for more lodging choices," said Jerry Caldwell, BMS Executive Vice President and General Manager. "We have addressed that in different ways. Fans must have tickets to the events at BMS to reserve the spots which may be purchased by calling (423) BRISTOL (274-7865) or (423) 989-6900. Tent camping spots may be reserved by calling (423) 989-6944.(BMS)(7-25-2011)
Jeff Gordon ticket package at Bristol: Race fans can help AARP and five-time Bristol winner Jeff Gordon in the Drive to End Hunger. Teaming with Bristol Motor Speedway, AARP and the AARP Foundation, Gordon is offering a new, enhanced ticket package for the Aug. 27 IRWIN Tools Night Race. It includes a question-and-answer session with Gordon on the day of the race. Due to space limitations in the BMS hospitality area, availability is limited, so fans are encouraged to purchase tickets promptly. A $4 donation from each package sold will benefit Drive to End Hunger. Fans who purchase the tickets also will receive a Drive to End Hunger hat and a BMS 50th anniversary poster featuring Gordon. The Jeff Gordon ticket package is $124 and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL or 1-866-415-4158. Fans should ask for the Jeff Gordon AARP package. Should fans wish to add a Food City 250 ticket to the package, the cost is $169.(BMS)(7-23-2011)
Bristol launches social media contest: Bristol Motor Speedway, launched a social media contest in conjunction with its summer-long celebration of NASCAR's most popular track and the venue's 50th Anniversary. The contest -- "50 Days of Giveaways" -- invites Facebook fans to participate in a series of interactive promotions to win exclusive experiential prizes like pit passes, VIP hospitality and ticket packages. In addition to Fan Appreciation Day on July 30 and other special events, 50 Days of Giveaways raises awareness about Bristol's storied past, while paying tribute to its special breed of fans. The first contest, currently under way, invites fans to "Show Us Your Number" via photo uploads of shirts, tattoos or body art like the infamous "Number 3 Guy," who shaved Dale Earnhardt's number into his back hair. The winner gets to wave the green flag during Sharpie Qualifying Friday, August 26 and receives two cold pit passes for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race, slated for August 27.(BMS)(7-18-2011))
Bristol hosting Fan Appreciation Day: In celebration of Bristol Motor Speedway's 50th anniversary, NASCAR's most popular track will mark the anniversary of its inaugural race with a Fan Appreciation Day July 30. The first NASCAR Grand National race, as the series was called then, took place July 30, 1961, with Jack Smith becoming the first driver in the track's storied victory lane. Fifty years later, the World's Fastest Half-Mile, long one of NASCAR's premier tracks, will mark the occasion with a fan celebration. Track laps, always a popular event, will be offered at no charge to any fan with tickets to NASCAR events at BMS. Guests who are not ticket holders also may take their own cars around the concrete oval after making a donation of any amount to Speedway Children's Charities. Food City will provide hot dogs and chips, while Pepsi will supply drinks and BKW will provide wings while supplies last. Several local bands also will be on hand to provide entertainment. A number of Monster Trucks also will be staged in the infield where the Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness will take place later that evening.(BMS)(7-16-2011)
Earnhardt, Jr. appearing at Bristol AMP Energy Club: AMP Energy/National Guard driver #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., certainly will amp up the crowd at the World's Fastest Half-Mile Saturday night, Aug. 27 as he vies for the coveted IRWIN Tools Night Race trophy. Prior to him hitting the concrete for the IRWIN Tools Night Race, fans have the opportunity to be in the audience when Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to make an appearance in the hospitality area at the Amp Energy Club that afternoon. The Amp Energy Club features an exclusive member's-only gift pack, a Saturday track tour, door prizes, entertainment, a souvenir program, and NASCAR celebrity appearances. Individual hospitality seating in the Amp Energy Club is available for the Food City 250 on Friday, Aug. 20, the IRWIN Tools Night Race or in a weekend package. A weekend package is $270 per person. Saturday only is $180 and Friday only is $110.(BMS)(6-27-2011)
Bristol Motor Speedway makes list as one the world’s top sports destinations: The unique nature and mystique of Bristol Motor Speedway once again propelled the modern day coliseum to the forefront in a listing of the world’s top sports destinations. In a recent Business Insider article, entitled the “100 Best Venues In Sports”, Bristol Motor Speedway was the lone NASCAR track among the facilities making the list. Selections accumulated points in three categories: architecture, ambiance and aesthetics -- evidenced by the many recently-constructed facilities in the inventory. Bristol Motor Speedway landed in the No. 77 slot; in front of such notable venues as Busan Asaid Stadium (Busan, South Korea), Beijing National Stadium (Bejing, China), home of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Court Phillippe Chatier – the main court at the French Open (Paris, France) and Yas Marina Circuit (Yas Island, UAE), home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or toll free at 1-866-415-4158.(BMS)(6-14-2011)
Bristol Race to Relief Creates 24 Hours of Awareness: Relief and awareness of victims in Tennessee and Virginia from the recent devastating storms are the focus as Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway aid efforts of the American Red Cross this Friday and Saturday with a variety of activities during the BMS Race To Relief. From 5-8 p.m. Friday, for a $25 donation to the relief efforts, fans may make laps around the famed Bristol Motor Speedway in their own cars. For those who cannot make it Friday evening, anyone interested can take part in track laps from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 7. While some take laps on the Speedway, others who happen to be driving by the Speedway may help as well. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, at the North Entrance of the Speedway, BMS employees will be on hand to collect monetary donations of any amount from people wanting take part in the "drop in the bucket" fundraiser. In addition, 25 percent of every ticket sold Saturday for any event during the August NASCAR IRWIN Tools Night Race weekend will be donated to the Red Cross.(BMS)(5-4-2011)
Bristol Night Race tickets on sale: Bristol Motor Speedway's season-long celebration of its 50th anniversary culminates with the running of the IRWIN Tools Night Race, NASCAR's most popular event, Aug. 27, and single-event tickets and weekend packages now are available. Fans can enjoy 750 laps of action at the World's Fastest Half-Mile with the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250 Aug. 26, for as little as $99. Guests in town Wednesday, Aug. 24 for the Wednesday night doubleheader, featuring the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 Camping World Truck Series and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event, can take in all four races under the lights in packages starting at $129. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or toll free at 1-866-415-4158.(BMS)(4-7-2011)
Drag racer to start up car at Bristol start/finish line: For the first time, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing teammates Bob Tasca III and Trevor Bayne will suit up at the same race – Tasca to participate in opening ceremonies, and Bayne to compete in the Jeff Byrd 500 at his home track, Bristol Motor Speedway. Tasca will fire up his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang NHRA Full Throttle Series Funny Car on the start/finish line of the legendary track Sunday morning, after a weekend of appearances at the Ford display, a pace car ride and meetings with media. "When they see one of these cars start up right before the race, and we hit the throttle two or three times, that's when people are really blown away with just how much horsepower we are making out of these Ford engines," said Tasca, who will also take a ride around the world's fastest half-mile on Sunday. "Not too many people realize how much these nitro Ford engines produce, and when you're standing right next to it and we hit the throttle, you really can feel just how much power is there. It's always great to go to a NASCAR event and spread the gospel about our sport, and share what we do with people who don't know much about drag racing," Tasca and the NHRA Full Throttle Series come to Bristol Dragway Father's Day Weekend, June 17-19, 2011 for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, presented by Tri-Cities area Area Ford Dealers.(Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing)(3-20-2011)
New 'World' Record at Bristol: Jason Blonde was the fastest of the fast Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway as he established a new world record during the World’s Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials. Blonde, driving an Xtreme Sprint Series sprint car, clicked off a blistering lap of 144.871 mph in 13.245 seconds, shattering the previous track record of 138.442 mph in 13.860 seconds set by Sammy Swindell in June of 2000 at BMS during a World of Outlaws event. The 36-year-old Blonde, a veteran sprint car racer with more than 50 feature wins on both dirt and pavement, tagged the wall earlier in the afternoon, but was totally unfazed.
Mike Lichty set a new half-mile Supermodified world record with a lap of 144.634 mph in 13.267 seconds. Sprint Cup driver David Ragan piloted his Ford Mustang GT 5.0 to a lap of 98.497 mph at 19.481 seconds, a world record for a passenger car. Scott Russell and his Yamaha took on the World’s Fastest Half-Mile and set a half-mile closed course record for a Superbike with a run of 97.990 mph, which he covered in 19.582 seconds. Others participating in the World’s Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials were USAC Sprint Car driver Bryan Clauson and ISMA Supermodified driver Brad Noffsinger.(BMS)(3-19-2011)
BMS to dedicate POW/MIA memorial in grandstands: Bristol Motor Speedway will hold a special service before the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City March 20 to dedicate a POW/MIA memorial in the grandstands. The Empty Chair Memorial, which serves as a physical symbol of the thousands of American POW/MIAs still unaccounted for from all foreign conflicts, will sit on the frontstretch grandstands, just behind the flag stand. On Friday, March 18, Rolling Thunder, Inc., a national veteran’s orientated organization, and officials from Bristol Motor Speedway, will have the Missing Man Ceremony, while also raising a POW/MIA flag that will fly throughout the weekend at BMS.
The Empty Chair Memorial will be cordoned off in the BMS grandstands. Inside the area will be a solitary chair, fresh flowers that will be changed daily and a plaque. The plaque at the unoccupied seat will recognize the more than 92,000 American soldiers missing since World War I. Race weekend at BMS kicks off with Ford Fan Friday qualifying March 18, followed by the Scotts EZ Seed 300 Nationwide Series race March 19, and the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City Sprint Cup event March 20.(BMS)(3-16-2011)
A sellout not expected at Bristol: While a "huge" crowd is expected for this Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, it's not likely to be a sellout, said both Bruton Smith, who is chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., and Jerry Caldwell, who is president and general manager at Bristol. "I don't know that we'll have a sellout," Smith said. "I'd like to say we will. That would be wonderful. But I don't know that we will. There will be a huge crowd there, though, both Saturday [for the Nationwide Series race] and Sunday [for the Cup Series race]." Bristol Motor Speedway had its string of 55 consecutive sellouts broken last spring when an estimated 138,000 attended the Food City 500, according to NASCAR. The facility offers grandstand seating for 160,000, and fell just short of filling that for last August's night race that was attended by a crowd estimated at 155,000 by NASCAR. Caldwell said BMS is still dealing with a sluggish economy that has adversely affected the ability of long-time season ticket holders to renew their packages and attend Bristol's two races every year. And given a choice, both he and Smith admitted that fans tend to choose the August night race over the spring Sunday afternoon event.(in part from NASCAR.com)(3-15-2011)
Bristol Motor Speedway on cover of NASCAR the Game 2011: Many race fans have dreamed of the day they can slide behind the wheel of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series machine and rocket around the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway.
Now, thanks to a special GameStop Racing and NASCAR The Game 2011 ticket offer, race fans will have that chance…at least, virtually. Through the GameStop Racing package, race fans can purchase two tickets to the March 20 Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City for $150 and receive a $20 GameStop gift card for free. Additionally, fans who buy four tickets for the March 19 Scotts EZ Seed 300 for $180 through the promotion also will receive a $20 GameStop gift card for free.
Race fans may want to put that GameStop gift card toward the purchase of NASCAR The Game 2011 when it releases for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system on March 29 and Wii on April 12. The game features all of the intensity of competing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit and, even better for Bristol fans, the game’s designers chose to put BMS on the cover to highlight what is found within the game.
Fans can live the ultimate motorsports experience in Bristol, and then take on the World’s Fastest Half-Mile themselves in NASCAR The Game 2011 which is developed by Eutechnyx and published by Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI). The game is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. For more information, visit www.NASCARTheGame.com. Anyone interested in the GameStop Racing ticket package can order by calling 1-866-415-4158 or by visiting www.gamestopracing.com/bristol.(BMS)(3-15-2011)
Every fan to get Cloud Cake at Bristol: Birthdays and anniversaries are always a lot of fun when large groups of people get together to celebrate. On March 20, however, the party at the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City will be the largest ever for the guests in attendance. Naturally, like any good party, Bristol Motor Speedway’s 50th anniversary celebration March 20 will include cake. And thanks to Little Debbie, which also is celebrating its 50th anniversary, every fan through the gates that day will receive their own individually wrapped BMS cake.
Little Debbie will present every race fan a specially packaged Cloud Cake, marked with Bristol Motor Speedway’s anniversary logo. Among the tens of thousands of cakes that will be doled out are 50 marked with a golden sticker. Fans holding the “Golden Ticket” cakes will receive two tickets to both the Food City 250 and the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS Aug. 26-27. They also will receive a $50 gift card from Food City, along with Little Debbie products. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(3-14-2011)
World’s Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials at Bristol: Ford NASCAR drivers in a street legal Mustang, a Tony Stewart-owned sprint car, two supermodifieds, and a world superbike champion will attempt to establish half-mile closed course records in the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials” Saturday, March 19, immediately following the Scotts EZ Seed 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. As part of Bristol Motor Speedway’s 50th anniversary celebration, the Speedway extended invitations to several motorsports champions from wide-ranging motorsports disciplines to set class half-mile closed-course records, as well as break the 11-year-old track record.
Former NASCAR Cup driver Brad Noffsinger, Mike Lichty and Bryan Clauson will chase Sammy Swindell’s all-time Bristol track record of 138.442 mph (13.860 seconds), set during qualifying for a World Of Outlaws winged sprint car event at Bristol in June 2000. Noffsinger and Lichty will be first to try out supermodifieds, the most exotic cars to hit Bristol’s high banks, while Clauson will run one of Tony Stewart’s pavement sprint cars.
Former AMA and World Superbike Champion Scott Russell will attempt to set a half-mile closed-course motorcycle speed record riding a Yamaha superbike. The five-time Daytona 200 winner brings substantial experience on high banked ovals, though never one as tight as Bristol’s half-mile.
Ford Racing enters its supercharged 2011 Mustang GT to Bristol to establish a half-mile closed course record for street legal cars. Ford NASCAR drivers David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose are expected to drive the ultimate "pony car" into the record books. The Mustang’s 5.0 liter engine is topped off by Ford Racing's twin-screw supercharger and cranks out 624 horsepower. To balance all that power with more driver control, the factory suspension comes equipped with a FR3 handling pack and Ford Racing/Brembo big brake kit.
Competitors will have one hour, from approximately 5 until 6 p.m., to make record runs following the Scotts EZ Seed 300. The “World’s Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials” is a bonus event for the Nationwide Series race ticketholders. The Speed Trials will begin after the conclusion of the Scotts EZ Seed 300. The driver and car line-ups are subject to change.(BMS)(3-13-2011)
Billy Ray Cyrus to sing National Anthem for Jeff Byrd 500: Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus will sing the national anthem prior to the start of the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City March 20 at Bristol Motor Speedway. A multi-platinum selling artist who has released 11 albums and 38 singles over the last two decades, Cyrus has scored eight top-10 singles on the Billboard Country Songs chart. The Walt Disney Records label singer also will perform his hit “Some Gave All” during the pre-race show. Carter’s Chord, composed of sisters Becky, Emily and Joanna Robertson, will sing the national anthem March 19 for the Scotts EZ Seed 300. Tickets for the Jeff Byrd 500 are available for $93, while tickets for the Scotts EZ Seed 300 (March 19) start at $45. Ford Fan Friday tickets (March 18) are only $5 and are just $4 for fans who have tickets to the Jeff Byrd 500. A March race weekend package for both the Scotts EZ Seed 300 and the Jeff Byrd 500 can be purchased for as low as $99. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(3-11-2011)
Pit Road Party Zone access available at Bristol: Gaining infield access at Bristol Motor Speedway is a top priority for many race fans. However, acquiring admission to the pit area has been very limited due to space restrictions - until the advent of the Pit Road Party Zone. Hundreds of fans enjoyed the Pit Road Party Zone last August and now it is available for the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City at BMS March 20. Located behind the backstretch pits of Bristol Motor Speedway, party guests have the best seats in the house and receive a number of special amenities, including elevated viewing platforms and appearances by Jeff Burton and other NASCAR celebrities. Pre-race entertainment will feature a live band, bar areas and each fan receives a commemorative BMS souvenir, lunch and snacks. Access to the Pit Road Party Zone, where grandstand tickets are not required, is limited to the first 300 fans. Cost is $400 per person. Tickets may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll free at 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(3-8-2011)
Buy a program at Bristol, get a poster: Collectors of Bristol Motor Speedway's souvenir programs are in for a special treat as both the March and August editions will commemorate the storied track's 50th anniversary. Both programs feature golden covers with numerous stories and photos that trace the history of the World's Fastest Half-Mile. And with the purchase of the program comes a one-of-a-kind poster that is sure to become a collector's item itself. The poster for the March race spotlights winners from the first 50 spring events at BMS, dating back to 1961. Legends such as Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson are featured, along with some of today's stars, like Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton. The August poster features all winners from Bristol Motor Speedway's second race.(BMS)(3-7-2011)
Food City Race Night at Bristol March 18: The star power for Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway continues to grow with the addition of Pepsi MAX driver Jeff Gordon. Gordon is scheduled to participate in a question and answer session Friday, March 18 in the hospitality area at 6 p.m. Gordon's teammate, five-time and defending Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, takes part in the evening's activities as well, as he attempts to dethrone two-time Wii Boxing champion Elliott Sadler. Others vying for the Bristol Motor Speedway Wii Boxing championship include Clint Bowyer, Marcos Ambrose, Bobby Labonte and David Reutimann. Wii Boxing gets under way at approximately 6:30. A second question and answer session begins at 6:30 p.m. with Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers, David Ragan, A.J. Allmendinger and Matt Kenseth. New this year to Food City Race Night is the BMS version of the Newlywed Game, set for approximately 7:30. Instead of husbands and wives playing the game, however, this game features drivers and crew chiefs. Among those competing is Kasey Kahne and Kenny Francis, Brad Keselowski and Paul Wolfe and Trevor Bayne and Donnie Wingo. Food City Race Night opens at 4 p.m. Various drivers sign autographs and show cars are on display, along with simulators and souvenir trailers. Live entertainment is featured, along with free food sampling.(BMS)(3-6-2011)
Byrd family named grand marshals of Jeff Byrd 500: Food City officials recently stunned the NASCAR community with their decision to forgo traditional entitlement rights, opting rather to name the March 20 Sprint Cup event the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City, in honor of the dynamic President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway who passed away last October. Friday company officials announced that Byrd's wife of 36 years, Claudia, along with son Christian and daughter Belton Caldwell will serve as the event Grand Marshals.(BMS)(3-5-2011)
March 13-20 designated Jeff Byrd Week in Tennessee: Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey spoke from the well of the Tennessee state Senate Thursday following the reading of a resolution honoring his late friend, Jeff Byrd, the longtime president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, with a week in his honor. "Anybody who knew Jeff Byrd will never forget him," said Ramsey. "I have never seen anyone become a member of a community as quickly as Jeff Byrd did in Bristol. If Jeff Byrd had a fault, it was that he couldn't say no," Ramsey added. "He was always looking to help others and challenging those around him to do the same." The resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 89, designates March 13-20 as Jeff Byrd Week in Tennessee. Rep. Jon Lundberg also spoke from the well in honor of Mr. Byrd. Ramsey and Lundberg were joined in the well by Byrd's wife Claudia, his sister JoJo Davis and daughter Belton Caldwell. The resolution, once passed, will be framed and presented to the family prior to the annual spring race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Longtime sponsor Food City has renamed the March 20 race the Jeff Byrd 500.(BMS)(3-4-2011)
Bud Tap Room Package available at Bristol: Some race fans prefer to sit in skyboxes during NASCAR events at Bristol Motor Speedway. Others believe the only place to be is in the grandstands. There also are those who wish they could have the best of both worlds. For that group, the Bud Tap Room package at Bristol Motor Speedway is the perfect compromise. Fans receive a grandstand seat, suite access as part of the Bud Tap Room package and a meet and greet with Budweiser driver and former BMS winner Kevin Harvick. The grandstand seating is located in the Wallace Tower with easy access to the climate-controlled Bud Tap Room suite. Ticket holders for the Bud Tap Room package will receive a $25 food and drink voucher for the weekend food and beverage will be available for purchase. Private restrooms also are available, along with closed-circuit television. The Bud Tap Room package is available for the March race weekend.(BMS)(3-3-2011)
Bristol Motor Speedway to host rally for Bayne Monday in Knoxville: Trevor Bayne has visited New York and California and several places in between over the last few days but no stop will be sweeter for the 20-year-old than the one he will make Monday when Bristol Motor Speedway, Food City and his hometown honor him in in downtown Knoxville. BMS, the track Bayne has been visiting since he was a small child, Food City and the City of Knoxville will host a rally for the Daytona 500 champion Monday at Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum from 3:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Originally planned for Market Square downtown in Bayne's hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., rally organizers with Bristol Motor Speedway, Food City and the City of Knoxville decided Friday afternoon to shift sites to the Mary Costa Plaza location. ESPN's Jerry Punch will be the emcee of the event, while a number of other city and state officials, as well as actor David Keith, a Knoxville native and legendary NASCAR car owners Eddie and Len Wood will participate in the event.(BMS)(2-27-2011)
March Cup race at Bristol named Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City: To honor Jeff Byrd, the dynamic President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway who passed away last October, Food City officials today announced the March 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway will carry a new name. Known since 1992 as the Food City 500, the spring event at Bristol Motor Speedway for 2011 is billed as the Jeff Byrd 500, presented by Food City. “Jeff Byrd was more than a business partner, he was a true friend to our company, our associates and to me and my family personally,” said Food City President and CEO Steven C. Smith. “He spent years putting his guests first and instilling that attitude in his team”.
“We are all convinced that Jeff absolutely would not have wanted us to do this, as his focus was always on keeping the guests and sponsors of Bristol Motor Speedway front and center, but that’s one of the reasons that this time, we’re putting Jeff out front. It’s only natural to honor someone who worked so hard to build this facility, this sport and this region.” Bristol Motor Speedway Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell said he was speechless when Smith made the offer to honor Byrd, who guided BMS and its employees for 15 years. “Right after we agreed to the partnership extension, Steve looked me right in the eye and said ‘What are we going to do to honor Jeff?’” said Caldwell. “I told him we were talking about some different things and wanted to know what he had in mind. He said ‘I want to name the race for him.’”
“I was blown away. Here was a guy who had just agreed to a three year contract extension -- and that’s not free -- and was sitting there offering to give up the race name for a year. I absolutely didn’t know what to say. It was Jeff who coached us to exceed expectations and it was his effort to stay in the background that made us all so aware of his presence.”
AND Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced an agreement to continue their 20-year partnership into a third decade, extending for three more years the second-longest race sponsorship in NASCAR racing. Sponsor of both the Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in March and the Food City 250 Nationwide event in August, 2011 will mark the 20th year the supermarket chain has served as the entitlement sponsor of these events. Only one other track in NASCAR has a longer such partnership. Food City’s involvement at Bristol Motor Speedway goes beyond just race sponsorship. Food City Race Night on BMS property in March and on State Street in downtown Bristol in August are huge events that attract tens of thousands of race fans annually.
Bristol Motor Speedway kicks off its 50th NASCAR season with Ford Fan Friday qualifying March 18, followed by the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 19 and the Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City March 20. In August, night racing returns with the Aug. 24 O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 and UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader, followed by the Food City 250 Aug. 26 and the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27. Tickets are available to all events and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll free at 1-866-415-4158, 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or 423-989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(2-15-2011)
Bristol Chamber honors Jeff Byrd: Fighting back tears, Claudia Byrd composed herself enough to smile briefly for the cameras Wednesday while accepting recognition for her late husband. The Bristol Chamber of Commerce presented a posthumous lifetime achievement award and announced a new scholarship named in Jeff Byrd's honor, during its 101st annual awards celebration. Byrd, the former president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway who died in October after a battle with cancer, was praised for his leadership in civic, charitable and chamber affairs. He was a longtime member of the chamber's board of directors and a former board president. The new Jeff Byrd Exceeding Expectations Scholarship will be available to seniors at Virginia High and Tennessee High in Bristol, Sullivan East and Sullivan Central in Tennessee and John S. Battle High in Virginia. Other award winners included Lori Worley of Bristol Motor Speedway, who won the Convention and Visitors Bureau Service Award.(Bristol Herald Courier)(1-28-2011)
Area Hotels join with Bristol, drops rates, minimum nights: Five Tri-Cities area hotels, in partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway, lowered per-night room rates for 2011 and dropped a previous three-night minimum to two. The AmericInn Lodge & Suites in Jonesborough, Tenn., The Comfort Inn in Abingdon and Bristol, Va., The Comfort Suites in Abingdon, Va., and the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Bristol, Va., lowered requirements for the coming racing season, the first properties to join the fan-friendly Bristol initiative. The participating hotels will be listed on the BMS website, in the BMS Magazine and named in mailings to ticket holders. Tickets are available to all events and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll free at 1-866-415-4158, 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or 423-989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(1-19-2011)
Visitors to the 14th season of AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights powered by TVA have a number of holiday-themed activities to take advantage of while at Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway. A new attraction this year, however, gives them the opportunity to see the largest display to be added in the event's 14-year history.
Symphony of Lights, a spectacular show consisting of more than 300,000 LED lights, clearly is the highlight of this season’s event. Each light is synchronized to music, creating an amazing display, sure to delight young and old alike. The new dancing lights, located in the Darrell Waltrip Grandstand, are particularly entertaining for guests who take part in Christmas Village activities. The show, is programmed by Shadrack Productions to dance to a vairety holiday songs.
Proceeds from AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for children’s agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The Bristol Chapter of SCC has raised in excess of $5.5 million since 1997.
Tickets for Speedway In Lights, open nightly 6-10 p.m., Nov. 19-Jan. 8, will be available at the BMS gate. Ticket prices for cars are $10 Sunday through Thursday, and $12 Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $15 each night and bus tickets are $65 each night. For more information concerning Speedway In Lights, please call 423-989-6900. More info at Bristolmotorspeedway.com
Caldwell named GM of Bristol: Jerry Caldwell was named as General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway by Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Caldwell, most recently Vice President of Corporate Sales and Acting General Manager at BMS, fills the position held since 1996 by Jeff Byrd, who passed away Oct. 17. Caldwell joined the BMS Sales and Marketing Department in 1997, and was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Sales in 2009. A three-time salesperson-of-the-year at BMS, Caldwell also has been named BMS Employee of the Year and Speedway Motorsports Salesperson of the year. A native of Lexington, N.C., Caldwell is a 1997 graduate of King College in Bristol with a B.A. in Business. During his time at King, he also spent a summer studying at the International Business Institute in Europe. Caldwell and his wife, Belton, are the proud parents of four children and reside in Jonesborough, Tenn.(BMS)(11-1-2010)
Sad News - Jeff Byrd: Jeff Byrd, Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway President and General Manager, passed away today [Oct. 17th] following a lengthy illness. He was 60. The dynamic Byrd, one of the most respected and admired leaders in racing, had been at the helm of BMS since January of 1996 when Speedway Motorsports, Inc., purchased the Bristol facility. Under his leadership, the track became the most popular venue on the NASCAR tour. Prior to his move to BMS, Byrd served 23 years in the sports marketing department at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., departing as vice president of business development. He began his career as a sportswriter at the Winston-Salem Journal.
Byrd is survived by his wife of 36 years, Claudia, daughter Belton Caldwell and her husband Jerry, son Christian Byrd and his wife Amy, seven grandchildren and an extended family of more than 70 fellow employees.
“From his days as a sportswriter to his time at R.J. Reynolds to the last 14 years, Jeff Byrd was one of the greatest promoters both stock car and drag racing has known,” said Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO O. Bruton Smith. “To say his passing leaves a void would be an understatement. Simply put, Jeff got it. He understood that more than what happened on the track, it was the experience that fans took home with them that stayed in their memories. And those fans, and the people he worked with at Bristol Motor Speedway, were truly like family to him. Because of the mindset that he possessed, Jeff will stay in our hearts and memories forever. ”
A 35-year veteran in the sports marketing profession, Byrd was involved in the development and implementation of a multitude of sports and event marketing programs across the sports spectrum. Byrd was extremely active in numerous civic organizations and had made a tremendous impact in the Tri-Cities community, as well as his church, First Presbyterian in Kingsport, where he was a longtime member. He was involved with a number of charitable groups and he and his wife Claudia organized and spearheaded the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, a non-profit agency dedicated to aiding children in need in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Byrd received his B.A. degree in history and politics from Wake Forest University.(Bristol Motor Speedway), Funeral arrangements are pending.(10-17-2010)
SERVICES: Service Arrangements for Jeff Byrd - Jeff’s family invites his friends to join them in celebrating Jeff’s life at 11:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at Grace Fellowship Church, 2314 South Greenwood Drive, Johnson City, Tennessee with Dr. Greg Jordan and Dr. David Cagle officiating. A community appreciation service will be held at 11:00 am Thursday morning, October 21, 2010 in the infield at Bristol Motor Speedway. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Jeff Byrd Foundation, c/o Kingsport Community Foundation, 625 Market Street, Suite 1400, Knoxville, TN 37902. Donations also can be made through the website at www.easttennesseefoundation.org.(10-18-2010)
List of Driver song selections for driver intros: Bristol Motor Speedway is continuing a popular new tradition on Saturday night: Each NASCAR driver will pick a song to be played when he walks out for pre-race introductions. Here is the list of songs for this year:
* AJ Allmendinger: "Bad Company" / Five Finger Death Punch
* Bobby Labonte: "What Do Ya Think About That" / Montgomery Gentry
* Brad Keselowski: "For Those About To Rock" / AC/DC
* Carl Edwards: (Secret until Saturday night)
* Casey Mears: TBA
* Clint Bowyer: "Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde" / Travis Tritt
* Dale Earnhardt Jr.: (Secret until Saturday night)
* Dave Blaney: TBA
* David Gilliland: "I Get It In" / 50 Cent
* David Ragan: "Thunderstruck" / AC/DC
* David Reutimann: "The Game" / Motorhead
* Denny Hamlin: "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" / Dropkick Murphys
* Elliott Sadler: Opening to "2001: A Space Odyssey"
* Greg Biffle: "For Whom The Bell Tolls" / Metallica
* JJ Yeley: TBA
* Jamie McMurray: "I'm Gonna Miss Her" / Brad Paisley
* Jeff Burton: "Welcome To The Jungle" / Guns N' Roses
* Jeff Gordon: "Let's Go" / Trick Daddy
* Jeff Green: TBA
* Jimmie Johnson: "Funky Cold Medina" / Tone Loc
* Joe Nemechek: "Born To To Be Wild" / Steppenwolf
* Joey Logano: "Play That Funky Music" / Wild Cherry
* Juan Pablo Montoya: "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" / Nickelback
* Kasey Kahne: "Pretty Good At Drinkin' Beer" / Billy Currington
* Kevin Harvick: "Jump Around" / House of Pain
* Kevin LePage: "Juke Box Hero" / Foreigner
* Kurt Busch: "This Afternoon" / Nickelback
* Kyle Busch: "Rowdy Busch" / 2012 f. Raytona 500
* Landon Cassill: TBA
* Marcos Ambrose: "Black Betty" / Spiderbait
* Mark Martin: (Secret until Saturday night)
* Martin Truex Jr.: "All About Tonight" / Blake Shelton
* Matt Kenseth: "Miracle" / Nonpoint
* Max Papis: "Fuel" / Metallica
* Michael McDowell: "Earthquake" / Family Force 5
* Mike Bliss: TBA
* Paul Menard: "Cowboys From Hell" / Pantera
* Reed Sorenson: "Not Afraid" / Eminem
* Regan Smith: "Welcome To The Family" / Avenged Sevenfold
* Robby Gordon: "Not Afraid" / Eminem
* Ryan Newman: TBA / Bridgette Tatum
* Sam Hornish Jr.: "Kickstart My Heart" / Motley Crue
* Scott Speed: "OMG" / Usher f. Will.i.am
* Todd Bodine: Theme for "The Three Stooges"
* Tony Raines: "Last Dance With Mary Jane" / Tom Petty
* Tony Stewart: "Bawitdaba" / Kid Rock
* Travis Kvapil: "Bodies" / Drowning Pool
(SB Nation/Jeff Gluck)(8-20-2010)
IRWIN Tools Challenge Winner to Serve as Grand Marshal at Bristol: As a result of capturing the North American Championship of the 2010 IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Brandon, Mississippi's Delwyn Thornton will serve as the Grand Marshal for tonight's inaugural IRWIN Industrial Tools Night Race at the World's Fastest Half Mile. Thornton, a shoe repairman and the owner of Soles and Heels Shoe Repair for over 27 years, will give the command for the 43 drivers to "Start Your Engines." The IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge, a skill-based competition that travelled across the U.S. and Canada for more than 50 events, challenged professional tradesmen to perform a series of precise tasks-such as gripping, sawing, marking, clamping and drilling-in a race against the clock. A total of 23 local competitors won an all-expenses-paid trip to Bristol, in addition to an IRWIN tool bag packed with IRWIN tools and genuine Cat footwear, to compete in the North American Championship, which was held Friday in BMS's Exhibit Area. Thornton completed the Challenge in 28.50 seconds, edging out Frank Blatz (Abbotsford, BC), who was clocked at 30.75 seconds. In addition to having the opportunity to say NASCAR's most famous words prior to the start of the race, Thornton won a year's supply of Cat footwear and a custom IRWIN Tools Mustang GT Premium Pace Car - the official pace car of the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Thornton advances to the World Finals in March of 2011, again at Bristol Motor Speedway, where six tradesmen from around the world will compete to become the Worldwide IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman. The tradesman with the top time will win the grand prize - a chance to win $1 million.(Irwin Tools)(8-21-2010)
Byrd to miss weekend activities at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway president and general manager Jeff Byrd continues a steady recovery after being sidelined recently by illness. Byrd, who will miss the IRWIN Tools Night Race activities this weekend, recently completed another round of treatments and is making remarkable progress, according to his doctors. “Our race fans, who are the best in the sport, know how much I want to be there this weekend, especially with it being our 100th Cup race,” said Byrd, who has continued to come into the office between treatments. “We thought at first, the treatment calendar was going to work, but then we realized it wasn’t. Believe me, not being able to be there to see all my friends is disappointing. It’s what we work so hard for all year – and what Bruton pays us to do. But, I have a lot to be thankful for right now. My recovery is going extremely well and my doctors are very happy. Of course, things aren’t progressing quickly enough for me, but anybody who knows me can tell you that I’m not exactly a patient person. Claudia and I, and my entire family, have truly been overwhelmed by the prayers and support and couldn’t be more thankful. If all the fans could continue to keep me in their prayers I would be grateful. I just want them to have a great weekend while they soak in the amazing Bristol experience. That’s the best medicine I could ask for.”(BMS)......get well Jeff! (8-20-2010)
Salute To Military Planned Prior To IRWIN Tools Night Race: Bristol Motor Speedway will proudly pay homage to our country’s greatest heroes with a military salute prior to the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 21. Military anthems from all branches of the armed services – the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard – will be played as flags of each branch are flown in, via parachutists. Fans in the military who currently serve, are veterans, or who have family members who are serving or who have served in the past, will be asked to stand and be recognized.
Bristol Motor Speedway’s fans will play a key role in the patriotic salute. Upon entering BMS that evening, they will be given a red, white or blue towel, which also commemorates the 100th Sprint Cup race at BMS. Once the flags have been flown in, fans will be asked to stand and wave their towels in unison to honor America and our military members.
Two CH-53E helicopters from Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, N.C. will then fly over Bristol Motor Speedway, followed by the playing of God Bless the USA, at which time a parachutist will fly in, carrying the American flag. A pair of Harrier jets from the USMC VMFA-223 unit in Cherry Point will then perform a flyover.
Presentation of the Colors will be provided by the Special Ceremonies Team Color Guard from the 14th Weather Squadron from Asheville, N.C. Ruth Graham, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, will give the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegience, led by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. Children of NASCAR drivers, with assistance from Motor Racing Outreach, will sing the national anthem.
A 60’ x 90’ American flag will be displayed on the BMS front stretch as the anthem is sung and fireworks will go off around the track. At the conclusion of the anthem, the Washington D.C. Air National Guard’s 121st Fighter Squadron [F-16's] from Joint Base Andrews will perform the final flyover. To purchase tickets, please contact the BMS ticket office at its toll free number 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL (274-7865). Tickets also are available at www.bristoltix.com.(8-20-2010)
Bristol Transporter Parade: Fans line Bristol's Volunteer Parkway as NASCAR's multi-million dollar transporters make their way to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." Fans may not know the names of these drivers, but they certainly recognize the colorful vehicles they pilot through Bristol during the wildly popular Ford/Bristol Motor Speedway Transporter Parade. One of a number of entertaining and fun-filled special events that takes place at BMS during August race week, the Transporter Parade, which is Thursday evening, Aug. 19, is truly a fan favorite. Thousands of fans in the area for the four NASCAR races at BMS that week come out early, staking their claim on their chosen viewing position along the 10-mile route from Bristol Mall to "The World’s Fastest Half-Mile." Many of the haulers also will carry a child from either the Make A Wish Foundation or the Children’s Miracle Network.
The parade starts at 9:00pm/et at the Bristol Mall, following completion of downtown Bristol’s Food City Race Night. More than 60 haulers then will make their way from the mall down Volunteer Parkway to BMS. The transporter leading the way will be the one belonging to the leader of the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings heading into the IRWIN Tools Night Race, currently Kevin Harvick. To add to the parade’s atmosphere, fireworks will light up the night from four different points along the route. The transporter drivers will be available prior to the start of the parade to sign autographs at the Bristol Mall. There also will be face painting for children, along with a “5-In-1 Sport” jump playhouse.(BMS)(8-19-2010)
Wilkes County Bristol Stop: Set in the Brushy Mountains of western North Carolina, lays Wilkes County with a deep history of NASCAR. It is the site of the North Wilkesboro Speedway which hosted NASCAR events for 50 years. This year on the way to Bristol for the races Wilkes County will be hosting the First Annual “Bristol Stop” on race weekend, Wilkes County hotels will be offering deeply discounted hotels at several of the local hotels that include, Wilkesboro Holiday Inn, Addison Inn, and the Hampton Inn all in the Town of Wilkesboro and close to the North Wilkesboro Speedway, and within 2 hours of Bristol, TN. Anyone stopping in town on race weekend with a Bristol ticket will be able to take their ticket down to the North Wilkesboro Speedway and take a lap around the track in your street car. Also that weekend on August 21st at 7:00pm, Tim Dugger will be performing in concert at West Wilkes High School, tickets prices are $10 each and will be available during check-in at all participating hotels, all proceeds from the Tim Dugger concert will go to the Benny Parsons Athletic Complex to be built at West Wilkes High School. More info at savethespeedway.net.(8-18-2010)
Bristol names National Anthem singers: Southern pop artist Jessie James will sing the national anthem prior to the start of the Food City 250 Aug. 20, while the children of NASCAR drivers again will sing prior to the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 21. The Mercury Records star recently released her second album, "Boys in the Summer," which is already making its way up both pop and country charts. Always one of the most popular groups to sing the anthem, the children of NASCAR drivers, with assistance from Motor Racing Outreach, will sing prior to the start of the IRWIN Tools Night Race Saturday night.(BMS)(8-17-2010)
Bristol announces 2001 race dates: NASCAR's two Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Bristol Motor Speedway will remain in March and August in 2011, with the August date moving back one week. Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR's most popular track, returns to its customary August race date, the weekend prior to the Labor Day holiday, Aug. 26-27. NASCAR kicks off the BMS spring weekend with Ford Fan Friday March 18, followed by the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series event March 19, and the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race March 20.(BMS)(8-11-2010)
Bristol single event tickets on sale: For the first time in nearly two decades, fans now may purchase single-event tickets to NASCAR's most popular Sprint Cup event, the IRWIN Tools Night Race. The Aug. 21 running of the IRWIN Tools Night Race is a major milestone for Bristol Motor Speedway as the World's Fastest Half-Mile will host its 100th Cup race. The first 500-lap NASCAR race at BMS took place July 30, 1961. A limited number of tickets for the incomparable Saturday night show, voted by fans as the most popular race on the NASCAR schedule, are available for $109 each. These single-event tickets are renewable. Fans also may purchase a three-day package, which features four NASCAR races. Action kicks off Aug. 18 with the O'Reilly 200 Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm Whelen Modified doubleheader. Also in the package are the Food City 250 Nationwide event Friday night, Aug. 20, and the showcase race Aug. 21, the IRWIN Tools Night Race. To purchase, please contact the BMS ticket office at its toll free number 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL (274-7865). Tickets may also be purchased at www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(5-9-2010)
Bristol August Race Weekend packages on sale now: Racing under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. Nothing else on the NASCAR schedule comes close to mirroring that kind of excitement or such a unique atmosphere. NASCAR’s most coveted ticket to its wildly popular Sprint Cup event, the IRWIN Tools Night Race, along with its companion events, is now on sale at Bristol Motor Speedway. A three-day package features 1,100 laps of non-stop action at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Included is the Aug. 18 Wednesday night doubleheader, the O’Reilly 200 (Camping World Truck) and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 (Whelen Modified), the Food City 250 (Nationwide) Aug. 20 and the showcase event Aug. 21, the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Fans who can only attend the Friday and Saturday night races also may purchase a two-race package for the Food City 250 and IRWIN Tools Night Race. Packages for all three days start at only $170 while pricing for the two-day package begins at $126. To purchase, please contact the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-28-2010)
No sellout for Bristol, first since 1982: According to figures provided by NASCAR, an estimated total of 138,000 attended Sunday’s Food City 500 Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Unofficial estimates placed the figure closer to 120,000 on the overcast and chilly afternoon. Entering the weekend, the 160,000-seat facility had been sold out for 55 straight Sprint Cup events. The NASCAR attendance estimate for Saturday’s Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series race was 85,000. Crowds of over 100,000 have attended the Nationwide races at BMS in recent years. Many fans have complained that the excitement level of BMS events has been diminished since the .533-concrete oval underwent an extensive 2007 resurfacing project which gave competitors more room to maneuver. That sentiment remerged Monday morning on various NASCAR message boards and talk shows, even though Sunday’s Food City 500 featured 29 lead changes, 10 caution periods and a 10-lap dash to the finish. According to BMS Vice President of Public Affairs Kevin Triplett, the biggest hurdle facing BMS the past two years has been the slumping national economy. Triplett feels that the thousands of empty seats this past weekend were emblematic of the financial challenges in NASCAR hotbeds around the Midwest and Northeast. “As far as winning back fans, more than 60% of the ones we surveyed who did not renew their tickets said it was for economic reasons,” Triplett said. The August Sprint Cup race at BMS remains one of the most popular events in motorsports. Speedway officials have attempted to generate renewed interest for their March race program by holding the Food City Race Night program on track property and by introducing a 35-lap charity event for retired NASCAR drivers on Saturday night. “There are other things – lodging costs, people out of work – that are factors that are out of our hands,” Triplett said. (Bristol Herald Courier), The speedway’s record streak of 55 sellouts began back in August 1982 – when the track could accommodate a mere 30,000 fans.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-23-2010)
Song Drivers were introduced to at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
AJ Allmendinger .... "Last Resort'' by Papa Roach
Aric Almirola .... "Back in Black'' by AC/DC
Bobby Labonte ... "People are Crazy'' by Billy Currington
Brad Keselowski ... "Won't Back Down'' by Tom Petty
Brian Vickers ... "Whatever Happened'' by OAR
Carl Edwards ... "Black Betty'' by Spiderbait
Casey Mears ... "Wild Side'' by Motley Crue
Clint Bowyer ... "Burning Love'' by Elvis Presley
David Ragan ... "The Devil Went Down to Georgia'' by Charlie Daniels
David Reutimann ... "The Game'' by Motor Head
Denny Hamlin .. "Theme from Rocky''
Elliott Sadler ... "2001: A Space Odyssey Theme'''
Greg Biffle ... "Welcome to the Jungle'' by Guns N' Roses
Jamie McMurray ... "Let It Rock'' by Kevin Rudoph featuring Lil Wayne
Jeff Burton ... "Welcome to the Jungle'' by Guns N' Roses
Jeff Gordon ... "Boom, Boom, Pow'' by Black Eyed Peas
Jimmie Johnson ... "Ramble On'' by Led Zepplin
Juan Pablo Montoya ... "Goin' The Distance'' by Cake
Kasey Kahne ... "Bulls on Parade'' by Rage Against the Machine
Kevin Conway ... "Big Time'' by Peter Gabriel
Kevin Harvick ... "Rollin -- Airraid Vehicle'' by LImp Bizkit
Kurt Busch ... "Dukes of Hazard Theme song'' by Waylon Jennings
Kyle Busch ... "Amazing'' by Kanye West
Marcos Ambrose ... "Thunderstruck'' by AC/DC
Maritn Truex Jr. ... "NAPA Know How Jingle''
Matt Kenseth ... "Whisky Hangover'' by Godsmack
Paul Menard ... "Paradise City'' by Guns N' Roses
Regan Smith ... "Fight for Your Right'' by Beastie Boys
Robby Gordon ... "Some Beach'' by Blake Shelton
Ryan Newman ... "Hillbilly Rockstar'' by Bridgette Tatum
Sam Hornish Jr. ... "Bad Habit'' by Offspring
Scott Speed ... "Loveshack'' by B-52s
Tony Stewart ... "Eastbound and Down'' by Jerry Reed
Travis Kvapil ... "Kickstart My Heart'' by Motley Crue
Joey Logano ... "Crank dat'' by Soldier Boys
David Gilliland ... "I Got a Feeling'' by Black Eyed Peas
Terry Cook ... "Don't Look Back'' by Boston
Joe Nemechek ... "Boot Scotin Boogie'' by Brooks and Dunn
Mike Bliss ... "Rise Above This'' by Seether
Michael Waltrip .. "Hillbilly Bone'' by Blake Shelton
Dave Blaney ... "Let's Get This Party Started''
Mark Martin ... "If You Want Blood" by AC/DC
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ... Runnin' with the Devil by Van Halen
Update On Jeff Byrd From Bristol Motor Speedway: Bristol Motor Speedway officials issued an update on the status of President and General Manager Jeff Byrd, who recently took a leave of absence to deal with a medical matter. Byrd’s condition, which will prevent him from involvement in this weekend’s Food City 500 activities, has been identified and doctors last week began specific treatment. “Things are going well, “said Byrd. “It is going to be very difficult for me not to be at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend to be with more than 150,000 of my closest friends. But I will be there in spirit and as I have said before, I expect to see everyone in August (for the second NASCAR weekend at Bristol). “Claudia, the rest of the family and I have been overwhelmed by everyone’s thoughts and prayers. I hope they keep it up and appreciate so many people coming to Bristol this weekend.”(BMS)(3-19-2010)
The NTL heads back to the Earhart Campground at Bristol: After hosting one of the most successful tailgating events of the 2009 inaugural season, The National Tailgating League is heading back to the Earhart Campground of Bristol, TN for an even bigger and better experience! The National Tailgating League (The NTL) presented by Budweiser announced today that Bristol, Tenn., will host the NTL’s second stop of ten on this year’s NTL NASCAR tour, hosting the campgrounds cornhole tournaments and more new exciting elements for our fans. Held in the heart of the Earhart campground, The NTL will host various tournaments starting Friday March 19th through Sunday the 21st, providing race related prizes and cash purse tournaments. More info at TheNTL.com.(NTL)(3-18-2010)
Local Business Will Help NASCAR Fans Take A Trip Down Memory Lane: Time machines. Imaginations have run wild for years about the possibilities of vehicles capable to transport people back in time. One Bristol business has found the solution and will have 12 of those machines ready for drivers like Cale Yarborough and David Pearson to race in the March 20 Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway. Okay, so they technically are not time machines, but Modern D-Signs, located on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, has created a few looks for race cars that definitely will remind people of NASCAR's past. Kurt Kummer, owner of Modern D-Signs, and his staff have taken USAR Pro Cup machines and transformed them into the cars of yesteryear. Each car features one of the paint schemes made famous by the legendary driver behind the wheel for the event. The expert crew at Modern D-Signs can wrap one race car during an eight-hour day. They can go faster if they are pushed, but prefer to limit themselves to one a day. That's a long way from when cars were hand lettered and painted. But although turning back the hands of time to make these cars look similar to their predecessors of yesteryear may be more reliant on technology these days, it still stirs emotion. When Kummer's crew sees drivers like Harry Gant, Charlie Glotzbach and Dave Marcis piloting their works of art, the feeling of pride is obvious around the shop.
Race fans can see the work of Modern D-Signs as Bristol Motor Speedway takes a trip back in time during the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown. Tickets are available for Food City 500 weekend. A package, consisting of Ford Fan Friday qualifying (March 19), the Scotts Turf Builder 300 and the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown (March 20) and the March 21 Food City 500, is available, starting at only $99. For fans who can only attend the Food City 500, single day tickets may be purchased, starting at $93. Tickets for Saturday's doubleheader start at just $45 while fans can watch Ford Fan Friday qualifying for only $5, then attend Food City Race Night at BMS for free.(BMS PR)(3-18-2010)
Bristol has largest seating capacity of SMI tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway has the largest grandstand capacity of any of the Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks, according to the company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bristol's seating capacity remained at 158,0000. Texas Motor Speedway, which was also at 158,000, now stands at 137,000 seats (not including the infield) after the removal of 21,000 seats. Charlotte Motor Speedway also has cut seats from 156,000 to 146,000. Six of the SMI tracks have the same seating capacity as a year ago: Bristol, Las Vegas (131,000), Atlanta (101,000), New Hampshire (96,000), Kentucky (69,000) and Infineon (47,000). Bristol ranks third among all NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks in seating capacity, behind Indianapolis (approximately 250,000) and Daytona (159,000).(Scene Daily)(3-16-2010)
Ticket's available for Bristol races: Tickets are available for Food City 500 weekend. A package, consisting of Ford Fan Friday qualifying (March 19), the Scotts Turf Builder 300 and the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown (March 20) and the March 21 Food City 500, is available, starting at only $99. For fans who can only attend the Food City 500, single day tickets may be purchased, starting at $93. Tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader start at just $45, while fans can watch Ford Fan Friday qualifying for only $5, then attend Food City Race Night at BMS for free. A season ticket package featuring nine events during the March and August NASCAR weekends starts at only $199. The package includes the two most popular Sprint Cup races in the sport, along with a pair of Nationwide events, a Camping Truck Series race, the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown, a Whelen Modified event, qualifying and Food City Race Night. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(3-10-2010)
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin named Food City 500 grand marshal: World Wrestling Federation superstar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has been named Grand Marshal for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 21, 2010. The 45-year-old Austin is a six-time WWF Champion, an Intercontinental and World Tag Team Champion, three-time Royal Rumble Match winner, King of the Ring winner and three-time WWE Championship at WrestleMania winner. Austin retired from professional wrestling in 2003. Always the entertainer, he turned his attention to acting. In 2010, he will be seen on the big screen starring opposite Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li in The Expendables. Tickets are available for race weekend and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll-free at 1.866.415.4158 or bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-9-2010)
Jason Witten named Honorary Starter of Food City 500: Dallas Cowboy standout Jason Witten has been named the Honorary Starter for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday, March 21. The 6-foot-5, 263-pound Witten, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, is originally from Elizabethton, Tenn., just 15 minutes away from the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Witten, always excited about making a trip home, is looking forward to taking part in the Food City 500. The 27-year-old Witten was a standout at Elizabethton High School and was the USA Today Player of the Year in Tennessee in 2000 before signing with the University of Tennessee where he starred for three years. In 2001 Witten was drafted in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys and became an instant star. One of the premier tight ends in the NFL, Witten finished the 2009 season with 94 catches and 1,030 yards. Tickets are available for race weekend and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll-free at 1.866.415.4158 or bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-9-2010)
Official Statement From BMS Regarding Jeff Byrd: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced today President and General Manager Jeff Byrd has taken a leave of absence to undergo tests and treatment for a recently-discovered medical matter. It will prevent him from involvement in the upcoming Food City 500 weekend [March 19-21]. Byrd recently went through a series of tests and his doctors are encouraged that the condition is limited to one area and is treatable. “I fully intend to be back on the job as soon as the doctors say it is ok,” said Byrd. “I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and will miss being at the track for the Food City 500 weekend. I have said for years I have the best team in motorsports and things are in good hands.” Byrd and his family have asked for prayers and privacy at this time.(BMS)(3-2-2010
Bristol Motor Speedway adds more SAFER walls: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced the addition of more than 160 feet of SAFER barriers. Track operations personnel extended SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) barriers at the exits of Turns 2 and 4. Work began last week and will be complete before NASCAR teams arrive for the Food City 500 weekend, March 19-21.
“We believe with these modifications, we will not only increase driver safety, but will also create a different transition at the exit of the turns,” said Jeff Byrd, BMS President and General Manager. “While we don’t know exactly how this will impact the racing, the more confined racing area should create less elbow room and tighten up the racing groove at those points.” A deteriorating track surface forced officials in the summer of 2007 to put down a fresh layer of concrete and an additional four feet of width to the racing groove was part of the change. The modifications will eliminate some of that added room. “Without question, this extra four feet added room and aided in creating three and, at times, even four-wide racing,” Byrd said. “However, while it is breathtaking, many of our fans have responded that we went too far, in actuality, giving too much racing room to the greatest drivers in the world.” For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(2-24-2010)
Four more drivers added to Bristol Legends race: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced the addition of four more drivers to the lineup for the March 20 running of the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown. Dave Marcis, a veteran of 883 Cup Series races, and Tommy Houston, a mainstay of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will make their debuts in the exciting event which was a huge fan favorite a year ago. Jimmy Hensley, the Virginia Gentleman, also will make his first start in the race, while Phil Parsons returns after competing last season. The fans also will enjoy seeing Marcis' trademark wingtips once more. "I'll be wearing them," he said proudly. "I wore a pair when I ran my last cup race in Daytona in February 2002 and I'll have a pair on in Bristol." Cale Yarborough, Charlie Glotzbach, Jack Ingram and L.D. Ottinger were announced in August as the first 2010 Scotts EZ Seed Showdown competitors. The final four drivers will be announced at a later date.(Bristol PR)(1-28-2010)
BMS wins $397,000 tax case: A Nashville judge has ruled that Bristol Motor Speedway does not have to pay a $397,000 tax assessment from the state of Tennessee. Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, in an order unsealed Friday, ruled in a dispute over money the racetrack brings in from the broadcast of NASCAR races. The speedway last year challenged the assessment, claiming the state Department of Revenue was illegally taxing the track. Speedway officials argued that television rights are intangible and that any money derived from the sale of them is not subject to Tennessee sales or business taxes. The suit also claimed the state wrongfully taxed the speedway for money it makes from mailing fees on tickets and from leasing space to vendors. Lyle wrote that the assessments "do not fall into the category of tangible personal property." The judge also ruled that "the relationship ... from the NASCAR agreement is more in the nature of a joint venture than contract of service by the (track) to NASCAR."(Kingsport Times News)(10-19-2009)
New title sponsor for Bristol fall race UPDATE: but been told Irwin Tools will replace Sharpie as the race title sponsor for next August's Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will be known as the Irwin Tools 500. Also, supposedly Irwin Tools does not know if it will sponsor a car/driver in 2010 [from the PR below, it does not sound like they will sponsor a car]. It currently serves as the primary sponsor for 11 Sprint Cup races on Roush Fenway Racing's #26 Ford that Jamie McMurray drives. That team will close up or move to Yates Racing in 2010, with either McMurray as the driver or another driver.
UPDATE: IRWIN Tools, a Newell Rubbermaid [also owns Sharpie] company and manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of professional hand tools and power tool accessories, announced that it will be the title sponsor of the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway beginning in 2010. While the event's new name is unique - the "IRWIN Tools Night Race" - the summer classic under the lights at Bristol will continue to be 500 grueling laps around the high banks of the .533-mile oval, one of NASCAR's most popular and storied facilities. A spectacle in sports since 1961, Bristol has had 55 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sellouts, dating back to 1982. "We could not have constructed a better partnership than one between IRWIN Tools and Bristol Motor Speedway," said IRWIN President Neil Eibeler. "Like our many IRWIN products, Bristol leads the way in innovation, quality and ingenuity among NASCAR venues. We can't wait to see the blue and yellow colors of IRWIN Tools here for years to come. Our employees are thrilled and our customers will be waiting in anticipation to see nearly 160,000 fans in the stands next year for the first ‘IRWIN Night Race at Bristol,' the most popular NASCAR race of the year." IRWIN Tools takes over the entitlement from Sharpie, a sister company under the Newell Rubbermaid umbrella, which has sponsored the race since 2001.
"We're very happy to keep the Night Race in the Newell Rubbermaid family," said Jeff Byrd, President and General Manager of BMS, NASCAR's fastest half-mile. "We have gotten to know the IRWIN Tools team and their desire is to be the best technological company in the tool business. We feel we have the best facility in our sport so pairing up the two can only result in success. We look forward to a wonderful partnership and future together." The IRWIN Tools name has been a mainstay in NASCAR since 2003, serving as a primary car sponsor for Roush Fenway Racing. During that span, drivers Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray both won races in IRWIN Tools Fords while Busch carried IRWIN to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in 2004. "It's been a great ride with Roush Fenway Racing," said Eric Pinkham, Newell Rubbermaid's Vice President, Sponsorship and Event Marketing. "They clearly helped us put IRWIN Tools on the map and we appreciate what they've done for the IRWIN brand. Now it's time for a new chapter for IRWIN and we can't wait to get started on the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol." The 2010 IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol will be on Saturday, August 21. For more information, call 1-800-GO-IRWIN or visit www.irwin.com.(BMS)(8-22-2009)
Full Driver song list for Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway will give fans something different during drive interoductions Saturday night. They'll play music for each driver that the driver has selected. Some of the choices are interesting from those older rock n' roll classics to more recent tunes. Here's the playlist for ALL of the drivers:
Tony Stewart: Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba''
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: AC/DC's "Thunderstruck''
Jimmie Johnson: AC/DC's Thunderstruck
Mark Martin: AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock''
Jeff Gordon: Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up''
Jeff Burton: Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle''
Carl Edwards: House of Pain's "Jump Around''
Matt Kenseth: "Godsmack's "The Enemy''
Scott Speed: "Black Eyed Peas' "Boom, Boom, Pow"
Kurt Busch: Cake's "Going The Distance''
Kyle Busch: Kanye West's "Amazing''
Kasey Kahne: Dierks Bentley's "Life On The Run''
Michael Waltrip: Toby Keith's "As Good As I Once Was''
Ryan Newman: Big & Rich's "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy''
Clint Bowyer: Elvis Presley's "CC Rider''
Reed Sorenson: Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean''
Denny Hamlin: Fabulous' "My Time''
Joey Logano: Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down''
AJ Allmendinger: "Going the Distance'' by Cake
Marcos Ambrose: "Land Down Under'' by Men at Work
John Andretti: Black Label Society's "Fire it Up''
Greg Biffle: POD's "Boom''
Dave Blaney: "Taking Care of Business'' by Bachman Turner Overdrive
David Gilliland: Limb Bizkit's "Break Stuff''
Robby Gordon: Kid Rock's "All Summer Long''
Kevin Harvick: DMX's "Party Up''
Sam Hornish Jr: "Fight for Your Right'' by Beastie Boys
Bobby Labonte: "Chicken Fried'' by Zack Brown Band
Terry Labonte: "Heartland'' by George Strait
Jamie McMurray: AC/DC's "Shook Me All Night Long''
Casey Mears: "Animals'' by Nickelback
Paul Menard: "Fire It Up'' by Black Label Society
Juan Pablo Montoya: "All Star'' by Smash Mouth
Joe Nemechek: "Life in the Fast Lane'' by The Eagles
David Ragan: "Thunderstruck'' by AC/DC
Tony Raines: "Bristol Speed'' by Silvergun
David Reutimann: "Sprach Zarathustra'' by Richard Strauss
Elliott Sadler: "2001 A Space Odyssey''
Regan Smith: "Shoots & Ladders'' by Korn
David Stremme: Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba''
Martin Truex Jr.: "Sun Gonna Rise'' by Citizen Cope
Brian Vickers: "This Town'' by O.A.R.
Scott Wimmer: "Night Rider Theme Song''
Drivers pick songs for intros at Bristol UPDATE: Personalities among NASCAR's Sprint Cup drivers are as varied as their musical tastes. Fans will get more of an indication as to what might make their favorite drivers tick during driver introductions for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 22. Back in the day, drivers had a great deal of fun during pre-race festivities as they introduced themselves to the fans in attendance, injecting some of their own individuality into the way they addressed the crowd. BMS will turn back the clock Saturday, not only asking the drivers to introduce themselves to the sold-out throng of nearly 160,000, but also asking them to walk out to the song of their choice. The Sprint Cup stars take their music seriously and a good many of them deliberated for weeks before making their song choice for driver introductions, while others changed selections several times. Whether it is country or hard rock, their musical tastes are as diverse as the paint schemes on their cars.(BMS PR)(8-20-2009)
UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will make a more personal entrance prior to Saturday night’s Sharpie 500.
Each member of the starting lineup will greet the crowd by introducing themselves, accompanied by a song of their choosing. Four-time series runner-up #5-Mark Martin will make his 1,000th career national-series start Saturday. Martin’s song choice for his introduction? “For Those About To Rock,” by AC/DC. Another AC/DC tune – “Thunderstruck” – is a popular choice. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #6-David Ragan and #48-Jimmie Johnson all have chosen “Thunderstruck” as their intro theme. #26-Jamie McMurray also chose an AC/DC ditty – “Shook Me All Night Long.” #39-Ryan Newman’s choice of “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” by Big and Rich took some consideration. “It really wasn’t my first choice,” Newman said, “but I won’t tell you what that song was. I’ve always liked country music, and this song is pretty cool to me because my buddy “Two-Foot Fred” is in the video and is part of the whole deal. I wouldn’t say it’s my theme song, but it is fun.” #9-Kasey Kahne offers fans a peek into a racer’s world with “Life On The Run” by Dierks Bentley, whom he counts as a good friend. “That’s what we do,” Kahne said. “Life on the run. We just love to race, and to race, we have to travel, and Dierks is one of my favorites.” #14-Tony Stewart is paying homage to his friend Kid Rock with “Bawitdaba”. #12-David Stremme chose the same tune. Others of note: “C.C. Rider” by Elvis Presley – #33-Clint Bowyer; “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones – #24-Jeff Gordon; “Land Down Under” by Men At Work – #47-Marcos Ambrose; “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N Roses – #31-Jeff Burton; “Amazing” by Kanye West – #18-Kyle Busch.(Racin' Today)(8-22-2009)
Updates on injured man at BMS: A Bristol Motor Speedway emergency medical technician was seriously injured in a freak accident late Wednesday following the modified series race. Darrell Wayne Mitchell of Church Hill, Tenn., was taken by helicopter to the Bristol Regional Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said he was in the surgical intensive care unit Thursday afternoon. Bristol Tennessee Police Sgt. Greg Brown said Mitchell was leaving the infield on foot near the pit entrance between turns two and three about 10:45 p.m., 30 minutes after the end of the race. At the same time, a tractor-trailer turned left out of the infield and scraped the side of an elevated camera platform. The impact twisted the platform and a steel ladder attached to the unit spun around and pinned Mitchell against the infield retaining wall. Brown said Mitchell suffered a head injury, and possibly a skull fracture. There was one person standing on the platform, which a speedway representative estimated is 12 feet high, when the truck grazed the edge. Police said the man on the platform was not hurt and managed to stay on top. Brown said Mitchell was listed in stable condition late Wednesday, then in critical condition by Thursday morning. Mitchell was a paramedic with Church Hill EMS until several months ago when he went to work for the Church Hill Rescue Squad, director Stanley Arnold said. Mitchell is working at the races on contract through Wellmont Health System, which provides dozens of medical workers for the speedway.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-21-2009)
UPDATE: A Bristol Motor Speedway emergency medical technician was seriously injured in a freak accident late Wednesday following the modified series race. Darrell Wayne Mitchell of Church Hill, Tenn., was taken by helicopter to the Bristol Regional Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said he was in the surgical intensive care unit Thursday afternoon. Bristol Tennessee Police Sgt. Greg Brown said Mitchell was leaving the infield on foot near the pit entrance between turns two and three about 10:45 p.m., 30 minutes after the end of the race. At the same time, a tractor-trailer turned left out of the infield and scraped the side of an elevated camera platform. The impact twisted the platform and a steel ladder attached to the unit spun around and pinned Mitchell against the infield retaining wall. Brown said Mitchell suffered a head injury, and possibly a skull fracture. There was one person standing on the platform, which a speedway representative estimated is 12 feet high, when the truck grazed the edge. Police said the man on the platform was not hurt and managed to stay on top. Brown said Mitchell was listed in stable condition late Wednesday, then in critical condition by Thursday morning. Mitchell was a paramedic with Church Hill EMS until several months ago when he went to work for the Church Hill Rescue Squad, director Stanley Arnold said. The red tractor-trailer that hit the platform is owned by TS Haulers out of Calverton, N.Y., on Long Island, police said. TS Haulers is a racing company that sponsored Jimmy Blewett, who placed 31st in Wednesday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Series. There was only minor damage to the truck, and the driver, Thomas Grasso, from Connecticut, was not injured. Brown said he is unsure if there will be any charges filed in the accident.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-22-2009)
Popular Legends race to return to Bristol in 2010< The legends of NASCAR will race again at Bristol Motor Speedway next spring, but the rules of engagement have been revised. Along with three former driving greats, BMS officials outlined the details for the 2010 legends race Thursday afternoon. To be eligible for the event, a driver must not have competed in a Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series event in the past seven years. That would disqualify Sterling Marlin, who led every lap of the 35-lap Scotts Saturday Night Special late-model event last spring. Rusty Wallace, who finished second, would also be ineligible. The other major switch involves the cars. Instead of allowing drivers, such as Wallace, to bring their own late models every driver will compete in a car provided by the USARacing Pro Cup Series. L.D. Ottinger, who finished third behind Wallace and Marlin, attended Thursday’s press conference along with Charlie Glotzbach and Jack Ingram. Other drivers who have committed to participate in the 2010 legends race are Phil Parsons, Larry Pearson, Harry Gant and Cale Yarborough. Details of the event are still being formalized, but it will likely be run after the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series event. The celebrity portion of the 35-lap race has been scrapped. Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer and former National Football League star Mike Compton ran exhibition laps in the spring.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-21-2009)
Bristol Transporter Parade on Thursday: A spectacle more than a decade in the making will bring tens of thousands of race fans to the streets of Bristol Thursday, Aug. 20 as Ford Presents the BMS Transporter Parade. The Thursday night of Bristol race week teems with traditions like Food City Family Race Night and the 13th annual parade of NASCAR Sprint Cup haulers, which carry the race cars and equipment for the Sharpie 500. Outside, thousands of fans in the area for the four NASCAR races will line the 10-mile route to watch the transporters make their way to the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Inside, hauler drivers will help in making dreams come true as many of them will carry a child from either the Make-A-Wish Foundation or the Children’s Miracle Network. The parade starts at 9:00pm at the Bristol Mall at the conclusion of downtown Bristol’s Food City Family Race Night. More than 60 haulers then will make their way down Volunteer Parkway to BMS. The transporter leading the way will be the one belonging to the series sanctioning body, NASCAR, followed by series sponsor Sprint and the leader of the series point standings heading into the Sharpie 500, currently Tony Stewart. Adding to the fanfare of the parade, fireworks will light up the skies from four different points along the route.(BMS)(8-19-2009)
World’s Largest Group Karaoke attempt at Bristol: Over the years, Bristol Motor Speedway has involved its rabid fans in a number of fantastic card stunts, as well as Guinness Book of World Records. These fan feats have played a major role in the unparalleled excitement and unique atmosphere offered by the overall BMS experience. And on Aug. 22, prior to the start of the Sharpie 500, BMS again will ask its fans to take part in what will be the World’s Largest Group Karaoke attempt. With nearly 160,000 fans in attendance, this will shatter the old mark of 80,000 set in Europe earlier this year. The Sharpie 500 Sprint Cup event is the last of four electrifying night races that will take place at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile in August. Race week kicks off with a doubleheader Wednesday, Aug. 19 as the Whelen Modified Series takes to the track for the first time in the UNOH Perfect Storm 150, followed by the O’Reilly 200 Camping World Truck Series. Next up is the Food City 250 Nationwide race Friday, which will again feature a host of Sprint Cup stars.(BMS)(8-19-2009)
Bristol Nights CD featuring Bristol related songs: The sights and sounds of Bristol Motor Speedway are distinctive, unique and instantly recognizable. Now, fans can enjoy NASCAR’s most popular track in an entirely different way with the release of “Bristol Nights,” a 12-song CD that honors the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. The dozen original songs in a multitude of musical styles commemorate the excitement of racing on “The World’s Fastest Half Mile,” Bristol’s signature Night Race, the raw power of the Bristol Dragway and the unmatched Bristol fan experience. “Bristol Nights,” which is the result of a partnership with Banshee Music, digitally debuted at Amazon.com and iTunes earlier this week (BMS), more info at the BMS site.(8-13-2009)
Bristol Sprint Cup race sold out: Bristol Motor Speedway President and General Manager Jeff Byrd announced today the facility’s 55th consecutive sell out of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. “A lot of effort by our staff here at BMS went into making this happen,” said Byrd. “But the biggest tip of the hat goes to the fans. Those members of the extended Bristol Motor Speedway family, who continue, even in tougher times, to come back for the Bristol Experience are the ones who put us in this position. We commit ourselves every race to enhance the Bristol Experience for our loyal fans and the fans responded again.” The streak began Aug. 28, 1982 when Darrell Waltrip edged Bobby Allison by less than a second in front of an estimated 30,000 fans. Since then, the facility’s seating capacity has increased more than five-fold. Fans may place their orders now for 2010 season ticket packages by calling (423) BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(8-11-2009)
Stewart to sell tix at Bristol: #14-Tony Stewart not only will be in the Bristol Motor Speedway ticket office on Thursday, July 30th, helping sell some of the few remaining tickets to the Sharpie 500 race, but some fans also can look forward to getting a little something extra from him upon purchasing tickets. Stewart has some of his own Sharpie 500 tickets that he will give away to a few lucky fans that afternoon. The former Bristol winner is scheduled to arrive at BMS around 1:30pm/et on Thursday where he will then head to “work” in the ticket office. The Sharpie 500 Sprint Cup event is the last of four exciting night races that will take place at the BMS in August. Race week kicks off with a doubleheader Wednesday, Aug. 19 as the Whelen Modified Series takes to the track for the first time in the UNOH Perfect Storm 150, followed by the O’Reilly 200 Camping World Truck Series. Next up is the Food City 250 Nationwide race Friday, which will again feature a host of Sprint Cup stars. Tickets packages for the Sharpie 500 and the Food City 250 are currently available, starting at only $145. Tickets also are on sale for the Wednesday night doubleheader – the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 and the O’Reilly 200 – for $30 and tickets for the Food City 250 begin at $45. Anyone purchasing a package for the Sharpie 500 and Food City 250 will be eligible for the buy one, get one free Wednesday night ticket. Tickets may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) BRISTOL (274-7865), (423) 989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(7-28-2009)
- Bristol and Banshee Music team on Music: Banshee Music is proud to announce a partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway to serve as official music provider to the racetrack. The partnership will begin with the introduction of a custom, 12-song release that captures the feel of the unique fan experience at Bristol, the excitement of racing on the half-mile track, the track’s signature night race and the raw power of the Thunder Valley drag strip. The CD is due to be released early this summer and will be available at retail and as a digital download.(BMS)(6-30-2009)
- Bristol Tickets for August race selling fast: Fans who have wanted to see the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, some of whom said they had quit trying, were able to grab tickets this week as a limited number of seats for the Sharpie 500 weekend became available. By the end of the day Tuesday, fans in 28 states and three Canadian Provinces grabbed coveted seats, a list that grew to 35 states Wednesday. The Food City 500 in March marked the 54th consecutive sellout Sprint Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway, a NASCAR record. "We still have tickets to sell, but we're working toward our 55th straight full house," Jeff Byrd, president and general manager of BMS said. "It's a win-win situation for our fans who have tried for years in vain to get these tickets while some of our corporate partners have been forced to adjust." Tickets may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(6-12-2009)
- Tix on sale for August Bristol race: Fans who have long aspired to own Bristol tickets will have the chance to make that dream a reality Tuesday, June 9. That is the day tickets to NASCAR’s most popular race, the Sharpie 500, which takes place Aug. 22, will be available. “We expect June 9 to be a big day,” said Bristol Motor Speedway president Jeff Byrd. “Fans who have been trying for years to get tickets to the Sharpie 500 will finally get the opportunity to own them so we’re expecting the phone lines to be busy.”
While BMS continues to maintain the highest renewal rate in the sport with fans, tickets have become available this year due to cutbacks from a number of corporate clients. In March, the Speedway made those packages available to fans who had tried unsuccessfully for years to purchase them. “We sold quite a few packages in March,” said Byrd, “but we do have some partial packages available for our August race weekend. On one hand, it’s a tough situation for our corporate clients, who have had to make concessions where tickets are concerned. On the other hand, it’s a win-win situation for our fans who have tried for years in vein to get these tickets". The Food City 500 in March was the 54th consecutive sellout Sprint Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway, a NASCAR record. The August race week features four races under the lights, including the O’Reilly 200 Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified Series event Wednesday, Aug. 19, followed by the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race Friday, Aug. 21. The weekend culminates with the Sharpie 500 Saturday, Aug. 22. The August ticket package includes tickets for both the Sharpie 500 and the Food City 250. Package prices begin at $145. Also, anyone purchasing a package will be eligible for the buy one, get one free Wednesday night ticket, which includes both the O’Reilly 200 truck event and the Whelen Modified 150. Wednesday tickets are $30. Tickets may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(6-9-2009)
- Bristol Officials Reviewing Saturday Night Special: Bristol Motor Speedway vice-president of events Wayne Estes said the process of selecting the legends field dictated that Bristol winners at the Cup or Busch/Nationwide Series level would compete, and none would be "full-time" competitors in either series. "This gave us the opportunity to keep Terry Labonte in the field," Estes said. "Considering his ties to the two most famous finishes in our history, we wanted Terry in the race." As is the case with all events at the track, Estes and BMS staff will review options for improving the legends show. "Clearly, we learned a lot that will be applied if we do this again," Estes said. "The question now is, do the fans want to see it again. Most of them tell us that they do, with some adjustments. "I talked to Cale Yarborough and his comment was, "'Take the young guys out and let just us old guys race."' That seems to be the prevailing feeling, and open it up beyond Bristol winners so that Buddy Baker and Ricky Rudd can take part." In retrospect, Estes admitted that the Saturday Night Special could have more been compelling with additional planning and tinkering.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-30-2009)
- Bristol Cup race Sold Out: The streak is alive, but just barely. Today’s Food City 500 will play to the 54th consecutive sellout at Bristol Motor Speedway, track president and general manager Jeff Byrd announced Saturday, less than 24 hours before the start of the race. “It took longer than we thought, but we’re very excited to be racing again in front of a packed house,” Byrd said during a telephone conversation. “It’s a tribute to the people who work at the speedway, our fans and the people of the region. They made it happen.” The streak at the 160,000-seat track dates to Aug. 28, 1982 and is the longest in NASCAR. The Food City 500 is the first Sprint Cup race of the 2009 season to sell out.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-22-2009)
- Marlin wins Saturday Night Special: Sterling Marlin, who will run the Sprint Cup race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, won the Scotts Saturday Night Special, Rusty Wallace finished 2nd followed by 70-year-old L.D. Ottinger, Terry Labonte and Jimmy Spencer. The race will be re-aired Sunday morning [March 22nd] 10:00am/et on ESPN Classic. Philadelphia [Jayski fave team] Eagles Kicker David Akers and ESPN's Andy Petree won the celebrity races which set up the starting lineup for the Legends race.(ESPN.com)(3-21-2009)
AND Sterling Marlin got an assist from teammate Andy Petree and lead from start to finish to capture the Scotts Saturday Night Special at Bristol Motor Speedway. The 51-year-old Marlin started on the pole after Petree finished first in his celebrity heat. The Columbia, Tenn., native was elated in victory lane, where he was awarded the same trophy that will go to Sunday's Food City 500 winner.
"Man, that felt so good," said Marlin. "It felt so good to get in the car and to run like that. It just felt good to come back and run like that. I just had a great car and Andy got me a really good starting position. I had a great time. I'd like to do this again. I ran this car a couple of times in Nashville. Andy had tested a couple of times and we talked some. Andy's car was really fast. I had a good car... so we should have won it. Rusty Wallace finished second, followed by L.D. Ottinger, Terry Labonte and Jimmy Spencer. Rounding out the 12-car field was Harry Gant, Phil Parsons, Jack Ingram, Cale Yarborough, David Green, Junior Johnson and Larry Pearson. In the first heat of the afternoon featuring celebrity drivers, Philadelphia Akers place-kicker David Akers outlasted the field to take the win, while former crew chief and current ESPN analyst Petree picked up the win in the second heat. Trailing Akers to the finish line in the first heat was Bill Jordan, followed by Riki Rachtman, Frank Beamer and Mike Compton. Brad Daugherty finished second to Petree in the second heat while Ron Capps came home third and Ray Evernham finished fourth. Doug Herbert and Greg Anderson wrecked their cars in practice and were unable to compete in the second heat.(BMS)
Scotts Saturday Night Special Legends Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, 35 laps
1, Sterling Marlin
2, Rusty Wallace
3, L.D. Ottinger
4, Terry Labonte
5, Jimmy Spencer
6, Harry Gant
7, Phil Parsons
8, Jack Ingram
9, Cale Yarborough
10, David Green
11, Junior Johnson
12, Larry Pearson
Qualifying run 1 15 laps
1, David Akers
2, Bill Jordan
3, Riki Rachtman
4, Frank Beamer
5, Mike Compton
Qualifying run 2 15 laps
1, Andy Petree
2, Brad Daugherty
3, Ron Capps
4, Ray Evernham
- NASCAR's missing video history: Dale Earnhardt's 1979 Bristol victory: It's the 30th anniversary of that first NASCAR tour breakthrough victory by the late Dale Earnhardt, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., just four years old at the time, has never seen that video footage….if it even exists. That 1979 Winston Cup tour win was the first of Earnhardt's 76 victories, but it came two years before NASCAR's full Cup tour events were routinely telecast in their entirety. But the third generation Earnhardt did watch his father here, while growing up. The elder Earnhardt made a lot of Bristol history. "The 'Earnhardt Moment' for me here was when he ran like 450 laps and won the race and had no power steering," Earnhardt Jr. says. "I think that was in '87 or '86, or something like that. I have run like 20 laps at California with no power steering, and it was difficult -- it was hard to drive the car where you wanted it to go. The whole handle of the car, the whole feel of the car changed. I just can't imagine running like that here. I was having a hard time running (at California) any kind of competitive time on new tires; on old tires I was okay without the power steering, but on new tires it was just really hard to run as fast as everybody else was running. For him to have been able to do that here -- a place like this, on the blacktop -- for basically the entire race and win, that was pretty cool. I was here for that and I was pretty proud of him for that kind of effort."(mikemulhern.net)(3-21-2009)
- Celebrity/Pro Driver Teams Announced: The field of professional drivers has been set and so has the lineup of celebrities. Today, Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced the pairings for the Scotts Saturday Night Special, March 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Nine-time Bristol winner Rusty Wallace and ESPN analyst Ray Evernham announced nearly two weeks ago their intentions of an alliance. Now the other 11 teams have come together as well; some with history and a relationship, some meeting for the first time.
Junior Johnson, a 21-time winner at Bristol Motor Speedway as a car owner, is paired with ESPN analyst and former NBA No.-1 pick Brad Daugherty while Jimmy Spencer and TV/Radio personality Riki Rachtman will join forces.
Riki Rachtman has been showing up on television quite a bit lately but Saturday night Rachtman will live out a lifelong dream by strapping in to a race car and taking on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. Living in Hollywood one would not think Rachtman as a NASCAR fan but that’s not the case. “I have always had a passion for stock car racing. If you looked back on past episodes of my show Headbangers Ball you would see me wearing a Richard Petty shirt or Dale Earnhardt hat. 6 years ago Rachtman started a radio show Racing Rocks. Every week he would give his own twist on NASCAR news and include exclusive driver interviews. Racing Rocks is beginning its 6th year and is now heard on over 120 stations across America. This past winter Rachtman was a dean on VH1’s highly rated series “Charm School”. Rachtman also served as host for the reunion of both seasons of “Rock of Love”, a role he will return to mid April. April 26th on VH1. This weekend however Rachtman will attempt to sift through the field of drivers as he competes in Scotts Saturday Night Special, March 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rachtman’s charity will be the ASPCA. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and Cale Yarborough, both multi-time champions in their respective fields, will partner as will ESPN analyst and former title-winning crew chief Andy Petree and Sterling Marlin. Hunting buddies Terry Labonte and Bill Jordan of Realtree Outdoors are teamed as are long-time friends David Green and three-time NHRA Pro Stock champ Greg Anderson. Philadelphia Eagles place-kicker David Akers and Harry Gant will partner as will Jack Ingram and NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps and L.D. Ottinger and Terry Bowden, head coach at the University of North Alabama. Larry Pearson, a two-time Nationwide champ and two-time Bristol winner, who this week took the place of his injured dad, David, teams with NHRA Top-Fuel dragster driver Doug Herbert. And Phil Parsons, winner of the first Nationwide Series race at BMS in 1982, and former NFL star Mike Compton round out the teams. Akers, Beamer, Bowden, Compton, Jordan and Rachtman will run the first 15-lap heat to determine the order of the inside starting row of the 35-lap pro event. Anderson, Capps, Daugherty, Evernham, Herbert and Petree will run the second 15-lap heat to set the outside starting row of the main event. The winning “team” is guaranteed $25,000 for their charities and a total of $10,000 will go to the charity or charities of the second-place duo. Every other team will get $5,000, $2,500 per driver, for their charities. The Scotts Saturday Night Special is part of a three-race ticket March 21. Tickets, which start at $45 and include the Scotts Turf Builder 300 and the 100-lap UARA event, may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900. The Scotts Saturday Night Special will be televised on ESPN 2 at 6:00pm/et.(BMS PR)(3-19-2009)
- ESPN2 to Have Live Coverage as NASCAR Legends Return to Action at Bristol: ESPN2 will have live coverage as some of the greatest names in the history of NASCAR return to action for a special charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 21, at 6:00pm/et. And just as many great drivers will be racing again, Ned Jarrett, a mainstay of ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR from 1986-2000, returns to the air to join his son, ESPN lead NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett, and lap-by-lap announcer Dr. Jerry Punch in calling the action in the Scotts Saturday Night Special. Cale Yarborough, Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Harry Gant and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace are among the 12 legends of NASCAR who will compete for 35 laps in late model stock cars. The winning driver will earn a $25,000 donation for the charity of his choice. The race airs following ESPN on ABC’s live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Scotts Turf Builder 300 event at Bristol that day at 2:00pm/et. Others in the race, all former winners in NASCAR competition at Bristol, include Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin, Jimmy Spencer, Phil Parsons, L.D. Ottinger and former NASCAR Nationwide Series champions Jack “Iron Man” Ingram and David Green. Wallace will be ESPN’s “In-Race Reporter” and will talk via radio with Dale Jarrett during the telecast. Allen Bestwick will host the telecast and pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch.(ESPN PR)(3-18-2009)
- Legends test at Bristol: One look at Junior Johnson strapped into his #11 race car with old-fashioned goggles wrapped around his helmet, and it was like taking a step back in time. Johnson was one of several former Bristol Motor Speedway winners testing Tuesday at the .533-mile oval in preparation for this weekend's Scotts Saturday Night Special. Also taking to the track was Harry Gant, Jimmy Spencer, Jack Ingram, Rusty Wallace, L.D. Ottinger, and Phil Parsons. The last time Johnson, who won the 1965 Southeastern 500 at BMS, raced at BMS the track was asphalt – and it was much different. “When it was first built, you run off in the first and second turn like you went down a hill,” said the 77-year-old Johnson. “Now, it is so much smoother. I haven’t been on it since the last time they redid it, but I can tell it is a lot smoother. The pavement was kind of humpy and bumpy, so it’s got to be better (than it was). Jack Ingram, who earned 31 victories and two championships in what was then the Busch Series, now the Nationwide Series, won the second race in that series ever held at BMS, in 1982. Now 72, Ingram didn’t seem intimidated by anyone on the track. Harry Gant, 69, winner of 18 Sprint Cup victories and 21 in the Nationwide Series, was the 1992 Budweiser 250 winner at BMS. Other drivers expected to compete in the Saturday Night Special are David Green, Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin, Phil Parsons and Larry Pearson. Former BMS winner Larry Pearson will be subbing for his father, David, who was scheduled to be in the race. Track officials learned earlier this week that reoccurring issues with the elder Pearson’s back will prevent him from taking part in the event.
Among the celebrities testing Wednesday will be Ray Everham, Andy Petree, Brad Daugherty, and former NFL star Brad Compton. Other competing in the race are Frank Beamer, Terry Bowden, David Akers, Bill Jordan, Riki Rachtman, Doug Herbert, Ron Capps and Greg Anderson. The celebrities will run 15-lap or 10-minute heats to help determine the starting spots of their pro driver teammates, who then will run 35 laps. The Saturday Night Special will take place after the completion of the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series race and will be followed by a 100-lap UARA late model event.(BMS PR)
AND: GDSI Racing with driver Sterling Marlin are preparing for Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21st. Marlin will compete in a 50 lap late model celebrity race where celebrities will be paired up with drivers. Andy Petree will drive the first 15 laps and Sterling Marlin will drive the final 35 laps in the Legend brands Chevy Monte Carlo. The winning team will win $25,000 for the charity and Sterling Marlin and GDSI Racing have selected The Epilepsy Foundation of Middle and West TN, second place will receive $10,000 and the rest of the starters will receive $5,000. The race is slated as the first “Saturday Night Special”.(GDSI Racing PR)(3-18-2009)
- Celebrities set to run Staurday Night Special at Bristol: Football coaches, football players, TV/radio personalities and more have signed on to run the celebrity heat races as part of the Scotts Saturday Night Special, March 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, who also will serve as grand marshal of the Food City 500, will climb behind the wheel of a race car for the first time as will Terry Bowden. Bowden returns to the college coaching ranks this year after 10 years in the broadcast booth, taking over the Division II powerhouse University of North Alabama. Coaches are not the only ones suiting up. David Akers, Pro-Bowl kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles will participate. Also racing for charity will be local hero Mike Compton, current head football coach at Patrick Henry High School (Glade Spring, Va.) and two-time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots of New England. Rounding out the first heat will be: Bill Jordan, owner/founder of Realtree Camouflage and host of two of his own television shows, Bill Jordan’s Realtree Outdoors and ESPN’s “Driven to Hunt,” and TV/radio personality Riki Rachtman of MTV’s “Charm School” and “Daisy of Love.”
Taking the wheel in the second heat will be a field of more experienced drivers. Former car owners and two of the top crew chiefs of all time, Andy Petree and Ray Evernham, now ESPN race analysts, as well as Brad Daugherty, a former No. 1pick in the NBA draft and retired all-star player with the Cleveland Cavaliers will be part of the festivities. Taking advantage of a weekend off on the National Hot Rod Association schedule are Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Doug Herbert (Top Fuel Dragster) who will fill out the field. The celebrities will run 15-lap or 10-minute heats to help determine the starting spots of their pro driver teammates, who then will run 35 laps. That field includes Junior Johnson, Harry Gant, Cale Yarborough and Jack Ingram. The winning “team” is guaranteed $25,000 for their charities and a total of $10,000 will go to the charity or charities of the second-place duo. Every other team will get $5,000 for their charities. Team pairings will be announced at a later time. Tickets still are available for the Scotts Turf Builder 300 (Starting at $45) and Food City 500 (starting at $93). Tickets for Ford Fan Friday, March 20, are just $5 and fans with specially marked Pepsi cans will be admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900.(BMS PR)(3-17-2009)
- BMS fans from 50 states, 11 nations to take part in ceremonies: Bristol Motor Speedway’s fans come from all across the country, as well as internationally, and on Sunday, March 22 prior to the start of the Food City 500, their loyalty and dedication to BMS will be recognized. Among the BMS ticket holders are fans from each of the 50 states, as well as 11 countries. Sunday morning, fans from their home states and their native countries will take part in a spectacular pre-race ceremony designed to thank Bristol Motor Speedway’s most important commodity, its race fans. All 50 state flags and the flags of Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Scotland, Norway, Luxembourg, Columbia and Puerto Rico will be displayed on the track, presented by fans from their respective states and countries. BMS officials solicited fans from its ticket holder data base via an email blast last week and the response was overwhelming. To date, more than 5,000 fans have responded asking for the honor of representing their state or country. Nearly 1,200 answered within the first 43 minutes after the call was issued. Also, as part of the pre-race ceremony on Sunday, a massive 60’x90’ American flag will be unfurled during the singing of the national anthem. Approximately 100 members of the United States armed forces, from all branches of the military, will take part in unfurling the flag. Members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard also will display their respective flags during the pre-race ceremony.
Tickets still are available for the Scotts Turf Builder 300 (Starting at $45) and Food City 500 (starting at $93). Tickets for Ford Fan Friday, March 20, are just $5 and fans with specially marked Pepsi cans will be admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900.(BMS PR)(3-17-2009)
- Bristol names Allison starter; Beamer grand marshal: Legendary NASCAR star Bobby Allison will serve as Honorary Starter and Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer will be the Grand Marshal for the Food City 500 March 22. Voted one of NASCAR racing's 50 greatest drivers, Allison’s career was stellar and his record at Bristol Motor Speedway was part of that. He posted four wins, 23 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes in 44 career races at BMS. Through that time, Allison showed his versatility by competing in eight different models of race cars. His last race at Bristol resulted in a fifth-place finish in April of 1988. Less than three months later, his career would be cut short as a result of injuries sustained in an accident at Pocono Raceway.
Under Beamer’s direction, Virginia Tech football has enjoyed unprecedented success with 15 consecutive bowl appearances, two ACC titles, two ACC Coastal Division crowns, three Big East Conference titles and a trip to the national championship game. Since the beginning of the 1995 season, only Ohio State and Florida have posted more wins than Virginia Tech, and the Hokies have finished in the top 20 in 13 of the past 16 seasons, including five Top 10 finishes during the last 11 years. The Food City 500 gets under way at 2:00pm/et Sunday, March 22. Qualifying for the event takes place Friday, March 20th at 3:40pm/et. The Scotts Turf Builder 300 is set for Saturday, March 21 at 2:30pm/et, with qualifying getting underway that morning at 9:40am/et. Tickets still are available for the Scotts Turf Builder 300 (Starting at $45) and Food City 500 (starting at $93). Tickets for Ford Fan Friday, March 20, are just $5 and fans with specially marked Pepsi cans will be admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at www.bristoltix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900.(BMS PR)(3-16-2009)
- Realtree's Bill Jordan to Drive in Celebrity/Legends Race at Bristol: Realtree Founder and President Bill Jordan will drive a Team Realtree car, furnished by Richard Childress Racing, in the first annual Scotts Saturday Night Special Celebrity/Legends Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jordan's role in the race is to run the first 15 laps against other celebrities to determine the starting positions for the legendary NASCAR drivers, who will complete the remaining 35 laps of the 50-lap event. Jordan's NASCAR legends teammate will be Terry Labonte. Jordan and Labonte's honorary pit crew will be comprised of current NASCAR drivers, many of whom hunt with Jordan and appear on the Driven to Hunt television show on ESPN2. These pit crew members will include Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, and Martin Truex, Jr. RCR president and CEO Richard Childress will serve as Jordan's spotter during the race. The First Annual Scotts Saturday Night Special Celebrity/Legends Race will air live on March 21 on ESPN2 following the completion of the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series race and will be followed by a 100-lap UARA late model event. Drivers will compete in late-model stock cars and $25,000 will be donated to the winning team’s charity of choice. The second-place team will have $10,000 given to the charity of its choice and $5,000 will go to the designated charity of the other entrants. Tickets, which include all three races, start at $45 and are available by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(RCR PR)(3-14-2009)
- Bristol working to maintain sellout streak: For the first time in more than 13 years Bristol Motor Speedway is advertising tickets for a Sprint Cup race. Tough economic times have forced many of the corporate partners that purchased blocks of seats not to renew for what is known as NASCAR's toughest ticket. That puts Bristol's string of 53 consecutive sellouts in jeopardy for the March 22 race, all though general manager Jeff Byrd is optimistic the streak will continue based on the current sales pattern. Byrd would not comment on the number of tickets available, but he was excited about the potential for fans that never have seen a Bristol race to attend. Bristol has 160,000 seats, including 197 skyboxes that are almost twice as many as most tracks on the circuit. The "World's Fastest Half Mile Track'' and Richmond International Speedway were the only two with a waiting list for tickets before this season. The Sharpie 500, the summer night race at Bristol, has been even a tougher ticket than the spring race, despite the fact that only Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway have more grandstand seats. If one or both of Bristol's races sell out, the track could claim one or two of the biggest crowds of the season. None of the first four races have been sellouts. Daytona came close, but track president Robin Braig said it would not be fair to call the Daytona 500 a sellout since many tickets were discounted and some were given away to track employees. There were crowd estimates of 75,000 [NASCAR said 94,400] or less last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which seats over 125,000.(ESPN)(3-11-2009)
- Cale added to Bristol's Saturday Night Special race; DW withdraws - TV on ESPN2: Cale Yarborough, one of the most successful drivers in the history of Bristol Motor Speedway, has been added to the lineup of stars for the Scotts “Saturday Night Special” at Bristol Motor Speedway, March 21. Darrell Waltrip, Bristol’s all-time winner with 12, has had to pull out of the race because of a scheduling issue that has arisen. “It seems crazy, but I am busier now than I was when I was a driver,” Waltrip said. “I have some commitments to Fox Sports that have come up since we began talking with the folks at Bristol about this race. I was looking forward to getting out there with some of those guys again; and some of them for the first time. After years with Junior Johnson as my boss, I was excited about rubbing fenders with him. But, sometimes things are unavoidable.”
A $100,000 purse to be paid to the charity of choice by each driver will be up for grabs. Competing in late model stock cars, $25,000 will be donated to the charity of choice of the winning team as well as taking home that big Bristol trophy. The second-place team will have $10,000 given to the charity of its choice and $5,000 will go to the designated charity of the other entrants. Other drivers expected to compete are Harry Gant, David Green, Jack Ingram, Junior Johnson, Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin, L.D. Ottinger, Phil Parsons, David Pearson, Jimmy Spencer and Rusty Wallace. The Saturday Night Special will take place after the completion of the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series race and will be followed by a 100-lap UARA late model event. Tickets, which include all three races, start at $45 and are available by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-989-6900 or by visiting bristoltix.com. TV NOTE: the race is scheduled to air on ESPN2 from 6-7pm/et on March 21,2009 and ONE re-air on ESPN Classic on March 22nd at 10:00am/et.(BMS PR)(3-10-2009)
- New "Thunder Valley Lightning" to be sold at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway has partnered with Piedmont Distillers, Inc. and its Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon moonshine brand to introduce a new signature drink named, “Thunder Valley Lightning”. Thunder Valley Lightning is made exclusively with Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon and will be served with one of two southern favorites, sweet tea or lemonade. It will be sold in a 24-ounce collectible cup that replicates the canning jars traditionally used by moonshiners. The acrylic cup includes an embossed Bristol Thunder Valley Lightning logo and a label featuring a photo of the track and the date of the Spring NASCAR event. The drink will be sold exclusively at 20 drink stations located throughout Bristol Motor Speedway’s concourse area inside the track and at exterior locations surrounding the track. A portion of the proceeds from each sale will go a non-profit organization. The collectible cup will also be available with non-alcoholic sweet tea and lemonade drinks sold throughout the track’s regular concession stands. Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon is available in liquor stores, bars and restaurants in 15 states; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia and Wyoming. For more information, please visit www.piedmontdistillers.com.(BMS PR)(3-9-2009)
- Tickets available for Food City 500 at Bristol: Fans who have longed to attend a race at NASCAR’s most popular track now have the opportunity to do just that on what will be the biggest spring race weekend in Bristol Motor Speedway’s history. Tickets are available for the March 22 Food City 500, capping a three-day race weekend fans can’t afford to miss as a number of special events have been added to the schedule. Ford Fan Friday kicks off the action on March 20 when fans can see practice for the Scotts Turf Builder 300 and the Food City 500, as well as qualifying for the Food City 500, for only $5. Any fan bringing a specially marked Pepsi can to the gate will receive free entry. Also on tap for Friday is Food City Race Night, which will take place at BMS from 4 p.m.-9 p.m. There is no admission to the event which will feature live music, free food and driver appearances. Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart are scheduled to participate in Rock Band while Clint Bowyer, Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne and A.J. Allmendinger will square off in a Wii boxing tournament. Other drivers, including Jeff Burton, will take part in a question and answer session. The Scotts Turf Builder 300, one of the premier Nationwide events on the schedule, takes place March 21 with a host of NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in the field. Among those participating in the race is Carl Edwards, Harvick, Greg Biffle, Bowyer and Kyle Busch. Also on the schedule Saturday is the highly anticipated Scotts Saturday Night Special at Bristol, an all-star race featuring some of the biggest names in NASCAR, including Junior Johnson and Harry Gant. Following the Saturday Night Special is a 100-lap UARA race to cap off the evening. All three races, the Scotts Turf Builder 300, the Scotts Saturday Night Special and the UARA event are included in the cost of the ticket for the Scotts Turf Builder 300.
Tickets for the Food City 500 are available, starting at $93. Tickets for the Scotts Turf Builder 300 triple-header begin at $45. Qualifying for the Food City 500 is slated for 3:40 p.m. Friday and qualifying for the Scotts Turf Builder 300 is at 9:40 a.m. Saturday. The Scott’s Turf Builder 300 takes the green flag at 2 p.m., as does the Food City 500 Sunday. To purchase tickets, please contact the Bristol Motor Speedway ticket office at 423-989-6900 or visit www.bristoltix.com.(BMS PR)(3-5-2009)
- Drivers to Conduct Fan Forums at Speedway Motorsports Races: NASCAR drivers and Speedway Motorsports are teaming up to bring fans closer to their favorite drivers than ever before. The new "PRN Up To SPEED" program will bring NASCAR's top names out for fan forums at the SPEED Stage during each of the 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends at Speedway Motorsports' seven speedways across the country. The Performance Racing Network's on-air personalities will emcee question-and-answer sessions with some of the sport's biggest personalities at the SPEED Stage leading up to SPEED's regularly scheduled weekend programming.
"PRN Up To SPEED" will kick off Sunday at 9:30am/et, at the SPEED Stage located in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway midway. The stellar lineup will include Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch, legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. Each Speedway Motorsports track [Atlanta, Bristol, Infineon, Las Vegas, Lowe's, New Hampshire, Texas] that hosts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will hold "PRN Up To SPEED" sessions during their respective race weekend. The location of the SPEED Stage may vary from track to track, but at all Speedway Motorsports facilities, the stage is always located in an area where access is free of charge for fans.(SMI PR)(3-1-2009)
- Bristol Track Record Broken UPDATE2..or is it?: Four NASCAR Whelen Modified Series champions were among six drivers tested at Bristol Motor Speedway during a test session on Tuesday. The fastest time of the day was clocked by L.W. Miller of Dushore, Pa. Miller circled the .533-mile oval in 14.742 sec., breaking Ryan Newman’s Cup Series track record of 14.908 sec. [128.709mph] set in 2003. The cars were running with carburetor restrictor-plates for the test session. Later in the afternoon, a few drivers removed the plates, resulting in even faster times. Ted Christopher, the 2008 Whelen Modified Tour Champion, jumped at the chance to test his car on the concrete track with the engine unrestricted. Christopher turned an incredible lap of 14.479 sec. [132.522mph], a mind-blowing proposition. The Whelen Modified Tour returns Aug. 19 for a doubleheader event with the NASCAR Camping World Series. Other drivers participating in the test were Matt Hirschman, Brian Loftin, Ronnie Silk and Todd Szegedy.(BMS PR)(2-25-2009)
UPDATE: in an old July 2003 post on the uscsracing.com site, it says: Kenny Adams was one of four drivers who tested winged sprint cars with the United Sprint Car Series on Wednesday [July 2003] at Bristol Motor Speedway. With aproximately 10 infield stop watches on hand, lap times were in the low to mid 14 second ranges thru the latter sessions of the three hour test period, putting speeds slightly over 135 miles per hour at the track which is slightly over one half mile long. Adams from Malabar Florida the current USCS "Asphalt Thunder" series points leader, recorded a 14.29 second lap as did Doug Berryman from Mansfield, Ohio. Two time USCS champion Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee flew around the high 36 degree banks in 14.37 seconds and Jim Raptis from Marietta, Georgia, had a best for the day of 14.63 seconds. All four drivers unofficially broke the record of 14.908 seconds set by Ryan Newman during qualifying for the Winston Cup event at BMS last March .(2-26-2009)
UPDATE 2: Sammy Swindell ran a 13.86 second lap [138.442mph] in 2000 when they ran the World of Outlaws ran there and converted the track to dirt.(2-26-2009)
- Rusty’s Pit Stop season ticket package available at Bristol: Beginning with the upcoming March race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, a new season package will be available to race fans that gives them access to both a suite and a grandstand seat. Rusty’s Pit Stop season ticket package allow those purchasing tickets in the Wallace Tower access to the suite nearest that grandstand section. Fans will be able to use the catwalk to gain access to the suite. The suite will be a Wallace-branded lounge with restrooms and a cash concession area, as well as a cash bar. The suite will be standing room only and guests also will access to additional restrooms located on suite level. The suite is fully enclosed, climate controlled and features several flat-screen televisions. Each fan purchasing Rusty’s Pit Stop package also will receive one $25 voucher for both the March and August NASCAR race weekends at BMS. Included in the package are both Sprint Cup events and both Nationwide Series races. Cost for Rusty’s Pit Stop is $500 per person for the entire season. This offer is good to the first 180 people wishing to purchase the package. Fans interested in purchasing Rusty’s Pit Stop season ticket package, which went on sale Monday, Feb. 16, should contact the Bristol Motor Speedway ticket office at 423-989-6900.(BMS PR)(2-23-2009)
- Ford Fan Action offers Bristol Tickets for reduced cost or free: The biggest Spring weekend in the history of Bristol Motor Speedway kicks off with Ford Fan Friday March 20 and Ford, the official vehicle of the World’s Fastest Half-Mile, is making certain fans are able watch it all at little, or no, cost. Ford is making tickets available to the general public on Ford Fan Friday, which features practice for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars, as well as qualifying for the Food City 500, for only $5. And, if spectators bring a specially marked Pepsi can to the gate that day, they will receive free entry. Pepsi, the official soft drink of BMS, will have a total of three million cans in circulation boasting the special offer. Ford also is offering fans the opportunity to take hot laps at Bristol Motor Speedway with Ford drivers, including Carl Edward and Greg Biffle. Fans can visit their local Ford dealers between Feb. 16 and March 12 to test drive a Ford and they will receive two tickets to Ford Fan Friday March 20. At that time, they also can register to be one of three winners who will get to cruise the half-mile oval at BMS in a two-seater race car with Ford drivers. Practice for Ford Fan Friday begins at noon with the Sprint Cup cars taking to the .533-mile oval first, with the Nationwide cars on the track at 1:40 p.m. Qualifying for the Food City 500 begins at 3:40 p.m. and a final practice for the Scotts Turf Builder 300 starts at 4:45 p.m.(BMS PR)(2-18-2009)
- Family Race Night moving to BMS: A pre-race tradition that lets NASCAR drivers and fans meet is expected to officially end its 20-year run in Kingsport this week. Preliminary reports indicate Food City’s Family Race Night will be moved from MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport to Bristol Motor Speedway prior to this year’s Food City 500. The Food City Racing Web site shows the event is slated for March 22 at the racetrack. The decision is expected to be announced by Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway officials at a press conference Thursday. Speedway officials said a press conference will be held Thursday at 11:30am but that they could not yet confirm or deny reports that the event is being moved.(Kingsport Times New)(2-10-2009)
- Lengendary racers to run charity race at Bristol: Darrell Waltrip, Harry Gant, David Pearson, Junior Johnson and other champion drivers are scheduled to be a part of the first Saturday Night Special at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, March 21. Paired with celebrity partners, these legendary racers will run 35 circuits of a 50-lap event to benefit charity and send race fans on a trip down memory lane. Assigned teammates will start the race and run 15 laps. At the end of that segment, some of Bristol’s best will start the second portion of the race in the order of finish of the first. Drivers will be competing in late model stock cars and $25,000 will be donated to the charity of choice of the winning team. The second-place team will have $10,000 given to the charity of its choice and $5,000 will go to the designated charity of the other entrants. But that big Bristol trophy they get to keep for themselves. “It’s been a while,” said Johnson, who has one win as a driver, but 20 at BMS as a car owner. “But I think I can still turn some laps around this place. Darrell better buckle up.” Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin, Jimmy Spencer and Phil Parsons also are expected to compete. Dale Jarrett, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace and Cale Yarborough were extended invitations. The Saturday Night Special will take place after the completion of the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series race and the 100-lap UARA late model event. Info on Tickets at (423) 989-6900 and toll-free (866) 415-4158.(BMS PR)(2-5-2009)
- State of Tennessee, Bristol fight over tax on broadcasts: Bristol Motor Speedway and the state of Tennessee are fighting in court over money the racetrack brings in from the broadcast of NASCAR races. Both sides were in a Nashville courtroom earlier this month trying to negotiate a way forward in the lawsuit that began after the state demanded that the speedway pay taxes on money it makes from televised races at the track. The lawsuit, filed last year in Chancery Court in Nashville, claims the state Department of Revenue is illegally taxing the track. At stake is nearly $420,000 in taxes and interest.(Associated Press / USA Today)(1-30-2009)
- Food City/BMS Announcement - Fan Appreciation: A big announcement regarding one of NASCAR’s races, and certainly one of the Tri-Cities most beloved sporting events, will be made today. Bristol Motor Speedway President, Bruton Smith, and Food City representatives will make an announcement concerning March’s Food City 500 at 3pm. What will be said is still unclear at this point.(tricities.com), Food City has been the title sponsor of the spring Sprint Cup race since 1992.
UPDATE: 2009 Food City 500 Fan Appreciation Tour - A limited number of tickets to the 2009 Food City 500 will be available for loyal fans and Food City customers to purchase! The Fan Appreciation Tour will be visiting 29 Food City locations starting January 7th from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Check the schedule for your chance to go racing at Bristol:
DATE STORE LOCATION
1/7/09 Piney Flats, TN
1/8/09 Bristol, VA (Bonham Rd)
1/9/09 Greeneville, TN (Snapps Ferry Rd)
1/10/09 Knoxville, TN (Strawberry Plains)
1/11/09 Johnson City, TN (South Roan St)
1/12/09 Sevierville, TN
1/15/09 Vansant, VA
1/17/09 Newport, TN (Western Plaza)
1/17/09 Pikeville, KY (Cassidy Blvd)
1/18/09 Richlands, VA
1/19/09 Knoxville, TN (Chapman Hwy./Mtn. Grove Dr)
1/22/09 Rogersville, TN
1/23/09 Oak Ridge, TN
1/24/09 Middlesboro, KY
1/25/09 Marion, VA
1/26/09 Maryville, TN
1/29/09 Paintsville, KY
1/30/09 Dandridge, TN
1/31/09 St. Paul, VA
2/1/09 Knoxville, TN (Fountain City)**12-4pm
2/2/09 Lenoir City, TN
2/5/09 Gray, TN
2/6/06 Morristown, TN (Andrew Johnson Hwy)
2/7/09 Kingston, TN
2/8/09 Wise, VA
2/9/09 Knoxville, TN (Peters Rd)
2/12/09 Blountville, TN
2/13/09 Crossville, TN
2/14/09 Kingsport, TN (Eastman Rd)
Tickets will be sold Jan. 7 through Feb. 14, 2009 at a different Food City location each day between 3pm and 7pm with the exception of Feb. 1, which will be from Noon to 4pm. Complete schedule above. Grand Prize Package - At the conclusion of the Fan Appreciation Tour, Bristol Motor Speedway will award one race fan with the Ultimate Food City 500 Race Weekend Experience. Register at participating Food City. No purchase necessary to enter.
• 2 Suite Passes for the entire weekend (all three days) in The Bristol Club
• 2 Cold Pit Passes
• 2 Hospitality Passes
• Pre-Race Ceremony Passes
• Food City Family Race Night Tickets
- Ford the new official vehicle of Bristol Motor Speedway: Tri-Cities and Charleston Ford Dealer Advertising Group have teamed up to become the official vehicle of Bristol Motor Speedway in 2009. The sponsorship agreement is for three years. The vehicle sponsorship was previously held by General Motors. The Tri-Cities and Charleston Ford Dealer Advertising Group encompasses 40 dealerships in Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky. The sponsorship opportunity was initiated by the Tri-Cities and Charleston Ford dealers, independently of Ford Motor Company, through their dealer group advertising fund. Bristol Motor Speedway provides more than 16,000 square feet to display Ford’s latest vehicles, including the 2009 F-150, 2010 Mustang, Fusion Hybrid and Taurus. Sponsorship of the Official Vehicle of Bristol Motor Speedway also includes Pole Day for the March race weekend on March 20, as well as the popular Transporter Parade, set this year for Aug. 20.(BMS PR)(1-6-2009)
- Limited number of Bristol Season Tickets Available: Folks wondering what to get those sports fans on their Christmas list now may get them what many always have wanted -- season tickets to Bristol Motor Speedway. As a result of the recent economic environment, for the first time since Speedway Motorsports purchased the facility in 1996, Bristol Motor Speedway has a limited supply of season tickets to sell. "We don't believe the economy will be facing these times forever and as a result, we don't believe we will have tickets available when business returns to normal." said BMS president and general manger Jeff Byrd. "Just like a ticket to the Masters or Lambeau or Fenway, having tickets to Bristol is on the list of a lot of sports fans. Because of our environment here we have been fortunate to sell out 53 consecutive races and we believe the Food City 500 in March will be number 54. As a result of that, some people have given up trying to get tickets. But it is no secret many corporations are cutting back in certain areas and we have a large amount of corporate clients who are cutting tickets from their accounts as a means to trim. For tickets call (423) 989-6900 or log on to www.bristoltix.com.(BMS PR)(12-23-2008)
- Pedestrian, Roadway Projects In Front Of BMS Near Completion: The concrete mixers, backhoes, shifting orange barrels and armies of workers that dominated the roadway in front of Bristol Motor Speedway over the past year are now history. “I’m driving into the speedway right now, and it looks great and traffic is flowing freely,” Kevin Triplett, BMS vice president of public affairs, said Wednesday from a cell phone as he pulled into the track’s south entrance. “When all is said and done, this has solved a lot of problems. What we’ve got now is a much safer environment.” Work began in the summer of 2007, and barring any mishaps or late additions, construction will be completed by Sunday’s deadline. Federal, state, city and BMS dollars were used to finally complete a combination of pedestrian and roadway improvement projects in front of and near the track – projects that BMS officials hoped would begin and end much sooner. City and speedway officials unsuccessfully sought state funding for a pedestrian safety project in 2001 and made another presentation to state officials in 2003. BMS owner Bruton Smith had pushed for pedestrian safety improvements for years and criticized state officials for not providing adequate money for such upgrades. The need is obvious when considering the massive number of people who converge on the speed cathedral. Three separate construction companies thundered through the accelerated project at the height of the shuffle early this year. The Tennessee Department of Transportation decided to rebuild Beaver Creek and Back Creek bridges and make other improvements within the one-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 11E from Exide Drive south to White Top Road, at a cost of about $4.7 million. TDOT originally planned to build new 10-foot-wide walkways on the side of the bridges, but BMS kicked in more than $232,000 to double the space to 20 feet for pedestrians on the speedway side only.
The bridge work was not scheduled to start for another two years, but the state decided to go forward sooner in an effort to get the work done in conjunction with the city’s project. Meanwhile, the city, using a combination of money from the city, BMS and federal grants, completed new sidewalks on Volunteer Parkway/U.S. Highway 11E leading to the speedway’s south entrance. The city also relocated underground utilities, renovated streetlights and constructed other pedestrian improvements near the speedway at a cost of approximately $5 million. The work is part of the city’s 2006-08 Transportation Improvement Program.(Bristol Herald Courier)(11-29-2008)
- BMS celebrates 12th anniversary of Speedway in Lights: The Autotrader.com Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA light show at Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway begins its 12th season Nov. 14 and to mark the occasion a spectacular new display, The Twelve Days of Christmas, will light up the night to anchor an already dazzling show. While the extravaganza, one of the largest holiday happenings in the Southeast, has been impressive in the past, it will even be more so this year with The Twelve Days of Christmas addition. The magnificent layout features a dozen scenes, each approximately 10 feet tall and nearly 15 feet wide, making up one of the largest displays at Speedway In Lights at approximately 180 feet long. Naturally, the exhibit features 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. While the light show features in excess of 1.5 million lights and more than 200 displays, one of the most enticing elements of the four-mile drive-through route is that spectators actually get to drive on the World’s Fastest Half-Mile well as take a trip through Thunder Valley at Bristol Dragway. While several motorsports displays are featured along the route, a number of distinct favorites also return, including animated snowman attraction, which features flying snowballs that, upon impact, build a snowman; Dinosaur Village with six enormous pre-historic creatures, along with an erupting volcano, the cannon shot and the poinsettia wreath. The largest spectacle along the route features several animated figures from Gatlinburg leading up to the Sea of Illumination presented by Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies exhibit. The magnificent layout takes patrons on a drive under the grandstand area on the frontstretch side of the Speedway and features sharks, fish and a variety of other sea creatures and will stretch nearly 750 feet.
Christmas Village, located in the infield of BMS, is a popular destination on the drive-through route and features a variety of rides for children who can also visit with Santa, have hot chocolate and roast marshmallows. Several crafts vendors also will be set up in the Village. Proceeds from Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA, benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, a non-profit foundation dedicated to distributing funds to qualified children’s charities. Funds from the foundation directly aid children in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. To date, Speedway Children’s Charities has raised in excess of $4 million for area agencies.
Tickets for Speedway In Lights, open nightly 6-10 p.m., Nov. 14-Jan. 3, are available at the BMS gate. Ticket prices for cars are $10 Sunday through Thursday, and $12 Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $15 each night and bus tickets are $65 each night.
- New Bristol Camping Area to open with 1999 prices: As part of the continuing effort to ease the burden fans are feeling in their wallets, Bristol Motor Speedway officials recently opened a new section for camping -- at 1999 prices. Bristol race fans looking for great camping at affordable prices for the 2009 events at Bristol Motor Speedway should look no further than the new Landing Campground. Sites at the Landing will be available during the Food City 500 and Sharpie 500 race weekends for only $99 each, a price that was available almost a decade ago. The campsites will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of two spots per event, per person may be reserved. By purchasing spots for the 2009 season, race fans will be able to reserve their spaces for 2010 and beyond. After 2009, the spaces will be renewable each year at a price to be determined. Each site is 20’ by 50’ and many offer a beautiful view of Holston Mountain. Shuttle service will carry guests to and from the speedway on event days. Guests also will have shower house access via a shuttle service. One car pass is available for each space. No tents are allowed.
For more information about the Landing Campground go to bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS PR)(11-1-2008)
- Bristol Tix Renewal date extended to Oct 31st: It is no secret that Bristol Motor Speedway’s NASCAR events are the most popular on the circuit, its tickets the most valued in the sport as both Sprint Cup events sell out each year. Evidence of that popularity has been especially obvious this week as the BMS Customer Service agents have been inundated with calls from ticket holders wishing to renew their tickets for 2009. With the original deadline for season ticket renewals set for Tuesday, Oct. 28, fans have been calling, faxing and emailing in record numbers, jamming the switchboard for the past two days, virtually shutting down the facility's phone system. In an effort to make certain every fan’s needs are met, BMS will extend the deadline for renewing season ticket packages for 5 p.m. Oct. 31, giving fans three more days to make payment. The BMS ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets also may be renewed online at www.bristoltix.com.(10-30-2008)
- Tums Wave at BMS sets Guinness World Record: A record-setting 157,574 fans rose to the occasion at this year's Sharpie 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. on Saturday, August 23, as TUMS challenged race attendees to set the Guinness World Record. for the world's Largest Audience Wave. A minimum of 110,000 fans were required to participate in the TUMS Wave at Bristol Motor Speedway in order to set the new Guinness World Record. In addition to setting the record for the most people completing the wave, The TUMS Wave at Bristol Motor Speedway traveled around the stadium grandstands in a record time of 58.07 seconds. To add to the excitement, TUMS enlisted Jeff Byrd, President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway to give the green flag and lead 157,574 fans in the Guinness World Record-setting wave just before the start of the Sharpie 500. Fans who helped set the Guinness World Record can visit BristolMotorSpeedway.com to download the official TUMS Wave certificate.(Clear!Blue/TUM Racing PR)(8-28-2008)
- BMS Fans Set World Record With ‘Wave’ The sold-out crowd at Bristol Motor Speedway has set a new world’s record – not for the selling out the world’s fastest half mile for a 53rd consecutive time or for their reputation as the most die-hard race fans, but for the largest audience wave. The fan participation event was sponsored by TUMS and sought to best the world record by 50,000 people on the 30th anniversary of the running of the Sharpie 500. As race fans stood up and threw their arms in the air for the synchronized display, they were told the ‘wave’ would have to make a complete round of the massive arena. Race enthusiasts here did better than that, allowing the wave to continue nearly a half-dozen times after hearing they had set the record. Fans who were part of the record-setter can document their participation by visiting BristolMotorSpeedway.com to download an official personalized certificate from BMS and TUMS.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2008)
- Sharpie announces pace car design winner: Christopher Siegle, 19, of Orlando, Fla., an art and design student at Full Sail
University in Winter Park, Fla., was named winner of the 2008 Sharpie 500 "Design the Pace Car" contest. The contest challenged entrants to design a bold new look for the car that will keep drivers in line during the Sprint Cup Series Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Siegle's entry was selected based on public voting. The entry, posted on sharpie.com as one of five finalists, received the highest number of votes. Siegle's winning design will be replicated on the actual pace car and officially unveiled to the sell-out crowd of more than 160,000 race fans during pre-race ceremonies. As part of the prize package, Siegle will take a victory lap around the track in the car prior to the start of the race.(Sharpie PR)(8-23-2008)
- Hot Shot to sponsor Bristol qualifying: United Industries Corporation and one of its leading products, Hot Shot pest controls, has joined the Bristol Motor Speedway team as sponsor of qualifying Aug. 22 for the Sharpie 500 Sprint Cup event and the Nationwide Series Food City 250. United Industries, which encompasses Sta-Green lawn and garden products, Spectracide weed and outdoor insect controls and Cutter insect repellents, as well as Hot Shot pest controls, offers a number of easy cost-effective and efficient solutions for many household and backyard challenge. Qualifying for the sold-out Sharpie 500 is set for Aug. 22 at 3:40pm/et while qualifying for the Food City 250 is at 5:05pm/et.(BMS PR)(8-22-2008)
- 30 year anniversary of Bristol night race: Running events at night has become quite commonplace for a number of NASCAR tracks over the last several years. However, true followers of the sport immediately recognize The Night Race as Bristol Motor Speedway's incomparable August Sprint Cup happening. NASCAR's most popular event celebrates its 30th anniversary with the running of the Sharpie 500 Aug. 23. The 2008 version of The Night Race also just happens to be the 53rd consecutive sellout at The World's Fastest Half-Mile. With a crowd of 30,000 in the grandstands, Bristol Motor Speedway lit up the .533 oval for the first time on Aug. 26, 1978. At that time, only
one other track, Nashville, had hosted a race for the sport's top division at night. That was the beginning of what has become a truly unique experience for spectators and drivers alike. Nearly 160,000 fans packed around a bowl-shaped stadium with grandstands towering 21 stories high underneath the stars. Forty-three cars on a .533-mile oval, each aggressively fighting for running room on a 43-foot wide, steeply banked concrete surface. Over the last three decades The Night Race has been a difficult event for any driver to consistently master. Fifteen drivers have won at night at BMS but only seven are active. Darrell Waltrip is the king of racing under the lights at Bristol. Seven of Waltrip's record 12 wins at BMS came at night and he is the only driver to win three straight --- 1981 through 1983. Second on the list is Dale Earnhardt who had nine wins at Bristol with four of them coming in the August event. Earnhardt won three in a four-race stretch, including back-to-back wins in 1987 and '88. Only one other driver has consecutive night race wins at BMS -- Matt Kenseth, the winner of the 2005 and 2006 Sharpie 500s. The sold-out Sharpie 500 takes the green flag Saturday night at 8 p.m.(BMS PR(8-21-2008)
- New Spring Date for Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway President and General Manager Jeff Byrd got what he wished, hoped for and wanted. So did track owner Bruton Smith. Byrd and Smith – the heart and brains of BMS – have spent months working behind the scenes with NASCAR to move the dates of spring races here farther back on the calendar. The work has paid dividends. The Bristol Herald Courier has learned that NASCAR will officially move the Sprint Cup and Nationwide spring races back to the weekend of March 20-22.
“It’s the first weekend of spring,” Byrd said. The primary reason Byrd and Smith have worked to push back the dates is their inability to control one of mankind’s longtime foes – the weather. Persistent rain and cold temperatures plagued qualifying for and the running of this year’s Food City 500 and Sharpie Mini 300, which were held March 14-16. And while the date change for the NASCAR spring races at BMS is only one week later in the calendar year, it marks a huge step forward for Byrd and Smith. “Bristol is so great within its own right,” Smith said. “I mean, if you’re trying to make a decision on whether to go to Bristol or Daytona [Motor Speedway], you quickly make the decision to go to Bristol. If you went to Daytona right now and interviewed people, if you interviewed people at NASCAR, they’ll say the one speedway they want to go to is Bristol.” Meanwhile, Byrd, who has recently questioned whether Bristol Motor Speedway will be able to reach 54 straight sellouts next March, has said that sunshine and warmer weather will go a long way in helping BMS stay on top of the NASCAR world.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-18-2008)
- Bristol's Blue Lizard Transporter Parade, Thur. Aug 21st: For the 12th consecutive year, NASCAR's transporters will take part in the Blue Lizard Transporter Parade, Making Wishes And Miracles Happen For Children In The East Tennessee Region, prior to the sold-out Sharpie 500 and Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway Thursday, Aug. 21. The parade has become one of the most popular events of August race week with dozens of big rigs making their way through the city to Bristol Motor Speedway as thousands of fans line the 10-mile route to take part in the unique event. This year the parade again will feature a special passenger on board each transporter as a child from Make-A-Wish or the Children's Miracle Network will participate.
Slated for a 9pm/et start, following the completion of downtown Bristol's Food City Family Race Night, the brilliantly colored transporters will make their way from Bristol Mall down Volunteer Parkway to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." The 2008 edition of the Blue Lizard NASCAR Transporter Parade will boast more than 50 of the multi-million dollar machines that haul the Sprint Cup Series race cars from track to track throughout the season.
The transporter leading the way will be the one belonging to the leader of the Sprint Cup point standings heading into the Sharpie 500 [#18-Kyle Busch]. Adding to the fanfare of the parade, fireworks will explode high overhead from four points along the route. The transporter drivers also will be available prior to the start of the parade to sign autographs at the Bristol Mall. Spectators also can watch the drivers take part in the Pilot Truck Challenge. The Transporter Parade precedes two of NASCAR's most exciting night races, the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race Friday, Aug. 22 and the Sharpie 500 Saturday, Aug. 23.(BMS PR)(8-18-2008)
- Tix still remian for Bristol NNS race: Fans looking for the best racing the Nationwide Series has to offer know to look only as far as Bristol Motor Speedway and the Food City 250 Aug. 22. And if they are looking for a great deal on tickets the World's Fastest Half Mile definitely is the place to be. Bristol Motor Speedway is offering fans the opportunity to purchase the Family Four-Pack for the Food City 250: two adult tickets and two children's tickets for only $99. The Family Four Pack offer is available now through Aug. 22. To order
call the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900 or visit bristoltix.com.(8-13-2008)
- TUMS Announces Guinness World Record Attempt by Fans at Bristol: Fans will rise for more than just the National Anthem at this year's Sharpie 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 23, as TUMS attempts to break the Guinness World Record for the world's largest audience wave. TUMS and its newest product, the TUMS QuikPak instant dissolve powder, will bring its fastest relief ever to BMA and attempt to set a new world record. TUMS will wave the green flag and help get Bristol fans involved in the record-breaking attempt at the world's largest audience wave record. The Sharpie 500 will be the 53rd straight sell-out race at Bristol Motor Speedway - one of the hardest tickets to attain in sports - and host to more than 158,000 fans. In addition to the Guinness World Record attempt, Reed Sorenson's #41 Dodge Charger will carry a special TUMS QuikPak paint scheme for the race. TUMS is an associate sponsor on the #41 Dodge from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) throughout the 2008 season. This season, TUMS will host 18 different fan events at race tracks, for more information visit TUMSracing.com(Clear!Blue/BMS PR), see an image of the #41 TUMS car on my #41 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2008)
- Bristol Wants New Date Too: From a Bristol Motor Speedway Newsletter by Speedway President & General Manager Jeff Byrd "We have told you on many occasions that we have asked NASCAR for a later spring Sprint Cup race date. They have consistently told us that they would take that request under consideration but to date, they have not been able to change the schedule to get us out of March. We are currently talking with NASCAR about our 2009 sanctioning body agreement. While nothing definitive has been decided, we do not want you to assume that the 2009 spring race date will be the same weekend as this year's Food City 500. I urge you to wait a while before you make travel plans, book hotel rooms or make other arrangements that you might have to change. To reiterate, we do not know if we will have a different race date or not at this point in time. We will give you continued progress reports on the status of the negotiations and will announce next year's schedule as soon as NASCAR gives us their approval.(BMS)(6-21-2008)
- National Anthems for Bristol races: Country music recording artist Danielle Peck will sing the national anthem prior to the start of the sold-out Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16 while Chris Young will do the honors before the Sharpie MINI 300 on March 15. A native of Jacksonville, N.C., the 29-year-old Peck was signed to the independent label Machine Records in 2005 and is expected to release her second album this year. Young, who hails from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was nominated for the Academy of Country Music's award for Top New Male Vocalist in 2007. He signed with the RCA Nashville label in 2006. The sold-out Food City 500 gets under way on Sunday, March 16 at 2pm while the Sharpie MINI 300 revs up at 2:30pm on Saturday, March 15. Tickets are available for the Sharpie MINI 300 and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(BMS PR)(3-4-2008)
- "Suite" Deal Available for March Race Weekend: In order to give fans that might enjoy watch the races from a different viewpoint, Bristol Motor Speedway is offering up a rare opportunity for the March 14-16 race weekend only. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the "suite" life from high about the World's Fastest Half Mile as a limited number of suite seats are now available for fans in the Turn 2 Bristol Box. Fans will enjoy theatre-style seating in the Bristol Box in a climate-controlled environment, along with meals and best of all, a magnificent view of Pole Day, the Sharpie MINI 300 Nationwide Series race and the sold-out Sharpie 500 Sprint Cup event. The cost per person for all three days is only $500. To reserve your seat, or for more information, please contact Kathy Artrip at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-989-6973.(BMS PR)(2-25-2008)
- No smoking at Bristol grandstands/suites: In accordance with a new Tennessee state law, all grandstand, terrace, suite, and restroom areas at Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway now are non-smoking. This became effective October 1, 2007. The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee passed the "Non-Smoker Protection Act" in May and Governor Phil Bredesen signed it into law in June 2007. The Act prohibits smoking in most public facilities, including "sports arenas." Guests may still smoke in our concourse area, but grandstand, terrace and suite seating areas will be non-smoking.(BMS Site), this would also be the case for the Nationwide and Truck races at Nashville Superspeedway, located in Tennessee.(1-27-2008)
- Saturday Night Fireworks Show To Bring Bristols Speedway in Lights to a Close: The 11th season of Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA will conclude on Saturday,
Jan. 5 with a big bang. A fireworks display will take place that evening, putting a cap on another extremely successful season of the holiday light show at Bristol Motor Speedway. The fireworks extravaganza will begin at approximately 9:30pm/et that evening.(BMS PR)(1-4-2008)
- Passes Double at "New" Bristol: NASCAR’s Loop Data shows green flag passing during Saturday night’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway more than doubled that of the spring race at Bristol – from 991 passes in the spring to 2,147 passes Saturday night. The consensus opinion held by the drivers at the conclusion of the race rang loud and clear: the new surface at Bristol Motor Speedway met – and exceeded – expectations, as the addition of a second and third racing groove greatly increased the number of passes – and thusly, the competition. Take a look at the total passing numbers from the spring and this past weekend:
2007 Green Flag Passes at Bristol
Spring, Location, Summer
184, Frontstretch, 529
128, Backstretch, 487
313, Turns 1 and 2, 571
366, Turns 3 and 4, 560
991, Total, 2,147
The 2,147 green flag passes Saturday is a 108% increase over the spring race at Bristol. The individual numbers also grew. Below is a look at the top five in Green Flag Passes at the spring race and the top five this past Saturday night.
Bristol Green Flag Passes – Spring:
1. Kevin Harvick, 52
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 47
3. Jeff Burton, 46
4. Jeff Gordon, 37
5. David Stremme, 37
Bristol Green Flag Passes – Summer
1. J.J. Yeley, 107
2. Jamie McMurray, 105
3. Reed Sorenson, 87
4. Robby Gordon, 80
5. Martin Truex Jr., 80
evin Harvick’s top mark of 52 Green Flag Passes in the spring would have tied him for 18th with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in this past weekend’s race. Tony Stewart, who finished fourth Saturday night and clinched a spot in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, gave the new track at Bristol high marks: "Guys were running over each other to pass each other," said Stewart. "It’s the most fun I've had at Bristol in my career. I can't give it a better grade than an A-plus."(NASCAR PR)(8-28-2007)
- More seats at Bristol? Expansion of Bristol Motor Speedway may continue. Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith mentioned the possibility Wednesday morning during an interview on the Sirius NASCAR Radio show "The Morning Drive." Smith was responding to questions about the popularity of the half-mile track, dubbed the World’s Fastest Half-Mile, from program hosts Marty Snider and David Poole, "We have been doing some studying," Smith said. "We can tear down that area there toward the third, fourth turn. We could take that down and I can add about another 8,000 seats by re-doing that whole thing. "That would put us on up to 173,000 [seats]." A sellout crowd of more than 160,000 is expected to attend Saturday’s Sharpie 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race. In fact, Nextel Cup races at BMS have sold out 51 straight times. Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jeff Byrd said Wednesday that he had "not heard" of the expansion plans disclosed by Smith. Other speedway officials had no comment. Smith is expected to be in Bristol for this weekend’s races.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-25-2007)
- Junior Johnson grand marshal for Transporter Parade: NASCAR legend Junior Johnson will serve as the grand marshal for the Blue Lizard Transporter Parade - Making Wishes and Miracles Happen For Children In The East Tennessee Region Thursday, Aug. 23. This is the 11th consecutive year that NASCAR's transporters will take part in
the parade, which precedes the sold-out Sharpie 500 Saturday evening. The parade has become one of the most popular events of August race week with dozens of big rigs making their way through the city to Bristol Motor Speedway. Thousands of fans line the 10-mile route to take part in the spectacular event. This year the parade will have added significance as most of the transporter drivers will have a special passenger onboard - a child from Make-A-Wish or the Children's Miracle Network for the duration of the parade. Slated for a 9 p.m. start, following the completion of downtown Bristol's Food City Family Race Night, the brilliantly colored transporters will make their way from Bristol Mall down Volunteer Parkway to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." The 2007 edition of the Blue Lizard Transporter Parade will boast more than 50 of the multi-million dollar machines that haul the Nextel Cup Series race cars from track to track throughout the season. The transporter leading the way will be the one belonging to the leader of the Nextel Cup point standings heading into the Sharpie 500. Adding to the fanfare of the parade, fireworks will explode high overhead from four points along the route. The transporter drivers also will be available prior to the start of the parade to sign autographs at the Bristol Mall. Spectators also can watch the drivers take part in the Pilot Truck Challenge.(BMS PR)(8-22-2007)
- National Anthem singers set for Bristol August races: Country music recording artist Trent Willmon will sing the national anthem before the Food City 250 Busch Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday, Aug. 24 while the anthem for the sold-out Sharpie 500 on Saturday night will be performed by the children of NASCAR drivers. One of the most popular groups to sing the anthem in recent years at BMS will return for the Sharpie 500 as Motor Racing Outreach will bring the children of NASCAR drivers before the crowd of nearly 160,000 to kick off NASCAR's most popular race.(BMS PR)(8-16-2007)
- Rusty Wallace Drives New Bristol Surface: Thursday afternoon Bristol Motor Speedway president Jeff Byrd received a surprise call from Rusty Wallace. He was in the area and wanted to stop by and take a spin on the new concrete surface. And the former Nextel Cup champion had no intention of taking a nice, leisurely drive around the .533-mile oval. Instead, Wallace climbed into the BMS pace car and ripped off lap after lap at speeds around 95 mph. His verdict? "On a scale of 1 to 10, what do I think?" It's a 10," Wallace said.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(7-21-2007)
- Bristol Top Pick As Favorite Track Among Nextel Cup Drivers: Bristol Motor Speedway has been named in many polls as the favorite NASCAR track among fans. Now, Nextel Cup drivers have placed it at the top of their list in the current issue of Sports Illustrated. As part of the 2007 NASCAR Midseason Report in the July 2 issue of Sports Illustrated, drivers were polled to get their opinions and thoughts on a number of topics, both on-track and off. Approximately 40% of the Nextel Cup regulars responded to the poll. Drivers were asked which racetrack was their favorite and 18% selected Bristol Motor Speedway as their #1 choice.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(7-2-2007)
- Bristol Reconcreting close to done: Construction crews are ahead of schedule in replacing the concrete racing surface at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kevin Triplett, Bristol’s vice president of public affairs, said earlier this week that resurfacing was “more than three-quarters done. We’re finishing pouring concrete on Turn 4 and putting in the retaining fence, and we still need to pour concrete on the front and back pit roads,” Triplett said. Workers cracked the track’s surface after the Nextel Cup’s Food City 500 in late March. The goal then was to complete renovations by mid-July, but the job could be finished a week sooner. NASCAR officials called Triplett recently and said they wanted firm test dates to get ready for the Sharpie 500 on Aug. 25. Triplett said that the first test will be July 23, with Truck series drivers. Busch drivers will try out the new track July 24, and Goodyear will test tires with selected Nextel Cup cars and drivers July 25. Baker Construction Services of Bluff City removed the old concrete racing surface, asphalt apron, pit roads and retaining walls and added about four miles of drainage tile beneath the new surface and infield.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-30-2007)
- Concrete begins to pour for new surface at BMS: Recent dry weather has helped speed up the resurfacing work at Bristol Motor Speedway, but a mid-July deadline is approaching. Work crews have replaced the concrete retaining walls around the "World’s Fastest Half-Mile" and poured new concrete pit stalls. This [Last] week, workers began pouring the new concrete racing surface. "We need rain desperately in this area, but not having it sure helps with construction projects," said Kevin Triplett, the speedway’s vice president of public affairs. We’re moving along pretty well. They started pouring the base layer on the front stretch and turns 1 and 2. And they’ll pour the surface layer on the front stretch and 1 and 2 in the next few days." Dirt work is nearly complete in turns 3 and 4 and gravel covers the backstretch. The multimillion-dollar project began in March, just after the running of the Food City 500. Work crews from Baker Construction Services of Bluff City removed the old concrete racing surface, asphalt apron, pit road and all the retaining walls around the popular NASCAR oval track. They also added about four miles of drainage tile beneath the new racing surface and infield. The new surface is expected to get about three weeks of curing time, which should be aided by NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Busch Series test sessions scheduled to begin July 23, Triplett said.(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-7-2007)
- Bristol Concrete available to fans in July: History was made in August of 1992 when Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the very first NASCAR Cup Series race on an all-concrete surface. In July of this year, fans will get the opportunity to own a piece of that history.
A new concrete surface will be in place for NASCAR’s most popular race, the Sharpie 500 in August. However, on July 1, pieces of the original concrete surface from the Start/Finish Line, where drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart have celebrated Bristol victories, will be made available for fans looking to add the most unique of souvenirs to their racing memorabilia collection. Three versions of the collectible will be made available to fans. There is a piece of concrete in an acrylic case that will sell for $25, a 12”x14” framed piece that is $60 and the Concrete Showpiece, priced at $100. A portion of all sales of the concrete will benefit the Bristol chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Quantities from the actual Start/Finish Line are limited. Only the actual concrete raced on by Bristol winners since 1992 will be sold – after it’s gone, no other portions of the surface will be sold. Anyone wishing to order a piece of Bristol history can call the Speedway World souvenir store at BMS at (423) 989-6960 beginning July 1, order online at www.gospeedwayworld.com, or visit the BMS souvenir store or any Speedway souvenir stand Aug. 22-25 during race week.(BMS PR)(3-29-2007)
- BMS will have new look in the fall: Bristol Motor Speedway will have a new look when NASCAR fans return in the fall. To the delight of some drivers and crew chiefs, work on a new concrete surface begins this morning on the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. BMS officials have consulted with current and former drivers, including Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon. The goal is to offer a smoother surface which leads to better racing. "I’m happy to give my feedback and I hope other drivers are," said Gordon, a five-time Bristol race winner. "I wish that every track that is either repaved or where they are building a new track that they would sit down with as many drivers and crew chiefs and tire engineers and NASCAR officials that they possibly can before they decide what they’re going to do." As usual, the work at BMS will be cutting edge. A new machine, called the Gomaco Slope Paver, has been developed to handle the specifications of the unique BMS oval which features 36-degree banking in the corners. The resurfacing project should be completed by mid-July.
(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-26-2007)
- BMS offers Commemorative Pavers: If you’ve ever wanted to leave your mark at Bristol Motor Speedway, look no further than the new Bristol Walk of Fame. The Bristol Walk of Fame is the area located directly in front of the Speedway’s main entrance which is part of the new sidewalk. A total of 7,200 pavers, 12” x 12” in size, are now being made available to the public for purchase. More info at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com. The Bristol Walk of Fame pavers are $199 each and will go on sale Thursday, March 23 at the Bruton Smith Building at BMS. Each purchase is tax deductible, up to $149, as all proceeds will benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.(BMS PR)(3-23-2007)
- DW and Johnson tapped as Starter, Grand Marshal at Bristol: Two of NASCAR's greatest legends and the most successful driver and owner in Bristol Motor Speedway history, Darrell Waltrip and Junior Johnson, will kick off the Food City 500 in style with Waltrip waving the green flag while Johnson will serve as Grand Marshal.
Waltrip, who is a television commentator for FOX, which will be broadcasting the March 25 race, will be shown live on the air, waving the green flag to start the sold-out Food City 500 while uttering his famous "Boogity, boogity, boogity" phrase. This will be the first time Waltrip has been the Honorary Starter for a NEXTEL Cup Series event and is thought to be the first time an on-air personality has started a Cup race during a live broadcast. The 60-year-old Waltrip, a three-time Nextel Cup champion and winner of 84 races at NASCAR's top level, is the all-time leading winner at the World's Fastest Half-Mile with 12 victories. While Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough and Rusty
Wallace all had nine wins at Bristol, the next closest active drivers to Waltrip's mark are Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch with five wins apiece. David Pearson also had five BMS wins. Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers, he made history at Bristol when he won a remarkable seven consecutive Cup events from the spring of 1981 through the spring of 1984. Waltrip's first win at Bristol came in the spring of 1978 and his final came in August of 1992, which was the first race on concrete at BMS.
Johnson is the all-time leading car owner at Bristol with a remarkable 21 victories and was Waltrip's car owner during his streak of seven straight wins. The next closest was the Holman-Moody team with nine wins while Richard Childress, Jack Roush and Roger Penske are the winningest active owners with eight each. The 75-year-old Johnson, also one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers, captured 50 Cup wins over his distinguished career, including one at Bristol in the spring of 1965 when he served as both driver and owner. Johnson's record of consecutive race wins at Bristol outshines Waltrip's by one, as he won an amazing eight straight events on the high-banked oval, including the August night race of 1980 with Cale Yarborough behind the wheel.(BMS PR)(3-20-2007)
- Bill Currington to sing National Anthem at Bristol: Georgia-born country music sensation Billy Currington will sing the national anthem prior to the sold-out Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 25. This will be Currington's first trip to the World's Fastest Half-Mile, where he'll sing in front of nearly 160,000 fans.(BMS PR)(3-20-2007)
- Inpection at Bristol for COT may change: NASCAR officials apparently have been telling crew chiefs in the Nextel Cup garage no one should fail inspection prior to the first practice session at Bristol Motor Speedway in two weeks. If there was a car that passed every template during the recent Bristol test for the COT, no one can point it out. The Ford nose missed the template by 3/16's of an inch on both sides and there was a minor issue with the hood that must be worked out in a hurry. Chevry teams also had issues in the nose and tail sections. Dodge and Toyota were also not without issues but individuals in those camps were not talking. The word now is NASCAR is going to relax the process, requiring teams to meet just four of the eight required points in the overall template.(CircleTrackPlus.com), see image of the inspection 'cage' on my COT page.(3-11-2007)
- BMS Names 30 Fans To Serve On Inaugural Advisory Board: Bristol Motor Speedway named 30 members to its inaugural Fan Advisory Board. Geared toward better serving the hundreds of thousands of spectators who visit the Speedway each year, the board will communicate with other fans and BMS management to further strengthen Bristol's commitment to being the most fan-friendly venue in racing. A total of 1,588 applicants from 41 states and Canada vied for the 30 positions on the Fan Advisory Board. Those selected represent 18 states and Canada. The Board consists of a healthy demographic cross-section of loyal fans which will communicate with other fans to provide feedback and offer new ideas to BMS management. The goal is for this communication to aid in the growth and development of the Speedway and its ability to exceed expectations by delivering the ultimate fan experience. As always, BMS management will continue to be available for direct communication and correspondence with fans. The FAB will simply increase the level of communication and will provide BMS with an immediate sounding board in which to solicit fan opinions, ideas and suggestions, all with the best interest of the fan experience in mind. Correspondence and meetings will include Bristol senior level management to ensure all action items are executed in the vision of the fans and the board. Board members will serve a term of one year. The FAB meetings will take place during NASCAR event weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway for board members in attendance. The online message board will serve as an ongoing open line of communication and involvement/activity is unlimited. Throughout the year, a series of teleconferences also will take place in which board members will actively participate in meetings via phone.
Members of the 2007 Board are, in alphabetical order, Daniel Barry (Oxford, Mass.), Will Daniels (Coldiron, Ken.), Gail Ervin (Columbia, Tenn.), Gloria Flucks (Wyandotte, Mich.), Larry Funderburk (Algood, Tenn.), Rebecca Goggins (Alabaster, Ala.), Richard Hughes (Manquin, Va.), Scott Holdren (Coeymans, N.Y.), Chris Huddleston (Bristol, Tenn.), Lorna Ivey (Eclectic, Ala.), Evelyn Kelly (Long Branch, N.J.), Debbie Lamb (Glasford, Ill.), David Martus (Dyer, Ind.), Cathernine McCause (Martinez, Calif.), James McDonough (Camlachie, Ont.), Michael Payte, Jr. (Branson, Mo.), Tim Puccetti (Bridgeville, Penn.), Beverly Ramsey (Mars Hill, N.C.), David Riel (Fort Recovery, Ohio), Joe Ruch (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Richard Snider (Waynesboro, Va.), Chris Taylor (Mt. Carmel, Ill.), Stanley Taylor (Kennesaw, Ga.), Douglas Titera (Ladysmith, Wisc.), Louis Urschel (Marietta, Ohio), Alma Vance (Bluff City, Tenn.), Taylor Vaughn (Galax, Va.), Loretta Webster (Hernando, Miss.), Lisa Whiteside (Pleasant Prairie, Wisc.) and Scott Wisemandle (Dayton, Ohio).(BMS PR)(3-9-2007)
- Food City extends with BMS: Abingdon, Va.-based Food City announced an extension of its Nextel Cup race sponsorship to 2010. An agreement signed by Food City CEO Steve Smith and BMS track president Jeff Byrd also extended sponsorship of the August Food City 250 Busch Series race.(Johnson City Press)(3-1-2007)
- Bristol sells out Food City 500, 50th sellout in a row: The Food City 500 Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 25 has sold out, a consecutive streak of Nextel Cup sellouts, which reaches 50 began in August 1982 a stretch of 25 years. back in 1982, the track capacity was 71,000, now the is close to 160,000. "It's a pretty significant accomplishment," said BMS President and General Manager Jeff Byrd. "I don't know of any race track that can even come close to 50 straight sellouts. The amazing thing about the streak is that no matter what the seating capacity was throughout the years, the fans always bought tickets and always came to Bristol to fill those seats. It all goes back to the loyalty fans feel toward Bristol and the fact that they love the experience that is Bristol Motor Speedway. The short track action, the high banks, the ability to see everything that's happening on the track... it's very unique and they appreciate it."(BMS PR)
AND Fans planning to attend the Car of Tomorrow test sessions at Bristol Motor Speedway Feb. 28 and March 1, also will have the opportunity to purchase specially-priced Pole Day and Sharpie MINI 300 Busch Series tickets. More info at bristolmotorspeedway.com)
- Bristol COT Testing open to public: With NASCAR debuting the Car of Tomorrow [COT] during the Food City 500 weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway March 23-25, Nextel Cup teams will be visiting the famed half-mile oval in advance to put the new car through its paces. The Feb. 28-March 1 COT test session, which is expected to feature nearly every Nextel Cup team, will be open to the public both days. The test sessions will begin at 9:00am and end at 5:00pm/et. An hour break in on-track action is scheduled from noon to 1:00pm/et each day. Fans wishing to watch the test sessions will enter BMS through the South entrance and will enter the backstretch grandstands through Gate 6. Parking will be in the lot directly across from Gate 6. Spectator gates will open at 8:45am. both days. Concessions also will be available for spectators. Tickets for the races are available online at www.bristoltix.com or may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900.(BMS PR)(1-31-2007)
- Bristol to be resurfaced after March Cup race: Bristol Motor Speedway will be getting a new look this summer that should make for even more exciting racing as the .533-mile oval receives a new concrete surface after the March 25 running of the Food City 500 Nextel Cup race. And just like the one-of-a-kind racing fans get at Bristol Motor Speedway, officials commissioned a one-of-a-kind machine to do the job. Baker Concrete Construction, Inc., of Monroe, Ohio, developed the Gomaco Slope Paver, an all-new machine, to handle the specifications of Bristol's unique high-banked oval. A pair of unrelated Baker Construction companies (Baker Construction Services of Bluff City, Tenn., is the other) head the project that should be completed by mid-July. SMI's Development team hopes the new surface promotes even closer racing and a much smoother ride for the drivers. The famous Bristol banking will remain the same. Crews plan to begin demolition for the entire racing surface, track apron, pit road, inside retaining walls and 80 percent of the outside walls March 26, the day after the Food City 500. This project marks the first time since 1992 that the entire track undergoes a complete resurfacing. In the summer of that year, then-track owner Larry Carrier made NASCAR history when he created NASCAR's first all-concrete racing surface. Project specifications call for more than 14,520 square yards of concrete to be used for the track surface alone. Bristol's resurfacing project will employ a crew of 130 and cover in excess of 30,000 worker hours.(BMS PR)(1-25-2007)
- Bristol Launches Fan Advisory Board: Geared toward better serving the hundreds of thousands of spectators who visit "The World's Fastest Half-Mile" each year, Bristol Motor Speedway will institute a Fan Advisory Board in 2007. The effort further strengthens Bristol's commitment to being the most fan-friendly venue in racing. The BMS Fan Advisory Board will consist of a group of loyal fans who will provide feedback and offer new ideas that will aid in the growth and development of the Speedway and its ability to exceed expectations by delivering the ultimate fan experience. Fans interested in becoming a member can access and complete the online application by clicking the FAB banner on the venue's home page at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com. The application deadline is Friday, Feb.9, 2007. The FAB will be comprised of 20-25 members, consisting of a healthy demographic cross-section. Correspondence and meetings will include Bristol senior level management to ensure all action items are executed in the vision of the fans and the board. Board members will serve a term of one year. The FAB meetings will take place during NASCAR event weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway for board members in attendance. The online message board will serve as an ongoing open line of communication and involvement/activity is unlimited. Throughout the year, a series of teleconferences also will take place in which board members will actively participate in meetings via phone. Those selected to serve on the board will be notified Feb. 27-March 1. Board activity will begin March 4.(BMS PR)(1-19-2007)
- Food City's "15 Years - 15 Winners Promotion Gives Fans Chance to Win Tickets to 2007 Food City 500: Next year Food City celebrates its 15th anniversary of sponsoring the Nextel Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol and to mark the occasion, some lucky fan – and a bunch of his or her friends – will be having a spring fling like no other during the March event. Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway are teaming up to give one person the chance to have a party to remember at the Food City 500 for a group of 15 with its "15 Years – 15 Winners" promotion. That’s right. The winner gets to invite 14 of his nearest and dearest friends and/or family members to the Food City 500 on March 25.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(12-23-2006)
- Speedway Motorsports distributes to Speedway Children's Charities:
Bristol: The Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities topped the $3 million mark and presented a record $450,000 to 74 children's charitable agencies throughout the Mountain Empire during a Thursday evening ceremony at Bristol Motor Speedway's Bruton Smith Building. The 74 agencies set a record as well for the Bristol Chapter as it continues its endeavor to enrich the lives of regional youth.(BMS Site)
Speedway Children's Charities is the primary charitable arm of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which owns and operates Infineon Raceway. Speedway Children's Charities is a non-profit organization with the purpose of raising funds to be distributed to qualified children's organizations. Founded in 1984 by Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., Speedway Children's Charities originated at Lowe's Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Fifty-five youth groups will receive funding from Speedway Children's Charities in 2006.(12-8-2006)
- Bristol Cup Race Sells out for 49th time in a row: Beginning with the August race of 1982, the Busch 500, every Cup race
held at the .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway oval has sold out. With the Sharpie 500 this Aug. 26 the list of consecutive sellouts balloons to an incredible 49 with nearly five million fans coming through the gates to the Cup races during those 25 years. Tickets to one of the two Nextel Cup events at Bristol Motor Speedway have long been among the most coveted in the entire sports world. Earlier this year, ESPN.com named the Sharpie 500 one of the top 10 Hottest Tickets In American Sports, along with The Masters, the Super
Bowl and the World Series. The Sharpie 500 was the lone racing event on the list, which also included the Kentucky Derby, the U.S. Open Men's Tennis Final, the BCS National Championship Game, a Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees game at Fenway Park, the NBA All-Star Game and a men's basketball game between Duke and North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium. NASCAR's records indicate that for the August race in 1982, there were 25,000 people in attendance for the first sell-out. Fast forward to the spring race of 1996, the first under Bruton Smith's ownership, and that sellout registered 71,000 fans in attendance. One year later an
additional 47,000 seats had been built and sold. In August of 1998, 135,000 people were part of the sold out half-mile oval while the
sellout of March 2003 boasted the first nearly crowd of nearly 160,000. While there are no tickets available for the Sharpie 500 on Aug. 26, tickets for the Aug. 25 Food City 250, which boasts the largest Busch crowd of the season, are on sell now., To purchase tickets, please visit or call the BMS ticket office at 423-989-6900.(BMS PR)(8-24-2006)
- Fans Invited to Dedication of Wallace Grandstand: Rusty Wallace, one of NASCAR's all-time greats, will be honored for his racing accomplishments at Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday, March 23. Fans are invited to attend the ceremony which will take place in front of the Bruton Smith Building at BMS at 5:30pm/et. Wallace, who retired at the end of the 2005 season, was honored at the Sharpie 500 this past August, receiving a replica of Bristol Motor Speedway where he won nine times. At that time, it was announced that the tower, which tops the Kulwicki Grandstand in turns one and two of the facility, would be named in Wallace's honor. That dedication is part of the March 23 ceremony. The ceremony will also feature the unveiling of Wallace's plaque and monument in Legend's Plaza, which is situated in front of the Bruton Smith Building. Wallace's monument will join those of other racing legends honored at BMS, including The Allison Family, Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, Alan Kulwicki, David Pearson, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. Blue Lizard Pole Day tickets are available at a cost of only $15. Tickets for the March 25 Sharpie MINI 300, the first 300-lap Busch Series race ever at BMS, are also on sale. Tickets begin at just $45. Tickets for both Blue Lizard Pole Day and the Sharpie MINI 300 may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at (423)-989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(BMS PR)(3-21-2006)
- Race Festivities at Bristol: Diamond Rio, the six-time Country Music Vocal Group of the Year winners, will sing the national anthem on Sunday prior to the start of the Food City 500. U.S. Senator George Allen, the former Governor of Virginia, will be the Grand Marshall of the Food City 500 while Food City's Emerson Breeding will serve as the honorary starter.(BMS PR)(3-21-2006)
- Bristol Grandstand Banners to be sold for Charity: Want to own a piece of Bristol Motor Speedway? Here's your chance as a number of the banners that have adorned the grandstands will be available to fans during the March NASCAR weekend. These banners, which have been used to direct fans to their seats and are now being replaced, bare the names of the various drivers for whom the BMS grandstands have been named. More than 600 banners boasting the names of Earnhardt, Kulwicki, Allison, Petty, Pearson, Johnson and Yarborough are up for grabs. The banners are $50 each. All money raised from the sale of the banners will benefit the
Bristol chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, a non-profit organization dedicated to distributing funds to qualified children's
agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The banners will go on sale on Friday, March 24 at 9 a.m. and will be sold
throughout race weekend. The banners will be available at two locations at Bristol Motor Speedway -- in front of the old ticket office inside the main entrance of the speedway and in the display area, located in the area between the Speedway and Bristol Dragway. For more information, please contact Barbara Kaiser at (423) 989-6975 or goto the BMS Site..(BMS PR)(3-21-2006)
- Bristol to be resurfaced UPDATE delayed until 2007: Lowe's Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedeay are not the only tracks being resurfaced. Jeff Byrd, the President of Bristol Motor Speedway told MRN Radio's NASCAR Today that his track will get resurfaced after the Food City 500 in March. "It's kinda like screwing around with the formula for Coca-Cola. I don't know whether we're tinkering with a formula that doesn't need to be changed. We would like to reconfigure the track so the top lane so the top lane can carry more speed onto the straight-a-ways off of 2 and 4."(MRN Radio NASCAR Today)(1-25-2006)
UPDATE: Bristol Motor Speedway will require the undivided attention of its paving engineer and contractors when it installs a new concrete racing surface on the World's Fastest Half Mile, and that's why the project has been put off until 2007. The project was very close to being scheduled for this summer. Wayne Estes, BMS vice president of communications and events, said Tuesday that Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Bruton Smith left it up to track President Jeff Byrd whether or not to proceed with the resurfacing in 2006 or wait until 2007. Speedway Motorsports also owns Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both of which will receive a new surface in 2006. Ultimately it was decided that spreading the attention of Speedway Motorsports' preferred engineer, construction company and developers three ways might not produce the optimum results. As it stands now, BMS will receive its new concrete racing surface following the 2007 spring NASCAR races, with the project to be completed by the time NASCAR returns to BMS for the August night races. The existing concrete surface was constructed in 1992, and at that time technology was not as advanced as it is now with regard to race track paving, Estes said. He said the existing surface has served the facility well, but time is beginning to take its toll. Tentatively scheduled to follow construction of the new concrete racing surface is a redesign of the infield, which would make room for more haulers to park and improve their maneuverability. Estes noted that the new infield design is in the earliest planning stages, but the concept at this time is for all the buildings to be placed in the corners. Most notably the infield media center, which faces the frontstretch grandstands, would be torn down and a new one constructed at one end of the infield. Estes said the media center was in need of a technological upgrade anyway. Also to be improved would be the Wellmont Infield Care Center.(Kingsport Times-News)(3-8-2006)
- Bristol Plans World's Largest Green Flag Drop: The nearly 160,000 fans who will attend the sold-out Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 26, 2006 will get to be part of history as they'll take part in waving the world's largest green flag. Upon entering the grandstands on Sunday, fans will be given a green flag on the way to their seats. The words "I Waved The Green Flag" are inscribed on the keepsake flag which also boasts the Bristol Motor Speedway and Food City 500 logos. The flags, 8"x12" in size, would cover quite a bit of area if they were laid out end to end, blanketing more than 3.5 acres. When the honorary starter waves the official flag to start the race at 2:10pm/et fans will be encouraged to stand and wave their green flags as well, taking part in a history-making moment. Fans may make use of their green flags after cautions on restarts too.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(3-1-2006)
- Southern Sports Awards Nominates NASCAR tracks/teams/drivers...what? no lugnut [LMS Mascot]?: The Daytona 500 and August night race at Bristol Motor Speedway have been nominated in the "Best Sports Experience" category in the inaugural Southern Sports Awards which recognizes and honors the athletes, fans and the traditions that "set the South above the rest in the sports world."(DIS PR)
Talladega The Talladega Superspeedway Infield is among select nominees for the first ever Southern Sports Awards (SSA), a two-hour special awards show that will recognize and honor the athletes, fans and traditions that "set the South above the rest in the sports world." Talladega Superspeedway's nomination is to the "Best Place To Tailgate" category.(TSS PR)
Roush Racing: Roush Racing [#'s 6,16,17,97,99] have been nominated for Best Management.
Dale Jr. vs Jeff? Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Jeff Gordon have been nominated for the Biggest Rivalry category.
Coach of the Year: among the nomiee's are Chad Knaus, #48 Crew Chief for Jimmie Johnson and Greg Zippadelli,(#20 Crew Chief for Tony Stewart.
Fan Favorite nominee's include Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #11, #18, #20 team owner Joe Gibbs, not for racing but for being the headcoach of the NFL's Washington Redskins.
Newcomer of the Year: surprise! Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Ford [4 wins] is nominated along with #5-Kyle Busch, winner at California as a rookie.
AND finally for the The "Style" Award...nominated from NASCAR are Kyle Petty and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Fans can vote to determine the winner by logging on to www.southernsportsawards.com until Nov 23rd and completing the 13-category ballot. The awards will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA.(11-10-2005)
- Bristol Adds 50 Laps To Spring Busch Race: The best racing the Busch Series has to offer just got better as the spring event at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Sharpie MINI 300, has been increased to 300 laps in length. Due to the popularity of the Busch events at BMS, which have drawn in excess of 100,000 fans in 10 of the last 12 Bristol races, Speedway officials received NASCAR's approval to increase the race, which will be held next year on March 25, from 250 laps in length to 300 laps. This is the first time in the Speedway’s history that a 300-lap Busch event has taken place. The Sharpie MINI 300 supports the launch of the new Sharpie MINI marker, a 12-color marker series half the size of regular Sharpie markers with a clip cap that can be attached to just about anything. While the race will be longer next year, ticket prices will not increase. Tickets for the Sharpie Mini 500 will range from $47 to 70 and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at (423) 989-6900.(BMS Site)(9-29-2005)
- Bruton offers College teams $20 million to play football at BMS: Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, which owns the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway with steep, stadium-style seating, says he will offer $20 million to University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech to play football on turf he will install on the infield. The idea of the game at the track, which is about 120 miles from both campuses, has been kicked around for many years because of the allure of drawing 160,000 or more fans that the track can hold. Smith has said Virginia Tech officials support the idea, but they did not have an immediate comment on Thursday. The idea seemed to dissipate when new buildings were added in turns three and four, but Smith said he'd just tear them down. "We'll level the whole place. We'll put in the Astroturf, and we'll do it all," he said. It is unclear when the game could be played. Tennessee has its schedule set through 2008, and the track hosts the Nextel Cup's Sharpie 500 every year in late August. Any renovations for the football game would have to be complete in time for a game by the end of November.(Roanoke Times)(8-26-2005)
- Two Fans Injured in stands at Bristol: Two fans were hospitalized when debris flew into the Bristol Motor Speedway grandstands Wednesday night during a USAR Hooters Pro Cup race at the .533-mile oval. Track officials, citing the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), said they could not disclose information about the condition of the injured fans, but eyewitnesses said debris from a spinning car flew high into the grandstands, striking a man and a woman. The fans received extensive medical attention from emergency personnel arriving on the scene, according to the eyewitness accounts. Both were removed from the stands on stretchers and taken for treatment to Bristol Regional Medical Center.
Mooresville’s Clay Rogers, driving a Ford, won the Food City 150, passing Jeff Agnew’s Chevrolet on the 137th lap. The race kicked off the week’s activities leading up to Saturday night’s Sharpie 500, a Nextel Cup event. Steven Wallace, an ARCA winner last week in Michigan and the son of Cup star Rusty Wallace, twice touched off multi-car crashes, the latter occurring on lap 147 and leading to a “green-white-checkered” finish that extended the race to 155 laps. Trying to pick up positions, he took his Dodge to the track’s apron in turn one, slamming into the Chevrolet driven by Randy Gentry. The 18-year-old Wallace also crashed on the 19th lap, though he managed to finish 16th. The night also began inauspiciously for the race winner. Rogers, who started second, took the lead at the start but was involved with a crash on lap five while racing for the lead with pole winner Shane Wallace.(Gaston Gazette)(8-25-2005)
- Bristol Ranks #1 City for NASCAR: Best of NASCAR: Bristol, Tenn. The consensus is so strong that there's no point in arguing, equivocating, hemming or hawing: Bristol Motorspeedway is the best place to watch a Nextel Cup race. Drivers, fans, owners, crew guys -- everybody agrees. Bristol is a quaint mountain town, full of earnest smiling, enthusiastic waving and rusty Camaros.
A can't-miss stop on race weekend is the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum. The city has history, beauty, tradition ... and none of that stuff matters. What's great about Bristol is the naked aggression on the track. Drivers start their cars, shut off common sense and press pause on every synapse that keeps them (marginally) sane everywhere else. The place is tight, closed in, the stands stretching six stories up -- so high you feel like you're standing at the bottom of a volcano, only here they sacrifice Jeff Gordon fans, not virgins (not that the two don't overlap). The engines belch black death, a noise full of anger, except that nothing is anybody's fault -- not ever, not the most blatant wreck, not the most egregious sudden swerve to the right. It's always "That's just Bristol." And we wouldn't have it any other way.(
Sporting News and see an article at the Bristol Herald Courier), overall Bristol was ranked #256 Best Sports City by the Sporting News, Boston was #1 followed by Jayski's old sporting town, Philly; Charlotte is 28th.(8-3-2005)
- Bristol may tax race fans who camp: The [Bristol] City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a tax on race fans who camp near Bristol Motor Speedway but not before hearing some sharp criticism from a campground owner and a speedway official.
The council voted 3-0, with two members abstaining, to approve a 5% tax on campsites at more than 70 temporary campgrounds surrounding the track. The ordinance must be approved on second reading later this month before becoming final. The tax would generate about $280,000 annually that would help defray the cost of providing police and other services during the track’s twice-yearly NASCAR races. Vice Mayor John Gaines and Councilwoman Trish Bane didn’t vote or discuss the ordinance. Gaines has a family member who owns a campground near the track, and Bane’s father works for a firm that operates one. "Bristol is going to be accused of price-gouging, but for the (spring) race, we spent $146,000 for the people who worked the week before and the week after that race," Councilman David Shumaker said. "We’re already going to spend the money," he said. "It’s just do we want the taxpayers to continue to pay for it or our visitors from Indiana and Michigan?" Speaking during the public comment portion of the meeting, Kevin Triplett, a Bristol Motor Speedway vice president, said track officials worry about the long-term impact of the tax on the track’s two Nextel Cup weekends.
Those races attract more than 160,000 people twice a year. "Given a clean slate, NASCAR would not grant new cup dates to a market this size," he said. "Yearly demand here has been good, but it may not continue to be so. And if we lose a race, the city’s budget will be in far worse shape." Ticket sales at speedway and dragway events provide about $1 million in sales tax revenue, Triplett said, adding that the city has gotten a reputation for price-gouging that could prompt race fans to visit other tracks. Jeff Byrd, the speedway’s president and general manager, stayed until after the vote. He declined comment on the council action. Campground owner George Rogers said the tax would force campground operators to raise rates. "We will have to add $113 per space to realize the same profit we do today," Rogers said of the tax and other fees the city requires."(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-8-2005)
- Sad News: Larry Carrier, who helped start the race track now known as Bristol Motor Speedway, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 82. A developer, Carrier worked with Carl Moore and R.G. Pope in building the half-mile oval track, which opened in 1961.
Carrier bought the track out of bankruptcy in 1985, gave ESPN exclusive rights to broadcast Bristol's night race for years, and built the seating capacity to 71,000 before selling the track to Bruton Smith in 1996 for $26 million. Bristol now seats 160,000 and hosts two NASCAR Nextel Cup races each year. Carrier and Moore also built the Bristol International Dragway and started their own sanctioning body, the International Hot Rod Association, in 1965. The dragway was part of the sale in 1996. Jeff Byrd, president and general manager of Bristol, called Carrier a leader in the racing industry whose contributions were monumental. "He had the foresight to know that NASCAR was going to be something big and he went out and built one of the greatest facilities of that time in 1961," Byrd said.
"He will certainly be missed by all that were fortunate enough to know him or work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Shirley and the entire Carrier family." Carrier is a member of both the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley, and four children. Carrier's funeral was scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Blountville, with burial on Friday.(ESPN.com/AP)(6-7-2005)
- Shower Power: Maui Shower Co. has made its Bristol debut, at Farmer Bob’s Campground off Tenn. Highway 394. The colorful trailer holds 11 shower “pods” that can accommodate up to 1,000 showers a day. “It’s a state-of-the-art, premier, multishower unit,” said Pamela Withage, who is running Maui Shower with her husband, Mike. Each private pod consists of a stainless steel shower — cleaned with hospital sanitizer after every use — and a changing area. Maui Shower’s generator is continuously running so hot water is always available. Towels can be purchased for $4 each, soap and shampoo for $1. The showers operate on tokens, bought at the trailer, that are worth $1 each. It costs two tokens to start a shower and one for each additional minute. Withage said she encourages patrons to buy $20 worth, since most people don’t know how long it will take them to shower and leftover tokens can be used any time. This is Maui Shower’s fourth stop since inception — the first three were at races and a “bike week” in Florida. Withage said they are following the NASCAR circuit, and have about 28 weeks booked this year. The company tries to set up at multiple-day events that draw no less than 5,000 people.(Johnson City Press)(4-2-2005)
- NASCAR Greats Honored at Bristol: Legends Plaza, the latest addition to the Bristol Motor Speedway complex, pays homage to some of racing’s biggest names. The permanent display, in front of the Bruton Smith office building, features large brass plaques mounted on pre-cast concrete bases. The display honors former Bristol winners like the late Dale Earnhardt and Alan Kulwicki as well as 12-time winner Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, the Allison family, Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough and David Pearson.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-2-2005)
- UPS partners up with Bristol and Texas: UPS announced that it has entered into a new partnership with Speedway Motorsports, Inc., (SMI) to become an exclusive track sponsor of Bristol Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. This new partnership is introduced on the heels of an earlier announcement in regards to UPS’s new relationships with California Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. The addition of Bristol and Texas to the UPS family of race tracks
that has also included Daytona International Speedway since 2001 provides UPS with a presence at a variety of geographic locations
visited by the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Beyond branding presence at the tracks, UPS will coordinate both outbound and inbound shipments, including ticket packages and merchandise for vendor concessions.(UPS Racing)(4-1-2005)
- National Anthem and Starter at Bristol: Country music singer Buddy Jewell will perform the national anthem prior to Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer will be the honorary starter, the Elizabethton Star reports. The Cumberland College Choir will sing the anthem prior to Saturday's Sharpie Professional 250 Busch Series race.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-31-2005)
- No Smoking at Bristol INSIDE....ok in the stands: Bristol Motor Speedway, the state's largest sports facility (160,000 seats), has announced starting with this weekend's races it will be smoke-free. Smoking will be banned from all indoor portions of the track, including the private luxury suites that surround the giant facility. Smokers will be required to go the open-air concourse level.(Tennessean). NOTE: Bristol Motor Speedway has not banned smoking. Smoking will continue to be permitted in the grandstand and concourse areas of the facility.(BMS Site), however it is NOT clear about smoking in the inside sections/suites of the track.
AND In a rapidly changing social landscape, Bristol Motor Speedway’s Marketing Department instituted a “Smoke Free” tobacco policy on suite level, effective for this year’s Food City 500 weekend April 1-3. The vast majority of suite customers asked for this change, and in fact, the large majority of media covering BMS events made the same request. Consequently, the Public Relations Department joins the Marketing Department to make all indoor media facilities (Press Box, Infield Media Center, and Communications Center) “Smoke Free” as well in 2005. Any media member wishing to smoke can do so outside of the buildings in the infield area. Media members who wish to smoke but are in the Press Box cannot smoke in the hallways and will need to go to the concourse level to do so. For those of you who do smoke, we apologize for the inconvenience. We hope that by making you aware of this change before you get to Bristol Motor Speedway, it will help make your weekend covering our events here go more smoothly.(Bristol Herald Couirer)(3-31-2005)
- Bristol Grand Marshal Named: On Sunday, April 3, former Virginia Attorney General and Republican candidate for Governor Jerry Kilgore will have the honor of saying the four most famous words in motorsports – "Gentlemen, start your engines," at the 2005 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kilgore, a Gate City, Virginia native, was chosen by Food City to be this year’s Grand Marshal. He will officially send the field of 43 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers off for the start of the Food City 500 at the "World’s Fastest Half-Mile" in Bristol, Tenn. Jerry Kilgore served as Virginia's 42nd Attorney General from January 2002 through February 2005. Prior to his election as Attorney General, Kilgore served as Secretary of Public Safety for then Governor George Allen.(BMS Site)(3-25-2005)
- Taxes on Drivers in TN? Legislation that would impose taxes and license fees on professional athletes in Tennessee hit a wall Tuesday with race drivers and officials at Bristol Motor Speedway. Four bills currently before the state General Assembly seek to impose registration or licensing fees for all professional athletes and coaches, along with taxes ranging from $400 to $2,500 each. Another bill would charge $400 per $100,000 of annual adjusted gross income. The bills, all introduced by legislators from the Memphis area, are aimed at players and coaches for the state’s three professional franchises – the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the NHL’s Nashville Predators. But if approved, the measures would also apply to minor league baseball players and anyone who receives prize money at any auto race track in the state.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-16-2005)
- Bristol Lap Sponsorshps Available UPDATE Time Runnin Out: Bristol Motor Speedway’s Food City 500 Lap Sponsorship packages are on sale now. A race day track walk and personalized Food City souvenir program cover return to highlight the package. Lap sponsors also will receive a special commemorative T-shirt. More info at the Bristol Motor Speedway site.(2-4-2005)
Time is Running Out: Less than 48 hours remain to purchase one of Bristol Motor Speedway's Food City 500 Lap Sponsorship packages. A race day track walk and personalized Food City souvenir program cover return to highlight the package. Lap sponsors also will receive a special commemorative T-shirt. In addition to the track tour and personalized program, lap sponsors will receive space for a 20-word-or-less message that will appear in the souvenir program and a 1:64 scale die-cast event car. The program
will come in a protective sleeve. Fans may request a specific lap number to sponsor. However if that lap number is taken, BMS will
assign a lap number for the sponsor. More info at the bristolmotorspeedway.com site. The cost of a lap sponsorship is $100 and includes a track walk for one, a personalized Official Food City 500 souvenir program, the special T-Shirt, the 20-word-or-less message and a 1:64 scale die-cast event car. One additional track walk accompanying a lap sponsorship may be purchased for an additional $50. The Speedway will take orders for lap sponsorships through Friday, March 4, 2005 at 5 p.m.(3-3-2005)
- Luxury Boxes being added at Brisol: Work began this week on a project to add 35 luxury suites atop the Earnhardt Terrace and Turn 2 areas of the 160,000-seat Bristol Motor Speedway. The project marks the seventh major expansion since Speedway Motorsports bought the track in 1996. Bristol attracts more than 160,000 people twice annually to its Nextel Cup races and already has sold out both of this year’s contests. Workers brought in an industrial crane this week to move steel beams into a secure area, and work crews began preparing to install the base structure. An estimate of the project’s cost wasn’t available. The addition will bring the number of luxury suites to about 200. The expansion represents about 1,000 new seats. The new suites will range in size from 16 seats to 80 seats. More than half of them have been sold to corporations and businesses. The project includes one 144-seat public suite. In other projects, work crews plan to finish installing energy-absorbing barriers around parts of the oval within two weeks. The installation of a new video sign at the track’s main entrance should be finished next week.(Bristol Herald Courier with an image of the new area)(2-4-2005)
- SAFER installation begins at Bristol: Construction on the SAFER Barrier System is scheduled to begin on the walls of Bristol Motor Speedway on Tuesday. Supplies have already been delivered to the infield, according to BMS spokesman Wayne Estes. Bristol Motor Speedway is the last circular track on the NASCAR circuit to install the barrier system. The installation was delayed at Bristol while engineers determined how to install the walls over the track’s gates. The road courses at Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway will not install the barriers. NASCAR mandated that all tracks other than road courses have the barriers installed by this January. Dover International Speedway installed SAFER barriers its inside walls last year and will complete construction this summer. Martinsville Speedway was last the track before Bristol to complete construction on SAFER Barriers. Martinsville finished its barriers for the October race last year.(Bristol Herald Courier)(1-28-2005)
- Bristol Cup Tix Sold Out: It's official. Bristol Motor Speedway's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races are sold out again in 2005.
More than 160,000 permanent seats will be filled to capacity for the Food City 500 in April and the Sharpie 500 in August. That's a story repeated every year since Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports, Inc., purchased the track in 1996, and even years before that. Only the capacity changed in the past nine years. About 55,000 seats overlooked the World's Fastest Half-Mile when SMI completed its purchase. Since then, capacity increased 170% to 160,000, placing Bristol's capacity among the top-five arenas of any kind in the United States. Bristol's final ticket renewal deadline passed this week when August Sharpie 500 ticket holders completed their purchases, making the expected 2005 sell-outs "official." Because virtually 100 percent of the Sharpie 500 ticket holders renew their tickets, NASCAR's most popular event is sold out again, a situation that continues to bewilder "wanna-be" night race ticket buyers as it has for more than 10 years. Meanwhile, Bristol's corporate clients also keep coming back. Customers fill all 150 luxury suites with multi-year contracts, and other companies await an opportunity to purchase behind suite customers that renew contracts at a 98 percent rate. Bristol's two primary NASCAR event sponsors - Food City and Sharpie, companies that sponsor both NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races - are committed to NEXTEL Cup event programs through 2007. Food City's sponsorship with Bristol enters its 14th year in 2005, a sponsorship term exceeded only by Coca-Cola's sponsorship of the 600-mile race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Corporate clients hosted more than 20,000 people in Bristol's hospitality village in August, and more are expected in 2005.(BMS PR)(1-22-2005)
- Triplett Joins Bristols Management Team: Kevin Triplett, bringing more than 15 years of experience working in the NASCAR field, will join Bristol Motor Speedway as Vice President of Public Affairs. He will oversee the Media and Public Relations Department, with additional responsibilities for Government Affairs. "With his vast knowledge of the sport, his respect within the NASCAR family, his experience in politics, and his love for his home region, Kevin Triplett delivers an unparalleled skill set to our management team," said Jeff Byrd, President of BMS. "Following Kevin's Congressional campaign, he called seeking to represent us through a new program he planned to launch through a local agency," said Byrd. "I liked his concept, but preferred he do it as a full-time member of our Bristol family." Triplett worked for the sanctioning body from March 1994 until June 2003, beginning in the public relations department, overseeing several of NASCAR's 50th Anniversary projects. He finished with NASCAR as Managing Director of Business Operations. In that position he directed operation and administration aspects of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series, and Craftsman Truck Series. He left NASCAR in 2003 to run for the U.S. Congressional seat in Virginia's ninth district.
Prior to his NASCAR tenure, the Clintwood, Va., native and East Tennessee State University graduate covered motorsports and other
sports for the Bristol Herald-Courier and Gaston Gazette in North Carolina. From 1992 until 1994, Triplett represented General Motors
Parts (GM Goodwrench and AC Delco) in NASCAR, specifically Richard Childress Racing and Ken Schrader Racing, and their drivers, including Dale Earnhardt. Triplett grew up in Clintwood, Va., and now makes his home in Abingdon, Va., with his wife, the former Jill Mumpower of Bristol, Va., and their two children Lucas William, 4, and Sarah Grace, 2.
In addition to Kevin Triplett's position, Bristol Motor Speedway announces several employee promotions.
* Janet Callahan, to better serve the Speedway's growing corporate client base, moves from Advertising and Promotions to become an Account Manager in the Marketing Department, reporting to Marketing Vice President Logan McCabe. Prior to her new position, Janet served as BMS Director of Advertising and Promotions. She came to the Speedway in June 1999 from the Nashville Arena (now the Gaylord Entertainment Center) where she was Director of Marketing.
* Ben Trout is promoted to Director of Advertising and Promotions, reporting to Logan McCabe. In his new position, he will be
responsible for creative advertising and developing promotions for the Speedway and Dragway. Previously, Ben served as the Speedway's Senior Manager of Communications, overseeing the Speedway and Dragway's media operations, publications, website and other communications responsibilities. Prior to joining the Speedway in 2000, the Belfry, Ky., native worked as manager of public relations and sports marketing at Food City.
* Gail Hulse is promoted to Director of Ticketing, reporting to Ticketing and Technology Vice President Evelyn Hicks. She oversees the Speedway and Dragway's Ticketing Department of six permanent employees and 30 race weekend temporary ticket office staff members. She also manages the Ticket Office database and financial and sales reports. She joined the Speedway Finance Department in 1996 and moved to the Ticket Department two-and-a-half years later. Before joining the Speedway, she worked as office manager at Marcum's Pharmacy in her hometown of Kingsport, Tenn.
* Tanyua Kerns is promoted to Director of Events, reporting to Events and Communications Vice President Wayne Estes. Tanyua manages a full-time Events Department staff of four employees and oversees the Speedway and Dragway logistics, including an event-time staff of hundreds of ushers, parking attendants, ticket-takers and guest service representatives. The Bristol native joined the Speedway's Ticket Department staff in 1995 after working four years for United Parcel Service.
* Lori Worley will assume expanded responsibilities as Senior Manager of Media and Public Relations, reporting to the Vice President of Public Affairs Kevin Triplett. In her new role, she will be responsible for, among other duties, media and public relations at
NASCAR events as well as the NHRA National Event, the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals. She joined the Speedway's staff in May 1997 after working as a sportswriter for the Bristol Herald-Courier beginning in 1982.
* Donnie Foster is promoted to Events Manager, reporting to Tanyua Kerns. Donnie oversees, among other duties, gate operations and co-manages the Speedway Children's Charities fund-raisers "Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA," and the York Ice Rink.
* Angela Olegario is promoted to Senior Customer Service Representative in the Speedway's Ticket Office, reporting to Gail Hulse.(BMS PR)(1-21-2005)
- Bristol Auctions "Tickets For Life" To Aid Tsunami Victim Relief Efforts TODAY: Bristol Motor Speedway will auction a pair of Speedway and Bristol Dragway “tickets for life,” with a potential estimated value exceeding $65,000, with proceeds going to tsunami victims’ relief. Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR’s most popular track, sells all of its 160,000 seats twice annually at its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events. Despite a seating capacity that ranks in the top-five of all U.S. sports venues, race fans consider Bristol’s tickets the sport’s toughest to acquire. A national trade publication for the ticketing industry recently placed Bristol’s Sharpie 500 August night race on its top-10 of most desired tickets. The unprecedented offer of tickets to every race at Bristol Motor Speedway, every NHRA national event at Bristol Dragway, and events like the American Outdoor Experience, will award one person with a pair of tickets to all of these events for the rest of his or her life, as well as an expense-paid trip to this year’s Food City 500 on April 3 for a pre-race presentation. Considering the number of events and a presumption of 42 years worth of tickets, the Speedway estimates the value of the tickets package to exceed $65,000. The auction will begin next week at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com and continue through the January 28, 2005. “In a time of rebuilding after this global disaster, we believe we can raise a significant amount of money with the most valuable asset we have: tickets to Bristol,” said Jeff Byrd, Bristol Motor Speedway President and General Manager. “Whether or not you participate in this auction, we encourage everyone to donate to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.” The Speedway and Dragway will donate proceeds from the auction to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which helps those affected by the Southeast Asia tsunamis and the humanitarian crisis it created. Details and complete rules will be posted on the Bristol Motor Speedway website when the auction goes live next week.(BMS Site)(1-10-2005)
TODAY the auction goes live today [Jan 12th] at 9:00am/et, go to www.bristolmotorspeedway.com for the link after that time.(1-12-2005)
- Bristol's 2005 Schedule not effected by new rule: Because more than 50,000 fans attend Charter Communications Pole Day at Bristol Motor Speedway each spring, BMS and NASCAR officials today announced that NASCAR's new qualifying procedure will not change the 2005 qualifying schedules for its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events. NASCAR on Monday announced changes in qualifying procedures at most tracks on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule, eliminating the so-called "happy hour" practice after qualifying, but Bristol's popular Charter Communications Pole Day remains on Friday, April 1, before Saturday's Sharpie Professional 250 Busch Series race and Sunday's April 3 Food City 500.
Also, the August weekend schedule improves for fans when Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup qualifying takes place on Friday before the Food City 250 Busch Series night race, providing even more action and greater value for Food City 250 ticket holders. Busch Series qualifying for the Food City 250 moves from Thursday, making it easier for fans to attend Food City Family Race Night, the NEXTEL Cup Transporter Parade and Eastman Motorsports Club Auction for Speedway Children's Charities.
"We praise NASCAR for its continuing efforts to reduce costs for teams, and eliminating costly qualifying set-ups will do that," said Jeff
Byrd, BMS president and general manager. "We also applaud NASCAR for working with us as we recognize the fans and keep popular events like Charter Communications Pole Day on the spring schedule. The adjustment to the August schedule also creates greater value for Food City 250 ticket holders by moving Busch Series qualifying to the same day as the race and opening up Thursday for fan events like Food City Family Race Night."(BMS PR)(11-17-2004)
- SAFER at Dover and Bristol in 2005: NASCAR officials say they expect installation of the Safer barriers by next spring at Dover Internatonal Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. The delay at Bristol has been in developing techniques to deal with the cross-over gate. The delay at Dover concerns the boilerplate outside walls, which have to be replaced with concrete walls before the Safer barriers can be installed. "The University of Nebraska has been working on the gate issue, and it's all coming really good," NASCAR's Robin Pemberton said. "I think they're pretty close to being done at Bristol. They're ready to put them up." Both Bristol and Dover have cross-track gates. However, a number of tracks have stretches of soft walls that are not seamless, so it's not completely clear why the cross-over gate - in the middle of the frontstretch here and the middle of the backstretch - should be a particular issue. At the least, soft walls should have been installed in the corners, given the hard hits drivers take into the outside walls. "They need to do some reconfiguring on the walls as they exist now here to be able to support the Safer barriers," Pemberton said. "We have seen some very hard hits here."(Winston Salem Journal), past news about the SAFER Barrier on my SAFER/Softwall's page and Safety Page.(9-27-2004)
- Bristol to get a Facelift: Bristol Motor Speedway’s aged concrete is on the radar of owner, Speedway Motorsports and there’s a fluid plan to take care of its high maintenance needs. While there is nothing specific in the works, BMS Vice President, Jeff Byrd, told www.teamfordracing.com last weekend that he is hopeful within the next couple of years that he’ll be able to announce a resurfacing to one of the toughest tracks on the tour. Byrd says the BMS concrete requires constant attention to stay in fighting trim and could be ready for a resurfacing within the next couple of years. He added, “I really like what they did with Homestead [-Miami Speedway],” referring to their new progressive banking. A feasibility study to implement such technology is underway Byrd said. Working plans on the drawing board to raze every building in the infield. Byrd suggested a new infield medical center would be part of the plan, as well as a subterranean media center. Specifics as when this plan would start to unfold weren’t provided, but 2005 sounded like a good working date from several sources with which TFR spoke.(TFR = Team Ford Racing)(9-3-2004)
- Access Improvements Planned for Bristol: Plans have been announced for more than $4 million worth of pedestrian and road improvements for a portion of Volunteer Parkway and Highway 11E near Bristol Motor Speedway. The track, the city of Bristol, Tenn., and the state of Tennessee will join forces on project, which is estimated to cost $4,080,000. Plans call for construction of 12,400 feet of sidewalks along both sides of Volunteer Parkway, construction of pedestrian bridges over Beaver and Back creeks and turn lane additions. Plans have been announced for more than $4 million worth of pedestrian and road improvements for a portion of Volunteer Parkway and Highway 11E near Bristol Motor Speedway. The track, the city of Bristol, Tenn., and the state of Tennessee will join forces on project, which is estimated to cost $4,080,000. Plans call for construction of 12,400 feet of sidewalks along both sides of Volunteer Parkway, construction of pedestrian bridges over Beaver and Back creeks and turn lane additions. Bri! stol Tennessee Electric System will also work on lighting improvements in the area.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-27-2004)
- at Bristol - the Bruton Smith Building: Officials named Bristol Motor Speedway's newly constructed office complex and interactive fan center the Bruton Smith Building. NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler joined BMS officials in the Thursday
afternoon ceremony. "The vision Bruton Smith brought to Bristol when Speedway Motorsports, Inc. purchased the facility in 1996, single-handedly turned this race track into arguably the most popular motorsports venue in the nation," said Jeff Byrd, BMS president and general manager. "It is only fitting that we pay tribute to Bruton Smith by dedicating and naming this magnificent new structure in his honor." The Bruton Smith Building boasts 36,000 sq. ft, with more than 17,000 sq. ft. constructed for fan and community usage. "For eight years, Bruton Smith concentrated on the betterment of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway," said Byrd. "Aside from a few buildings in the infield and the actual concrete racing surface itself, Bruton has entirely rebuilt Bristol Motor Speedway.
"More importantly, Bruton put the fans first by choosing to revitalize Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway with new grandstands, numerous restrooms and concessions areas along with the addition of other fan amenities like shuttle buses, trams, ticket booths and the new infield scoring and video tower," added Byrd. "And in the true Bruton Smith spirit, fans will feel as much at home in this new building as our employees."
The Bruton Smith Building features a state-of-the-art ticket office and expanded souvenir store on the first floor. The first floor also
includes the "Bristol Experience" - an interactive fan center featuring computer simulated racing games, a theater and a wide array
of Bristol themed racing displays. The second floor plays home to employee offices, while the third floor includes a large banquet hall and outdoor terrace. Complete with catering facilities, the banquet hall will serve as the site for a variety of Speedway and Dragway functions. The general public, civic groups and organizations, convention organizers and businesses may rent the banquet hall for social gatherings, giving the Bruton Smith Building a community role as well.(BMS PR)(8-26-2004)
- USAF Chief's Guests at BMS; The Flyover Info: The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray will be at the Bristol Motor Speedway on 28 August for the Sharpie 500. Additional distinguished guests include Chief Master Sergeant Michael Kerver from Air Mobility Command, Chief Master Sergeant Michael Eitnier from the Air Force Academy, Chief Master Sergeant Cheryl Adams from Air Force Reserve Command and Chief Master Sergeant Ron Kriete from the Air Force Personnel Center.
CMSAF Murray represents the highest enlisted level of leadership, provides direction for the enlisted corps, and represents their
interests, as appropriate, to the American public and to those in all levels of government. He serves as the personal advisor to the Chief
of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progress of
the enlisted force. CMSAF Murray is the 14th chief master sergeant appointed to the highest noncommissioned officer position.
Following the National Anthem there will be a flyover of F-16 aircraft from the 127th Fighter Wing, Selfridge Air National Guard Base,
- 8th Annual Hauler Parade at Bristol: On Thursday night, August 26th, the Blue Lizard NASCAR Transporter Parade returns for an eighth straight year in Bristol. Slated for a 9 p.m. start, following the completion of downtown Bristol's Food City Family Race Night, the brilliantly colored big rigs will make the 10-mile trek from Bristol Mall down Volunteer Parkway en route to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." The 2004 edition of the Blue Lizard NASCAR Transporter Parade will boast 44 of the multi-million dollar machines that haul the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race cars from track to track throughout the season. Popular Contemporary Christian Music recording artists "FFH" will serve as parade Grand Marshals. Adding to the fanfare of the parade, fireworks will explode high overhead from four points (Food City on Euclid Ave., Executive Park, Avoca Little League Baseball Park, and Tri Cities Auto Parts across from the Speedway) along the route.
This marks the third consecutive year of parade sponsorship for Del-Ray Dermatologicals and Blue Lizard Australian Suncream. The parade provides a chance for the unsung heroes who pilot th cross-country machines to enjoy the spotlight. With the honor of being defending NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champions, the #17 DeWalt Power Tools transporter will take the parade's pole position.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(8-25-2004)
- 28 Couples to say 'I Do' at Bristol: The most important words said at a race track typically go something like this... "Gentlemen, start your engines!" However, for 28 couples attending Saturday's running of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the most important words will be "I do." For the third consecutive August, Bristol Motor Speedway will host the high-speed prenuptials on the venue's start/finish line at 10:00am. Bristol started its race day weddings in 2002. "In the past, so many couples would call us with the request to be married here during the race weekend, "said Jeff Byrd, BMS general manager. "We'd have to turn them down as NASCAR didn't have any down time during its busy weekend schedule. In 2002, NASCAR revamped its August schedule by moving 'Happy Hour' to Friday, leaving Saturday morning open and providing ample time for us to give the weddings a try." During the initial season, less than 10 weddings took place. The number of couples tying the Bristol knot rose to 24 in 2003 and increases to 28 for the 2004 edition. Sue Jones, Sullivan County Deputy Court Clerk, will return to officiate the ceremonies. The couples will assemble at the track's Credential Office at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and then will ride into the BMS infield via
bus where the ceremonies will take place. Race sponsor Sharpie will provide the brides with a "Sharpie bouquet." Bristol Motor Speedway hosts the weddings in August only, as the weekend schedule of events does not offer any free time during its
spring NASCAR event. "I'm not sure why fans really want to get married at a race track, but it just goes to show that Bristol is special enough to some people that they want one of their most memorable moments to take place right here," added Byrd.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(8-24-2004)
- Special Ticket Deal for Bristol, some CUP tix available: If fans ever needed an incentive to purchase tickets to Bristol's NASCAR Busch Series Food City 250 (August 27), they now have it. A limited number of Sharpie 500 tickets recently became available and those seats will go to randomly selected callers who order Food City 250 tickets through the Speedway's main ticket line at 423/764-1161. Once a caller completes the Food City 250 ticket transaction, he or she must ask the ticket agent if they are a "lucky caller." If the reply is "yes" callers will have the opportunity to purchase a maximum of two Sharpie 500 tickets at $94 each. Food City 250 tickets are $57 for aluminum grandstand seating, $64 for seats in the red terrace sections and $69 for seating in the Dale Earnhardt Terrace. The offer will remain until August 24, 2004, or while supplies last. Other discounts, promotions or coupons do not apply.(BMS PR)(8-20-2004)
- Bristol Lawsuit: A former Bristol Motor Speedway account manager is suing the track for $1.3 million, alleging some of her most profitable accounts were taken away from her and given to men in the company. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in federal court in Greeneville, also asks that Paige Terry be reinstated to her old position, which she says she was unfairly demoted from last August. Terry, who was hired in September 1996, sold race sponsorships, suites, advertising and other products for the speedway to local, state and national vendors, according to the complaint. The only female account manager at the speedway, Terry made about $120,000 in base salary and commission, according to the lawsuit. But beginning in 2000, upper management began taking away her most profitable accounts, she alleges. Terry said no customer ever complained about her performance, and many of her clients were frustrated and confused that they could no longer work with her. Speedway officials later told Terry that her accounts were being reassigned because she had trouble "communicating with white collar workers," and that she was "better suited" to handle only smaller accounts, according to the lawsuit. Terry also said a large regional account she spent months securing was reassigned to a male account manager just days before the contract was finished. Her co-worker received the entire commission even though he didn't do any work on it, she said. Terry's role continued to decline until August, when she was reassigned as an account manager for a speedway charity — a change resulting in a pay cut of at least $40,000, the lawsuit alleged. Speedway attorney Tom Davenport declined to comment.(USA Today)(6-27-2004)
- Bristol Flatter? Does Bristol have 36-degree banking or not? Not, says Ryan Newman, who really enjoys racing at high-banked tracks. "Banked racetracks usually offer some of the best racing there is vs. flat racetracks," Newman says. Newman's crew measured the track and insists it is 10 degrees flatter than the advertised banking.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(6-7-2004)
- Bristol and IROC? [now that would be wild] NASCAR fans have long dreamed of watching an all-star race from Bristol Motor Speedway. Those fans may soon get their wish in the form of an International Race of Champions event. In fact, BMS vice-president of communications and events Wayne Estes plans to attend Friday night’s IROC event at Texas Motor Speedway. "The idea of matching an IROC date to Bristol has been in the early stages for several years," Estes said. "I think (BMS general manager) Jeff Byrd mentioned it to (IROC chairman) Les Richter, and then to Jay Signore. "Jay is IROC’s president and he directs a staff of 25 mechanics and fabricators at a 20,000-square foot shop in Trinton Falls, N.J. With the Speedway’s record for damaging equipment, the idea of a Bristol race has been a bit daunting for IROC’s officials and crew members."
"Late last year, Jay expressed new interest in a Bristol IROC race," Estes said. "Of course, we want to encourage him to let that thinking lead to action. It could be that though the early stages have run for quite a long time, the next stage of discussions may come rather swiftly. And actions may be just around the corner. We have talked to Jay several times informally over the last several months – by phone at the NASCAR banquet in New York and at Daytona Beach in February. We plan to see Jay face-to-face again this week at Texas to see if he is interested in setting a date for a Bristol test during the next few months." The IROC concept at Bristol has long been a topic for Internet forums and motorsports publications. According to Estes, BMS officials are serious about making this motorsports dream come true. "We would like to see an IROC race run with the NASCAR Busch Series on a Friday night in August," Estes said. "What a ticket that would be for the fans. The Food City 250 Busch Series race, an IROC race, and Sharpie 500 practice and qualifying – all for one ticket. We think a program like that could lead to a pair of Friday and Saturday night sellouts. "That’s what we would like to pursue. If it doesn’t work, maybe it’s a Wednesday night triple-header with NASCAR Craftsman Trucks, IROC and USAR Hooters Pro Cup cars. Whatever course this takes, we believe we will set attendance records with an IROC event here, and we continue to pursue this with Jay."(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-31-2004)
- New Infield at Bristol planned: Bruton Smith plans to raze the Bristol Motor Speedway infield and bury all the buildings, creating a subterranean infrastructure to improve sightlines for fans. That's an ambitious project that's been three years in development.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-28-2004)
UPDATE - Condo's: Bruton Smith, whose holdings include Bristol Motor Speedway, plans to build 60 condominiums adjacent to the track. Construction is scheduled to be completed next year. There are also tentative plans to extensively redesign the track's infield.(Tennessean)(3-29-2004)
- National Anthem Today [stand up - hats OFF] The choir from Mountain Mission School in Grundy [TN] will sing the National Anthem before today’s Food City 500. Sullivan East’s band and choir performed before Saturday’s race.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-28-2004)
- Bristol Police to crack down on Handicapped Fakers UPDATE: Bristol Tennessee Police warn anyone who plans to "borrow" any state parking permit issued to someone with special parking needs, such use could result in loss of the permit, a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 11 months and 29 days in the county jail. Police will be at Bristol Motor Speedway's South Entrance and Dragway Entrance during the upcoming Food City 500 race weekend (March 26-28) to monitor state-issued handicap parking permits and to enforce the Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 55-21-106. People using these permits should display the permit clearly, AND be prepared to show supporting paperwork identifying the person to whom the permit is issued, AND must provide a photo ID of the person to whom the permit is issued. If the permitted person is not in the car, Bristol Police plan to prosecute the offender and confiscate the permit. Obviously, the car will not be allowed to park in the Speedway's handicap-accessible lots.(BMS PR)(2-22-2004)
UPDATE: Parking at Bristol Motor Speedway has become such a pain that some people have turned to the fraudulent use of handicap passes to get closer to the track. Not anymore, police and track officials say. Although it might only apply to a fraction of the 160,000 fans expected for the Sharpie 250 on Saturday and Food City 500 on Sunday, a crackdown is planned this weekend. Anyone who displays a handicap permit can be asked to show a photo ID. If someone is trying to park illegally, the pass will be confiscated and the person can be prosecuted. The fine is up to $2,500 and up 11 months and 29 days in jail. "We had some red flags go up last year," said Ben Trout, a senior manager for communications at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We have about 850 handicapped parking places on the premises and that exceeds the number we are required to have. Law enforcement officials from Sullivan County, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Vehicle Enforcement, FBI and National Guard will be on duty, track officials said.(Knoxville News-Sentinel)(3-25-2004)
- Students partner up with BMS: With two stock cars sporting new logos on display and the stately Charles C. Sherrod Library as a backdrop, officials from East Tennessee State University and Bristol Motor Speedway recently unveiled a unique academic
partnership in "Motorsports Operations." "We are announcing a new partnership between ETSU and a very special neighbor in our region - Bristol Motor Speedway," ETSU President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. said during a campus news conference. "We are excited about the creation of our 'Motorsports Operations' program through the Sport and Leisure Management major in the Department of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Sciences. This is a way to combine the best of ETSU with the best of BMS, and we look forward to helping our students 'start their engines' this fall semester!"
Illustrating the collaborative program, special logos depicting ETSU Motorsports Operations were showcased on the hoods and side panels of the yellow official BMS pace car and a Legends car parked in front of Sherrod Library. According to BMS President and General Manager Jeff Byrd, "The explosive growth in motorsports means more employment opportunities. Competition for these jobs will toughen, and undergraduate and graduate degrees will be imperative. This program will give ETSU graduates unique preparation for employment in the business of motorsports."
Byrd mentioned that several ETSU alumni are already working in the field. Some of these alumni include David Hyatt and T.G. Ailstock, Motor Racing Network; Holli Harrison Hyatt, Daytona International Speedway; Chris Carrier, Morgan-McClure; Bill Burchett, Marty Denton, Stacy Fine and Chad Fleeman, BMS; Deb Williams, Penske South; Christian Byrd, NASCAR; James Price and Kenny Bruce, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene; Brooke Fox, Winston Cup Vision; Phillip Lynn Carpenter and Christopher Webb, Roush Racing; and Kevin Triplett, formerly with NASCAR. Other alumni are also with ESPN, Race-Scan Communications, PPC Racing, and Sports Marketing Enterprises.
Coates said ETSU's academic curriculum was designed by adding specific units about Motorsports Operations into existing courses, bringing in guest speakers from BMS, and expanding field experience options at the Speedway. He added, "ETSU students will be able to work with BMS through such endeavors as practical internships and involvement with special events." The graduate program offers a thesis/non-thesis option. Students choosing to write a thesis may select a research project dealing with Motorsports Operations. Courses will address topics such as facilities planning and operations, events management, legal issues and risk management, financing for sports, sport marketing, sport communication and media relations. Also focusing on motorsports, the ETSU Sherrod Library is presently showcasing the new ETSU/BMS collaboration by displaying several photographs loaned by the Speedway for that purpose, including a "huge, gorgeous shot" of BMS at night. For more information on the ETSU/BMS Motorsports Operations program, contact Dr. Tom Coates at (423) 439-5261 or email@example.com. For information on the Sherrod Library display, contact Kathy Campbell at 439-4757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.(BMS PR)(3-25-2004)
- Congressman Named Food City 500 Grand Marshal: On Sunday, March 28, U.S. Representative Rick Boucher (D-Ninth) will have the honor of broadcasting the four most famous words in motorsports at the 2004 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway - "Gentlemen, start your engines!" Boucher, an 11-term congressman, has been chosen by Food City as this year's Grand Marshal. He will officially send a field of 43 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers off for the start of the Food City 500 at the "world's fastest half-mile" in Bristol, TN. "Congressman Boucher is the perfect choice for our 2004 Grand Marshal because he represents every community where we operate Food City stores in Virginia," said Steve Smith, chief executive officer and president of K-VA-T Food Stores Inc., Food City's parent company headquartered in Abingdon, Va. "We see the Tri-Cities region of Tennessee and Virginia as one not divided by state lines but a single contiguous region. While Bristol Motor Speedway is in Tennessee, Bristol is a town that is loyal to both Virginia and Tennessee residents." By naming Boucher its Grand Marshal, Food City recognizes his 22 years of diligence and commitment to the people of the ninth congressional district.(PR)(3-23-2004)
(Saturday, March 20, 2004) - Workers dismantle Bristol's old scoring tower on Saturday afternoon. A new, 125-ft. tall tower now stands in the BMS infield, which in addition to scoring the top-12 positions, will be topped with four 27' x 20' video screens and will carry NEXTEL
Vision during the venue's NASCAR race weekends. The screen, visible to the 160,000 fans expected for the Food City 500, will bring
spectators closer to racing action, pre-race ceremonies and victory lane celebrations. (BMS Photo)(3-23-2004)
- Construction at Bristol: A variety of ongoing construction projects geared toward enhancing fans' Bristol Motor Speedway experience, continues to keep workers busy as the venue's 2004 season rapidly approaches. Projects include a new building complete with ticket office, gift shop, Fan Zone and banquet facilities. Also, a new infield video and scoring tower and a fan care center with handicap-accessible restrooms make the project list. In addition to office space, the 36,000 sq. ft. building will see the entire first floor constructed with fans chief in mind. Covering 17,336 sq. ft., the first floor will feature a lobby area, guest services center, new ticket office and souvenir shop with four times the square footage as the current store. Also, the interactive Fan Zone will provide visitors the opportunity to learn more about Bristol Motor Speedway, the Dragway and the history of motorsports as it relates to Bristol. The Fan Zone, open year-round, will feature touch screen video and audio kiosks, a motorsports art gallery, show cars, driving simulators and much more. The third floor will consist of an indoor (7,251 sq. ft.) banquet and meeting room as well as an outdoor terrace (2,272 sq. ft.) for community activities. Officials expect a July completion on the building.
Ready for the upcoming March race weekend, a new 120-ft. tall video and scoring tower will grace the Speedway infield. Topped with four
20' x 27' jumbo screens, fans will see every dramatic replay from on-track action as well as pre-race activities and victory lane celebrations. The tower, boasting a four-sided state-of-the-art LED lighting system, also will track the top-twelve running positions,
with two additional spots that will scroll through the remainder of the race's running order.
Located just outside the Kulwicki Grandstand and near the souvenir vending area, fans will find new Fan Care Center with handicap-accessible restrooms. Other construction projects in the works include a new ticket booth at Gate 8, re-routing power lines in the display area, a new bridge in Hospitality Village and new gate signage, some of which will be in place for the March race weekend. Fans also can look for a new Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway marquee sign at the venue's main entrance later this year. Additionally, construction will reach beyond the fans with the addition of a new infield hospital in 2004.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(1-29-2004)
- Camping at Bristol: Blue Ox, a company specializing in steering, towing, hitching, and braking products, will serve as the official campground sponsor during Bristol Motor Speedway's 2004 NASCAR race weekends. The Blue Ox Campground at Bristol Dragway will play host to more than 1,200 campers and RVs during the March and August events. More than 55 percent of Bristol race fans stay in campgrounds, both on and surrounding Speedway property during the race weekends according to a Bristol Chamber of Commerce survey. Sponsorship elements in the agreement with Blue Ox include campground naming rights, signage opportunities and race weekend display space. In addition to its backing of Bristol's Blue Ox Campground, the company also maintains a racing program with Ward Burton, driver of the Haas CNC Racing entry in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series. For more information on Blue Ox and its racing involvement please visit www.blueoxracing.com. For corporate information on Blue Ox and its line of products, log on to www.blueox.us.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(12-3-2003)
- Bristol in Lights opens tonight: The holiday light show returns to Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway November 14. Speedway In Lights, Powered by TVA, kicks off its seventh season with a new route that returns visitors to the infield area of “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” Holiday light seekers will circle the concrete oval as part of their festive drive and also may Christmas Village, which returns to its popular infield location. In addition to spicing up the region’s holiday season, proceeds from the event will benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, brightening the lives of thousands of children. Event organizers will add new light displays and additional animated attractions as part of Speedway In Lights. The popular York Ice Skating Rink also returns for the holidays featuring a new, more convenient location in the BMS front parking lot adjacent to Volunteer Parkway (Hwy. 11E). The ice rink will open to Speedway In Lights visitors during evening hours for an additional charge. The animated snowman attraction features flying snowballs, which upon landing build a huge wintry snowman. Dinosaur Village, a big hit with children last season, returns with its erupting volcano and six dinosaurs. Other favorites returning include the cannon shot, the poinsettia wreath and candelabra. Of course, the displays with motorsports themes will occupy spots throughout the drive. More than one million lights and 100-plus displays make up this season’s Speedway In Lights, Powered by TVA. As always, the light extravaganza features crafts in Christmas Village, where children can pose for photos with Santa, roast marshmallows and enjoy hot chocolate. Proceeds from Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, a non-profit foundation dedicated to distributing funds to qualified children’s charities. Funds from the foundation directly aid children in the Tri-Cities region. To date, Speedway Children’s Charities has raised more than $1.5 million for area agencies. During Speedway In Lights, a number of nightly special promotions will be offered. On Sundays if you bring your church bulletin in you will receive $2 off admission and a free BMS matchbox car (limit one per car). Monday is Dixie Pottery Candle Night with a free candle (while supplies last) going to each car with a paid admission. Tuesday is Nextel Food Donation Night with anyone bringing a canned food item receiving $2 off admission (one discount per car). Wednesday is Hardee's Receipt Night with anyone bringing in a receipt from Hardee's receiving $2 off admission (one discount per car). Each car will also receive a free goody bag, courtesy of Motor Mavericks and Food City. Thursday is Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Night and each car will receive a free gift while supplies last (one per car).
Tickets for Speedway In Lights, open nightly 6-10 p.m., Nov. 14-Jan. 3, are available at the BMS gate. Ticket prices for cars are $7 Sunday through Thursday, and $10 Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $12 Sunday through Thursday, and $15 Friday and Saturday. Bus tickets are $50 Sunday through Thursday, and $65 Friday and Saturday.
More info at the Bristol Motor Speedway site.(11-14-2003)
- Sharpie to sponsor March Bristol Busch Race: Sharpie values its relationship with Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) and race fans, so much in fact, the popular brand of permanent markers today announced it has inked a three-year title sponsorship of yet another major event at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” The “Sharpie Professional 250” is now the March stop for the Busch Grand National Series at BMS and will be headlined by the next generation product from the leader in permanent markers - the Sharpie Professional - a rugged new chisel tip marker that writes on wet and oily surfaces. Sharpie is also the title sponsor of the Sharpie 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup event at BMS, the premiere summer night race. Sharpie recently extended its sponsorship of the August race through 2008.
Sharpie is planning the race week's activities now that will include 40th anniversary festivities, sampling of the new markers, multiple interactive areas, exciting consumer promotions and the return of BMS defending champion Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie Ford. "We have won three out of the last four times at Bristol," said Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie Ford in the Winston Cup series. "I look forward to seeing if another Busch - my brother Kyle - can sign victory lane at the Sharpie Professional 250. Sharpie is such a great sponsor to be aligned with since they truly focus their efforts on the fans." The Sharpie Professional marker, in stores in December, comes in 1-, 2- and 3-packs (black, blue and red) and starts at a suggested retail price of $2.09. For more information on Sharpie and Sharpie racing, visit Sharpie.com.(Sanford North America PR)(11-11-2003)
- Bristol Sold Out in 2004: With all single-event tickets sold and more than enough entries in hand for a season-ticket lottery, Bristol Motor Speedway this week became the first Speedway to declare sellouts for its 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events. Food City 500 tickets sold out last week, marking the first time that single-event tickets to the Speedway's spring race sold out more than six months before the event. A 100 percent renewal in Sharpie 500 tickets confirmed another sell-out for the August night race classic. After current ticket holders exercised their options to renew tickets, the ticket office offered any non-renewed tickets to the public through a mail-in-only ticket lottery, but accepted no multiple entries. Ticket office employees began drawing envelopes Tuesday morning to fulfill requests of new Bristol ticket buyers, who were limited to no more than four tickets. By day's end, all tickets were sold. New Food City 500 ticket holders will be notified by mail only. Non-renewed season tickets for 2004 will be sold using the same process. Season ticket entries must be received before Oct. 1.(BMS PR)(10-1-2003)
- No action taken on redevelopment study [around BMS]: The city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority took no action Tuesday on a controversial redevelopment study, but those who would be affected by it said they believe its outcome already has been decided. Earlier this month, the City Council approved conducting a study of about 50 acres across Volunteer Parkway from Bristol Motor Speedway. The study would consider land use and determine whether the area -- which includes six businesses that employ about 60 people -- could be better used for other purposes. Property owners have called it a land grab on behalf of the speedway and claim the city wants to push them out. The board wasn't prepared to act Tuesday.(more at the Bristol Herald Courier)(9-24-2003)
- Bristol Construction: Bristol Motor Speedway officially broke ground on a new 36,000 sq. ft. structure, which will house offices for Speedway and Dragway employees. Speedway officials today revealed the details of the complex, which in addition to office space will feature a new ticket office, souvenir shop, large banquet room and a "free-of-charge" fan interactive zone unique to motorsports facilities across the nation. The first floor will feature a lobby area, guest services center, new ticket office and souvenir shop with four times the square footage as the current store. Also on the first floor, the fan interactive zone will provide visitors the opportunity to learn more about Bristol Motor Speedway, the Dragway and the history of motorsports as it relates to Bristol. The fan interactive zone, open year-round, will feature touch screen video and audio kiosks, a motorsports art gallery, show cars and much more. With an exterior of aluminum composite panels and glass skin, the building will stand three stories tall with a covered balcony atop the structure. In addition to making a portion of the building highly fan interactive, sixty 300-feet deep wells will heat and cool the structure geothermally, making it environmentally friendly. The building's second floor will house the offices for Speedway and Dragway employees. A large banquet room capable of hosting events for up to 300 individuals will top the structure and will sit adjacent to an outdoor balcony, making the area suitable for indoor-outdoor social events. Officials expect a July 2004 completion date.(BMS PR)(9-11-2003)
- Folks next to BMS to lose property? George Rogers believes a new city redevelopment study is aimed solely at uprooting his and other businesses near Bristol Motor Speedway. He isn't alone, and the property owners are vowing to fight. City Council voted 3-0, with two passes, to approve the study during its regular meeting last Tuesday. "I believe this is nothing more than a land grab," Rogers said. "I don't know what the source is, but I think I know. I've been approached several times by Bristol Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports and real-estate agents saying they represented Bristol Motor Speedway, asking if I was interested in selling my property." Rogers, in business since 1981, has declined to sell or lease his 13 acres, which includes Rogers Gardens -- a greenhouse business -- and a trucking company. His land is directly across Volunteer Parkway from the NASCAR track's north entrance. "Now I feel like they've recruited the City Council to try to force me out of my property," Rogers said. "I don't believe that they have any inherent right to this property. If it was for an industrial park or some other project for the betterment of the city, it would be different." Asked whether the speedway had requested the city's action, City Manager Tony Massey declined comment and said the question should be directed to Bristol Motor Speedway officials, who declined comment.(more at the Bristol Herald Courier)(9-8-2003)
- Announcement at Bristol UPDATE: been told there will be a special announcement at Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday, Sept. 4 at 4:00pm/et; the special guest is Richard Childress, #29,30,31 team owner.(9-4-2003)
UPDATE: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s (RMEF) American Outdoor Experience will take place on the grounds of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway, June 11-13, 2004. Transformed into one huge outdoor expo, the RMEF American Outdoor Experience will utilize the entire acreage of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway. The event will offer opportunities for the entire family and outdoor enthusiasts to experience nearly every aspect of the outdoor sporting world. Officials expect event attendance to top 50,000. Six-time Winston Cup Champion car owner Richard Childress, a long-time outdoor sportsman, was on hand to help announce the event. The RMEF’s American Outdoor Experience will provide activities suited for the entire family. Composed of a variety of "sporting camps," each one will feature a specific outdoor interest. Included will be Kids’, Conservation, Shooting, Archery, ATV, Fishing and Hunting camps, and many more. Over the past several years, elk populations have been re-established in Tennessee, Kentucky, Great Smoky Mountains and elsewhere in the southeast where suitable habitat remains. Elk conservation efforts are continuing today. RMEF (www.rmef.org), a volunteer-driven, hunter-based organization, partners with state and federal agencies to make these programs successful. The results prove extremely exciting for all who appreciate wildlife and wild country.(BMS PR/Site)(9-5-2003)
- Dover 2nd 2004 date: being told by readers who got their 2004 Ticket Renewals for Dover International Spedweay's 2nd Cup that the date is September 26th, 2004. That is now 30 of 36 'confirmed' by either the tracks or ticket renewals, see my 2004 UNOFFICIAL Nextel Cup Series Schedule or 2004 Cup Scheduling News/Rumors page.(9-4-2003)
- Sharpie Extends Race Sponsorship: Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers and part of the Newell Rubbermaid portfolio of leading brands, today announced at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) that the brand is extending its sponsorship of the NASCAR
Winston Cup night race held in August, the Sharpie 500, through 2008. The announcement comes just two days before the running of the Sharpie 500 on Saturday, August 23, the third-year of the sponsorship. Sharpie began sponsoring the former Bristol Night Race in 2001. In 2004, Sharpie will celebrate its 40th anniversary and the first year of the new five-year sponsorship. Sharpie is also a major sponsor of the No. 97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie Ford and Kurt Busch, currently eighth in the 2003 Winston Cup points race.(BMS PR)(8-21-2003)
- Sam Bass Bristol Tour Will Keep Artist Running: The only person moving as fast as the NASCAR Winston Cup drivers during this week's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway will be motorsports artist Sam Bass, whose work can be seen at the new Dale Earnhardt Terrace, on the souvenir program cover, during the Farewell Winston presentation and at several autograph sessions.
This week Earnhardt, whose first NASCAR Winston Cup career victory occurred at Bristol in 1979, joins David Pearson, the Allison family, Junior Johnson, Alan Kulwicki, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip in having one of the track's grandstands named in his honor. Eleven backlit panels decorate the new Dale Earnhardt Terrace at BMS, each featuring one of Bass' insightful studies of The Intimidator that highlight special events in his 22-year Cup career. Several of the illustrations relate directly to Earnhardt's success at Bristol Motor Speedway, such as "Man On A Mission!" and "Ready To Rumble!", which debuted as covers for the track's souvenir program, and "Above The Rest!", which was inspired by a photograph Bass personally took in the BMS infield. Other images include "7!", "Quick Silver!", "The Intimidator!", "The Magnificent Seven!", "Hot Property!", "One Tough Customer!", "The Wild Side!", "Finally, First!", "Number One!", "E2k", "Black Attack!", "Fade To Black!" and a drawing of the driver from Bass' Quick Sketch series.
To commemorate Earnhardt's history with the track for the souvenir program cover Bass combined more than a dozen scenes from the driver's Bristol victories into one colorful montage. Spanning the years from Earnhardt's inaugural win at BMS through the hugely successful '80s (when he won five of the eight Cup races from 1985-'88) to his last performance at the track, the new painting is certain to be a fan favorite.
As a bonus for Earnhardt and Earnhardt Jr. fans, Bass' newest image will debut during the week of the Sharpie 500 events. "Tradin' Paint!", which was conceived as a companion piece to the popular "Ready To Rumble!", is set in Bristol's infield.
Bristol is the first of seven tracks to bid adieu to longtime NASCAR sponsor RJ Reynolds with a special "Farewell Winston" tribute featuring opening pace laps that pair a current Cup champion competing in that week's race with an inactive legendary driver. Rusty Wallace, in his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Jimmy Hensley, a longtime friend of Alan Kulwicki, driving a "Victory Lap" race car in honor of the '92 Winston Cup champion, will take a pre-race spin on the half-mile speedway.
Fans of Bass' motorsports paintings will have ample opportunity to meet the artist during the week of the Sharpie 500. On Thursday, Aug.
21, Bass will sign autographs at his booth on State Street in Bristol from 6-8 p.m. during the Food City Family Race Night. On Saturday,
Aug. 23, Bass will meet fans at the UAW-GM Motorsports display between 2-3:30 p.m. and a souvenir stand on the Dale Earnhardt Terrace from 4-5 p.m.
A selection of his popular images will be available for sale at the Sam Bass Gallery booth during both of the Food City nights - from 3-8
p.m. at Sevierville's NASCAR Speedpark on Wednesday, and from 1-9 p.m. at the State Street event. For more information about Sam Bass' motorsports art, log on to www.sambass.com or phone 704/455-6915.(8-21-2003)
- $1 Million Possible to a Fan at Bristol: Sharpie announced the 10 semifinalists for the grand prize in its "You Could Win $1,000,000" program, one of whom will race to possibly a big payday at the Sharpie 500 in Bristol, Tennessee on August 23. The semifinalists were chosen randomly from the more than 500,000 entries in a national sweepstakes program. The program offered individuals the chance at a trip for two and tickets to Sharpie 500 and a shot a potential $1 million. This is the sweepstakes second year. On Friday, August 22, Sharpie, with the help of Benny Parsons, TNT race analyst, will randomly draw the finalist from the field of 10 semifinalists at a Sharpie and Bristol Motor Speedway special event. The finalist will then be randomly assigned a starting position based on the 43-car line-up (1 through 43). If the selected driver based on starting position wins the race, the fan wins $1 million; $100,000 for 2nd through 5th place; $50,000 for 6th through 10th place; and $10,000 for any finish outside of the top 10.
Semifinalists for the 2003 Sharpie "You Could Win $1,000,000" promotion include:
James Gray of Lexington, Kentucky;
John Aiken of Grayson, Georgia;
Bill Stroz of Clarksburg, New Jersey;
Mike Groesbeck of Boyton Beach, Florida;
Herbert Nutter of West Branch, Michigan;
Denise Schnur, of Wadsworth, Ohio;
Darren Greenwald of Los Angeles;
Carrie Bezak of Royal Oak, Michigan;
Cindy Maxwell of Abilene, Texas
Karrie Millheim of Cape Coral, Florida.
The sweepstakes ended on July 15, 2003. The Sharpie 500 will be televised on TNT at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 23. For more details
on the Sharpie 500, visit www.sharpie500.com.(BMS PR)(8-20-2003)
- Not Cup but amazing: Ray Paprota, the first and only paraplegic driver to compete in a NASCAR Touring Series will appear in the August 20, NASCAR Goody's Dash Pabst Blue Ribbon 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Paprota uses state-of-the-art hand controls that enable him to operate the throttle, brakes and clutch with both hands on the steering wheel. Paralyzed in a motor vehicle accident at the age of 21, Paprota who is unable to use his legs, began racing Legends Series race cars in 1996. He credits NASCAR and Goody's with providing an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities in a race car rather than focusing on his limitations in a wheelchair. Former NASCAR crew chief George White and Winston Cup Champion Bobby Allison became aware of his racing achievements in the Legends car and have helped transition him into the competitive world of NASCAR. Longtime Goody's Dash competitor Danny Bagwell heard of Ray's desire to compete in the series and provided a race car in which the newest version of hand controls were installed "You can't just buy these controls off the shelve, we have been refining this unit for several years now. I first tested them in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck and later in an ARCA car before adapting them to the Dash car. We worked closely with NASCAR to receive my NASCAR drivers' credentials and gain approval of the modifications for the controls," says Ray. The system utilizes pneumatic cylinders to actuate the brake and clutch peddles and a cable operated throttle for the gas. Ray pushes a button on the transmission shifter knob that dictates how quickly the clutch peddle is released, allowing a smooth acceleration in the pits or fast gear changes in the race. The entire system received close scrutiny before Paprota made NASCAR history when he competed in his first Goody's Dash series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 25, 2002. "We wanted nothing handed to us, I wanted to be allowed to compete because I'm a good race car driver and for no other reason," said Paprota. Paprota currently is exploring opportunities for 2004 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and ARCA Series.(BMS PR)(8-20-2003)
- Bristol Programs: In addition to a wealth of stories, race information and photos, the 2003 Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program will feature cover artwork, which commemorates the dedication of Bristol's new Dale Earnhardt Terrace, from renown racing artist Sam Bass. Also, fans may upgrade their program purchase to include a
protective sleeve, 1:64 scale die-cast event car and patriotic t-shirt.
To commemorate the Earnhardt Terrace dedication Sam Bass combined more than a dozen scenes from the driver's memorable Bristol history into one montage for the program's cover. The artwork spans the years from Earnhardt's first career Winston Cup win through the hugely successful '80s (when he won five of the eight Cup races from 1985-'88) to his last performance at the track.
The 2003 Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program package, including the die-cast car, the t-shirt and protective sleeve, will sell for $15. The
program alone sells for $10.
The 170-page program includes driver photos from the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series - all competing at Bristol Motor Speedway during the race weekend. Story highlights include features on the 25th Anniversary of night racing at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Dale Earnhardt Terrace dedication and a farewell to Winston's sponsorship of NASCAR's elite series. Driver features include stories on Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Scott Riggs.
Programs may be purchased beginning on Wednesday, August 20. The programs will be available at the numerous Program Stands located throughout Speedway property. Programs also may be purchased at Food City Family Race Night on State Street in downtown Bristol on Thursday, August 21.(BMS PR)(8-19-2003)
- 24 taking the plunge at Bristol: For more than 20 couples, the date August 23, 2003 means a bit more than the fact that it’s Sharpie 500 race day. For them it is "wedding day." Bristol Motor Speedway’s race day weddings return for a second season with an increase in the number of individuals saying, "I do" on the start/finish line. A total of 24 couples from 11 states will take the plunge into matrimony prior to the sold-out Sharpie 500. "Last year, nine couples got married on race day and started what may very well be another August tradition at Bristol," said Jeff Byrd, BMS president and general manager. "For couples that love racing and each other, I guess there’s no better place to tie the knot than at Bristol Motor Speedway." Sue Jones, Sullivan County Deputy Clerk, again will officiate the weddings, slated for an 11 a.m. green flag. "It’s certainly not you’re typical day in the office," said Jones. "It’s quite an interesting venue for a wedding and even more interesting to see couples dressed in everything from formal wear to their favorite drivers’ colors." BMS started the weddings in 2002 following NASCAR’s decision to have no on-track activity on Saturday morning. This made for ample time to stage the ceremonies. "We just love Bristol," says Linda Johnson of New Alexandria, Pa. who will marry Thomas Payne. "We’ve been dating for seven years. In fact, Bristol was one of the first places we ever traveled together and to think that we’re getting married there is just awesome." Deborah Runyon of Streetsboro, Ohio, echoes Johnson’s comments. "We’ve been coming to Bristol since 1998 and we wanted to get married at some place we truly enjoy being – and Bristol is one place we just love to be." Runyon’s groom is Michael Stewart. Race sponsor Sharpie will help the couples put a permanent mark on their nuptials. In addition to signing their official marriage paperwork with a Sharpie permanent marker, the brides will be provided Sharpie marker bouquets.(BMS PR)(8-19-2003)
- New Bristol 'Carry-In' Policy: In an effort to enhance fan comfort during the races and in the interest of safety, Bristol Motor Speedway will enact a new "carry-in" bag policy for its August racing events. In addition to permitting one 14-inch cooler, fans may bring only one carry-in bag through grandstand gates. In terms of the carry-in size, it must be able to fit under the individual's grandstand seat without obstructing the aisles or encroaching on a neighboring seat. Souvenir bags and/or race program packages are exempt from this new restriction. Although not a requirement, officials recommend a clear plastic carry-in bag to ease fan flow through security checkpoints.(BMS PR)(8-18-2003)
- Transporters on Parade: The Blue Lizard Winston Cup Transporter Parade, quickly becoming another Bristol tradition, returns on Thursday, August 21. The highly popular spectacle once again will follow Food City Family Race Night. At 9 p.m., the transporters will leave the Bristol Mall and make the seven-mile trek down Volunteer Parkway (Hwy. 11E) to the Speedway's South Entrance.
As the transporters make their way down Volunteer Parkway, fireworks will light up the nighttime sky at four different locations, with a grand finale as the parade reaches its destination at the Speedway. Blue Lizard spokespersons, Bill Dance and Picabo Street, will serve as
the parade Grand Marshals. Blue Lizard's backing of the parade extends into Bristol's race weekend as the company will sponsor free skin cancer screenings from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The skin cancer screenings will take place in the Speedway's North lot, behind the Allison Grandstands in the vendor display area.
In 2002, Blue Lizard's skin cancer screenings at BMS helped Vernon Craddock of Barboursville, W.Va. detect a melanoma on his back, potentially saving his life. "A dermatologist who looked at my husband, pointed to a small mole on his back and instructed him to have it removed once we returned home," said Jane Craddock. "It was indeed malignant melanoma and after a series of trips to the doctor to have tissue removed, he now is cancer-free. I sincerely appreciate the folks at Blue Lizard for doing the skin cancer screenings at Bristol and ultimately extending my husband's life."(BMS PR)(8-18-2003)
- Martha Nemechek named Food City 250 Grand Marshal: The ultimate NASCAR Mom, Martha Nemechek, mother of NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series driver Joe Nemechek has seen her fair share of NASCAR races. On Friday, August 22nd she will get a chance to see the drivers get the command to start their engines from somewhat of a different perspective. Food City officials have named Martha Nemechek the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Busch Series Food City 250. "Martha is well known in the NASCAR Community and is always a fixture in Joe's pit area," commented Food City senior vice president of marketing, Tom Hembree. "She is so dedicated to her family, we thought it was fitting to invite her into the Food City family." On race day you can always see Martha with her camera taking pictures. She is the team photographer and enjoys sharing her photos with others. While at the track she enjoys providing homemade goodies for the Hendrick Motorsports crew, cheering Joe on, taking Joe's photo and of course waxing Joe's car. She always waxes Joe's car each weekend, sometimes twice. Martha is the mother of four children: Marti, Joe, Mark and John. This proud mother will have the honor of broadcasting the four most famous words in motor sports to a field of 43 NASCAR Busch Series drivers to start the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I was completely shocked when Food City asked me to be the Grand Marshal, what an honor it will be, especially since Joe will be fielding two cars in the race," stated Martha Nemechek. "I would like to thank Food City for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am looking forward to a great weekend of racing at Bristol Motor Speedway." The Food City 250 is the 24th stop on the 34-race NASCAR Busch Series schedule. Jimmy Spencer is the defending Food City 250 victor. The green flag will wave the start of the Food City 250 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, August 22, 2003. The event will be televised live on TNT.(Food City PR)(8-14-2003)
- Bristol to Dedicate Earnahrdt Terrace at Sharpie 500: Bristol Motor Speedway officially will dedicate the new Dale Earnhardt Terrace Grandstand during Sharpie 500 pre-race ceremonies on August 23. The late Dale Earnhardt joins Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Alan Kulwicki, Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and the Allisons in having a grandstand named in his honor. A variety of weekend features and pre-race activities highlight the Earnhardt Terrace dedication. Upon their arrival to Bristol Motor Speedway for the race weekend, fans will notice the new Earnhardt Terrace signage at Elevator Tower 7. The backlit verbiage reads "Earnhardt Terrace" in red letters. Located above the terrace designation is a 20' x 20' panel reflecting the Dale Earnhardt Legacy logo. The official Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program cover features artwork from renown racing artist Sam Bass. To commemorate the Earnhardt Terrace dedication Bass combined more than a dozen scenes from the driver's memorable Bristol history into one montage. The artwork spans the years from Earnhardt's first career Winston Cup win through the hugely successful '80s (when he won five of the eight Cup races from 1985-'88) to his last performance at the track. Bass will make a special presentation of the artwork during the dedication ceremony. The pre-race dedication will originate from the middle of the backstretch facing the Earnhardt Terrace and will include the unveiling of the Earnhardt Plaque. The plaque will become part of the "Heroes of Bristol" garden to be located at Bristol's new office building complex on which construction begins following the Sharpie 500 race weekend. The plaque will be displayed along with the plaques of others who have grandstands named in their honor. The ceremony also will include radio highlights (MRN and PRN race
recordings) of Earnhardt's great Bristol moments as well as a Winston Vision montage of Earnhardt's Bristol career. A U.S. Navy fly-over consisting of three jets and three fireworks blasts, signifying Earnhardt's familiar Car No. 3 will accent the terrace dedication ceremonies.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(8-13-203)
- Bristol announces 2004 race dates: Bristol Motor Speedway officially announced its 2004 NASCAR race dates, with events falling on the final weekends in March and August. The Food City 500 weekend, March 26-28, 2004, features a Friday pole day for both of NASCAR's top series, NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, and the Food City 500 on Sunday. NASCAR's most popular weekend, the Sharpie 500-Food City 250 weekend, will run Friday and Saturday nights, August 27 and 28. NASCAR's Busch Series will practice and qualify on Thursday, August 26, and race on Friday night in the Food City 250. Teams will practice and qualify for the Sharpie 500 on Friday before the Food City 250. The Sharpie 500 field takes the green flag on Saturday night, August 28.(BMS PR), so that is 25 or 36 Nextel Cup race dates confirmed on the Unofficial 2004 Schedule page.(8-6-2003)
- Lap Sponsorships for Bristol: Lap sponsorships for the upcoming Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway now are on sale. Track tours and personalized souvenir programs highlight the 2003 lap sponsorship package. In addition to the track tour and personalized program, lap sponsors will receive space for a 20-word-or-less message, which will appear in the souvenir program, as well as a 1:64 scale die-cast event car. The cover of the 2003 Sharpie 500 Souvenir Program will commemorate the official dedication of Bristol's new Dale Earnhardt Terrace Grandstand and will include the artwork of renown racing artist Sam Bass. Bass' artwork will feature a collage of Dale Earnhardt's memorable moments at Bristol Motor Speedway, including his first career NASCAR Winston Cup win which took place at Bristol in 1979, Earnhardt's unforgettable win over Terry Labonte in the 1999 Sharpie 500 and his 1980s dominance at BMS. For the first time, each lap sponsor's name will be printed on the cover of the program. Recent technological advances in the printing industry allow for the personalization. The cost of a lap sponsorship is $100. The Speedway will take orders for lap sponsorships through Friday, August 1, 2003. For details on purchasing a lap sponsorship, fans must call Fern Greenway at 423/989-6941 to receive a lap sponsorship form. Or fans may visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com, download and complete the lap sponsorship form and mail it in along with payment to the Speedway. Fans may request a specific lap number to sponsor. However if that lap number is taken, BMS will assign the closest available lap number.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(7-2-2003)
- Woman Sues Bristol: A North Carolina woman has sued Bristol Motor Speedway, its owner and a fence company over a hand injury she suffered while working during a race. Vicki Garmon, of Concord, NC, sued in U.S. District Court here on June 6, seeking $2 million from the track, Rio Grande Fence and Bruton Smith, chairman of track owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. Marylaurel Wilks, general counsel for Speedway Motorsports, said speedway officials would not comment. Garmon was injured while working for Levy Restaurants, a company under contract with the speedway to provide food during the August Sharpie 500 race. That lawsuit said that while Garmon was helping a co-worker open a gate, a galvanized metal roller on the gate sliced off a portion of her hand. The court filing claims that the gate area was not adequately lit and the defendants failed to provide warnings to people trying to use the gate. Rio Grande manufactured, sold and installed the gate.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-14-2003)
- Bristol Shifts Ticket Policy: Bristol Motor Speedway has announced a new ticket purchase process that it says is designed to "level the playing field" for fans seeking tickets. The track says that after current ticket holders exercise their renewal privileges, non-renewed tickets for 2004 will be sold to customers who mail in requests instead of using the former "resale dates" that saw fans phone in requests or travel to the track’s ticket windows. No phone call, on-line, or in-person inquiries will be considered until mail-in entries are filled. People who do not have Sharpie 500 or season tickets will receive first consideration, the track says. Complete details are available at the track’s Web site, www.BristolMotorSpeedway.com.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-10-2003)
- Tenn Tax a Dead Issue: Track owner Bruton Smith threatened to move his NASCAR races if the tax passed [In Tennessee]. The politicos did the math: Bristol's two race weekends pump $397 million into the economy, while the entertainment tax would generate about $2.5 million. They backed off. ''It's a dead issue,'' Jeff Byrd, the track's vice president and general manager, said at week's end. ''There are 24 commissioners, and 23 are opposed to the tax. The one who suggested it was simply making an idle suggestion and the media got hold of it. I don't think it would have gone anywhere.'' It might have been an idle suggestion but Smith didn't make an idle threat. ''We will do anything to prevent it,'' Smith said of the tax. ''Even moving.'' To tack a 10% tax on top of what fans are already paying would be unconscionable. Bruton Smith did the right thing by taking a stand, and the politicians did the smart thing by backing down.(Tennessean), see past news on the tax on my Bristol Track News and Links page.(4-27-2003)
- Entertainment Tax for Bristol? Could Lose BOTH races? Sullivan County Commissioner Mark Vance said Monday he wants to explore a 10-percent county tax on entertainment, including Bristol Motor Speedway tickets. But BMS General Manager Jeff Byrd said that such a tax could result in BMS losing one of its NASCAR races to another track. And County Executive Richard Venable and two other county commissioners from Bristol said they would not support it.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-23-2003)
AND Bristol Motor Speedway could lose both its NASCAR race weekends if Sullivan County enacts an entertainment tax that applies to race tickets, Speedway Motorsports head Bruton Smith said Tuesday. "If we can be taxed out of business, you know what will happen. It's not going to be a threat, it's going to be something that will happen," he said. "We will do anything to prevent it that we can, taking a drastic measure of even moving." Smith is chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Speedway Motorsports, which owns the Bristol track and five others. He was responding to discussion of a 10 percent countywide entertainment tax put forth by County Commissioner Mark Vance of Bristol. The discussion came during a county committee meeting in Blountville Monday. According to estimates from the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, the Bristol track has a $397 million direct impact per year on the region's economy and a more than $1.79 billion indirect annual impact.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-23-2003)
- Security at Bristol: In addition to Sunday's Winston Cup race, which is a 160,000-seat sellout, the track also plans a ''patriotic rally'' to show support for the troops engaged in battle in Iraq. That could further incite anti-U.S. factions. ''The NASCAR races in Bristol this weekend, one of the state's largest events, will continue as planned,'' said Ret. Major Gen. Jerry Humble, director of Tennessee Homeland Security. ''Extra security will be provided, with help from the state. There will be 'high-visibility security' at the event. 'I'm satisfied with what I'm hearing [about security plans.]'' Bristol Motor Speedway spokesman Wayne Estes said extra security measures had been in the works even before this week's military intervention in Iraq. Estes hopes the added security will not be overly intrusive. ''We want the fans to know they are secure, but this is an entertainment venue,'' he said. ''We don't want people seeing commandos with guns over their arms. We don't want it to look like a Middle Eastern sports venue. This is an American venue. It's a balance.'' Estes has asked fans to arrive at the track one hour earlier than normal to allow time to go through the security checkpoints. Each fan is permitted only one cooler, no bigger than 14 inches. No fireworks, firearms or other explosives will be permitted. Even if a fan possesses a permit to carry a concealed handgun, the firearm will not be permitted on track property. Hundreds of police officers and other security officials will conduct random searches of vehicles on the track property. Every bag, backpack and cooler taken into the track will be inspected by track workers, and police dogs will be used to sniff for explosives. Tight security has been routine at all NASCAR races since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mirrors are used to search underneath cars entering the track infield, and the trunks of cars frequently are inspected.(Tennessean)(3-21-2003)
- Food City Salutes The Military And Honors All Five Branches As Grand Marshals: A representative of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard will be guests of Food City and serve as the grand marshals of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Major General Gus L. Hargett; The Adjutant General of Tennessee will represent the United States Army. In 2002 Major General Hargett was appointed to the state's top military position by Governor Don Sundquist. He is responsible for the supervision of the Military Department of Tennessee that includes the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee State Guard.
Rear Admiral Christopher E. Weaver will represent the United States Navy. Rear Admiral Weaver currently serves as the 83rd Commandant of Naval District Washington; the oldest continuously operated Navy installation in the nation. Some of his decorations include: Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals, Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Lieutenant General Robert C. Hinson is the Vice Commander, Air Force Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado and will represent the United States Air Force. Lieutenant General Hinson assists the Commander in the development, acquisition and operation of the Air
Forces' space and missile systems. He along with the command organizes, trains, and equips all Air Force space and missile forces; oversees a global network of satellite command and control, communications, missile warning and launch facilities; and ensures the
combat readiness of America's intercontinental ballistic missile force.
Lieutenant General Michael A. Hough, the Deputy Commandant for Aviation, will represent the United States Marine Corps. General Hough's personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with one gold star, Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Rear Admiral Sally Brice-O'Hara the Director of Personnel Management will represent the United States Coast Guard. Rear Admiral
Brice-O'Hara has been the Director of Personnel Management since July 2001. She is responsible for planning and administering an extensive range of human resource programs. She oversees Service-wide military and civilian personnel matters, including workforce management, recruiting, assignments, uniforms, housing, compensation, morale, well-being, recreation and the Coast Guard Exchange System. Her personal awards include six Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Commandant's Letter of Commendation, a Coast Guard Achievement Medal and a Meritorious Service Medal.
All five representatives of the United States military will have the honor of broadcasting the four most famous words in motor sports to a field of 43 NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers to start the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.(Food City PR)(3-22-2003)
- Bristol and the possible War UPDATEs and a REPOST: have heard NOTHING about the Food City 500 or any race activities being postponed or canceled due to the possibility of War with Iraq, getting many questions about this, have hear nothing past what I am Reposting here. If I do it will be posted.(3-18-2003)
UPDATE from NASCAR statement: Everyone in the NASCAR family is keenly observing the latest news regarding the situation in Iraq.. We at NASCAR and our fans across the United States and around the world are praying for the safety of our nation's brave men and women in uniform as well as those of our allies. NASCAR plans to continue with our current 2003 racing schedule while closely monitoring the unfolding situation in the Middle East. As part of our contingency preparation, we are in close and constant contact with all the relevant authorities necessary to ensure and maintain the security of our drivers, teams, tracks and fans. We will do whatever is necessary to continue supporting our country's efforts, including schedule adjustments if deemed appropriate. We believe there is a special bond between our troops and our sport. Every branch of the American military is represented in NASCAR racing and our Chairman, Bill France, has always described NASCAR fans as "the kind of people who go to war and win wars for America." Many of those fans are currently deployed throughout the world, doing just that. To that point, we should all be mindful of the sacrifices our troops and, just as important, their families are making during this difficult time.(NASCAR PR)(3-18-2003)
UPDATE 2: As we approach another exciting weekend of racing here at Bristol Motor Speedway, we do so with the understanding that this is a very important time in the history of our country. Our troops, our President and our nation have our unconditional support. Plans currently are moving forward and this weekend we expect a patriotic assembly 160,000 great Americans for the Food City 500. At the present time, we do not expect that an act of war will change our weekend schedule. However, we will abide by any decision NASCAR makes regarding the impending war and its effect on our schedule of events. Again, as we look forward to offering up a weekend of “racin’ the way it ought’a be,” our troops, leaders and our country are in our prayers. Whether you plan on attending this weekend’s events or plan on viewing the racing action from your home, we ask that you do the same.(BMS Statement and a story at Knoxville News-Sentinel)(3-20-2003)
REPOST - Contingency Plans for travel and TV in case of war: With the country on the verge of war, NASCAR teams and officials are considering contingency plans for travel to Fort Worth, Talladega and Los Angeles in the coming weeks. "I know that became a concern when we went to Dover last year, and I'm sure at some of these tracks there will be different restrictions that come up," Robbie Loomis, Jeff Gordon's crew chief, said. "It's a pretty stressful time on all the folks in the military and their families right now." Fox is expected to put Winston Cup races on its FX cable if or when war begins.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2003)
UPDATE: Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, also an Army veteran, addressed the topic of war and racing on Friday. "I have always felt that one of Bill France's quotes was right on target on this subject," Hunter said. "I can remember people asking 'Bill, who are your fans?' And he would say, 'I'll tell you who our fans are. They are the kind of people that win wars for you.' And never has that been more true than today." Hunter said NASCAR has monitored the expected showdown with Iraq for the last several months and has worked through several scenarios which includes postponing an event if necessary. "I don't really want to speculate but certainly that would be an option and we've done it before," Hunter said. "Just to arbitrarily do that, no. It depends on the circumstances, and what is best under those circumstances, not only what is best for the racing community but what is best for the country."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-16-2003)
- Bristol Grand Marshal: The Tri-Cities region is famous for community support and Food City's Ed Moore is no different. Food City proudly named Ed Moore the Honorary Starter of the Food City 500 for his life-long commitment to volunteerism. After a June 2002 White House meeting with President Busch pertaining to the United States Freedom Corps, Steve Smith, president and chief executive officer for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., Food city's parent company created the Claude P. Varney Volunteer Recognition Program to recognize outstanding volunteerism among their associates. After reviewing a resume provided by store associates it is not hard to see why Kingsport, Tennessee resident Ed Moore received the district award for his area. Ed Moore has worked for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. (Food
City) for almost 43 years, serving 37 years as a store manager. In addition to knowing almost every customer who walks through the door
of the Kingsport, TN store he has managed for 19 years, Moore is deeply involved in the community his store serves. Moore credits Food
City's policy of encouraging community service as one reason for his years of volunteering. "The company's been real supportive of me in everything I've done. I want to be able to give back to the people who have given so much to me," Moore says. "When people ask me what my hobby is, my answer is always community service because that's all I do," he says. "We are thrilled to have Ed Moore wave the green flag to start the Food City 500," commented Food City president and chief executive officer, Steve Smith. "Ed has done so much for Food City and his community we wanted to honor him in a very special way." Ed Moore will wave the green flag to signal the beginning of the race
for the field of 43 NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers live on FOX. "I am looking forward to climbing up there and waving the green flag to
start the Food City 500, commented Moore. "I want to thank Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway for the wonderful opportunity."(Food City PR)(3-18-2003)
- National Anthem at Bristol: Country Music's Rebecca Lynn Howard will sing the National Anthem prior to the start of Sunday's Food City 500. Currently, Howard is a nominee for the Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Artist award and her hit single "Forgive" also is nominated for Song of the Year.(BMS PR)(3-18-2003)
- Students hosted at Bristol: Several Sullivan County, Tennessee, schools are out on Friday, and Cheez-It will host more than 4,000 of the area students as Cheez-It Pole Day special guests. Each student that attends Sullivan Central High School, or the Blountville, Holston, Bluff City, Holston Valley or Mary Hughes middle schools will receive a free Cheez-It Pole Day ticket from Cheez-It. AND When, because of a black mold problem, Sullivan East High School moved its classes from its school building to Bristol Motor Speedway's
luxury skyboxes, BMS President Jeff Byrd promised the students that the Channellock 250 would be a special day for the so-called "BMS
High" students. All 1,200 students, faculty and staff members and their guests will attend Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series event. The school will provide a color guard and its choral department ensemble for special presentation of The Star Spangled Banner. The weekend's souvenir program includes a story about the BMS High experience, penned by Sullivan East sophomore Anthony Milhorn. He will be recognized during the Channellock 250 pre-race show. The cover of the 2003 Food City 500 Official Souvenir Program takes on a patriotic flavor with "Old Glory" waving behind the racing machines of Jeff Gordon, a four-time Food City 500 winner; Dale Earnhardt, Jr., vying for his first Bristol victory; and Kurt Busch, Food City 500 defending champion. In addition to the valuable fan information and full-page color photos, with purchase of a souvenir program fans will receive a 1:64 scale die-cast car and a full-color lineup sheet for both the Food City 500 and the Channellock 250. Programs cost $10 and they will be available at the numerous program kiosks located throughout speedway property.(BMS PR)(3-18-2003)
- Bristol Construction on track: The race to finish a major renovation and expansion project at Bristol Motor Speedway is on track for completion in March, an official said Wednesday. More than 200 construction workers have been braving winter temperatures to build a 43,826-seat addition to the track's backstretch grandstands, said Jeff Black, project manager for owner Speedway Motorsports. The new seats will replace 35,447 old ones -- including the original concrete stands that dated back to when the track opened in 1961. The $30 million project also includes the construction of 56 new luxury skybox suites of varying sizes and 40 concessions and restroom buildings. "The foundation is 100 percent done, and the overall project is about 60 percent complete," Black said. "When its done, we'll have about 160,000 seats." The project's completion date is March 20 -- the day before the track hosts a three-day racing weekend.(Bristol Herald Courier)(1-9-2003)
- No Bristol Pit Passes? hearing there will be no pit passes issued to fans at the Bristol Motor Speedway races in 2003. Supposedly no one except drivers, their family, crews, owners, media and sponsors will be allowed in the pits permanently beginning in March.(12-12-2002)
- Speedway In Lights at Bristol: Food City, a longtime partner of Bristol Motor Speedway, will host its own special night during Speedway In Lights, Powered by TVA, on Friday, Dec. 6. Music, special appearances and fun highlight Food City Night at Speedway In Lights. Singer, Mark Thie will make a special appearance. In addition to an exclusive performance at Speedway In Lights, Thie will sign autographs. His Christmas CD "Mark Thie… A Christmas Evening," also will be on sale. Thie, originally from Los Angeles, Calif., now resides in Gray, TN. His CD, comprised of a blend of jazz, classical, contemporary pop and rhythm and blues, also is available in select Food City Video locations for $12.95. Miss Food City, April Owens, will sign autographs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The first 100 people through the gates when they open at 6 p.m. will receive a free box of hot chocolate. Also the first 300 children through the gates will receive a free Food City candy bar. Speedway In Lights is open nightly from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., through Jan. 4. Tickets are available at the BMS gate. Ticket prices for cars are $7 Sunday through Thursday, and $10 Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $12 Sunday through Thursday, and $15 Friday and Saturday. Bus tickets are $50 Sunday through Thursday, and $65 Friday and Saturday. Also the York Ice Skating Rink is open 3 p.m.-10 p.m. weekdays, 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. weekends. Tickets are $5 to skate, plus $2 for skate rental.(BMS Site)(12-6-2002)
- Work Continues at Bristol: Crews have been working to replace all of the backstretch grandstands, install additional seats and construct 50 more luxury skyboxes. Forty-three thousand new seats will replace 35,000 seats that have been removed. The project at Bristol Motor Speedway is on schedule and about 25 percent complete, officials said Wednesday. Jeff Byrd, the track's vice president and general manager, gave an update on the $30 million project at a news conference here at which it was announced that the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series would return in August. "We are on schedule to have the most modern grandstand in motorsports so that we'll have 165,000 seats for the Food City 500 next March," Byrd said.(Bristol Herald Courier)(11-14-2002)
- Trial puts on brakes for NASCAR race The new trial for a Mercer County man charged with the 1989 murders of three members of a Pocahontas, Va., family will take a back seat to a NASCAR race scheduled during the projected trial dates. The is scheduled to go on trial from March 3 to April 4, 2003 at U.S. District Court in Abingdon. The case was tried previously on federal capital murder charges in a trial that started Sept. 4 and ended Oct. 4, when the jury reported they could not reach a unanimous verdict. U.S. District Judge James P. Jones scheduled the new trial to start in March of 2003. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony P. Giorno learned that the trial would be going on during the weekend of the 2003 Food City 500. Although NASCAR [dates have been released by the way Bristol is 3-23] has not yet released the dates for its 2003 racing schedule, the 2002 Food City 500 was on March 24. "The hotel told us that we couldn't get reservations on the weekend of the Bristol Race," Giorno said. "The race doesn't appear on the NASCAR website yet, but apparently the hospitality industry has advanced notice." Giorno filed a motion on Oct. 28, asking the court to "adjourn trial because of the NASCAR race." In a telephone interview, Giorno indicated the adjournment is "just for that Friday." Jones granted the government's motion.(Daily Telegraph)(11-7-2002)
- Bristol helps out school: the Sullivan County School Board voted unanimously to accept the BMS offer to use skyboxes as temporary classrooms for Sullivan East High School. This begins on Monday, Oct 14th. About 70 of the speedway's suites will be utilized, but some have been taken off the list as the speedway thought it would not be appropriate to use suites belonging to companies involved in tobacco or alcohol products. SMI Chairman Bruton Smith's suite will not be used, either. Estimates are that it will take around 15 minutes each morning to get the students from ground level up to the suites. They will have to walk down stairs from suite level to the terrace for lunch. Sullivan County School Officials say the Black Mold remediation process at East High should take between four to six weeks, although that's just an early estimate. The Tennessee State Department of Education and the state fire marshal approved using the suites as temporary class space.(WXBQ/WAEZ/WFHG, Bristol PRN)(10-11-2002)
- Bristol Skyboxes as Classrooms? Sullivan County's school board is set to decide today whether to relocate Sullivan East High School students temporarily to Bristol Motor Speedway or to another county high school. Sullivan East has been closed indefinitely while officials tackle a toxic-mold problem. Schools Director John O'Dell said Tuesday he will recommend either Sullivan Central High or the speedway to the board as a temporary home for the more than 1,000 displaced students and said he hopes to start classes at one or the other on Monday. Sullivan East had been undergoing mold removal for weeks without disruption of classes but was closed Friday afternoon after tests showed that toxic black mold, or stachybotrys, was present in classroom ceiling tiles. The speedway has offered the use of its 121 skyboxes and adjoining Bristol Dragway. The speedway's general manager, Jeff Byrd, said Monday that concession stands could be opened up for lunch, although O'Dell said the students could eat in the skyboxes. Among the advantages of using the race track is that Sullivan East and Sullivan Central students would not have to halve their school days, O'Dell said. Among the drawbacks to using the track, O'Dell said, was that additional lighting would be needed from fluorescent bulb adapters or by bringing in indirect lighting. Also, Sullivan Central has laboratory and science facilities not available at the race track. Modifications to the skyboxes would include blocking the panoramic views of NASCAR's fastest half mile or the Thunder Valley drag strip. But on the plus side for the track is that it would require only a minor change in bus scheduling. The track is only about six miles from Sullivan East.(Bristol Herald Courier)(10-9-2002)
- Contruction begins at Bristol: The checkered flag had barely fallen on Saturday night's Sharpie 500 when Bristol Motor Speedway crews began preparing for a $30 million improvement project that will add about 10,000 seats to the popular NASCAR track. The project involves demolishing the track's original backstretch concrete seats and removing and replacing all of the aluminum grandstands along the backstretch. A total of 34,000 seats will be replaced with 43,000 new ones, said BMS Vice President and General Manager Jeff Byrd. In addition, 34 high-rise suites will be built -- which will increase the track's seating capacity to about 160,000. And a 25,000-square-foot office complex and souvenir store is scheduled to be constructed at the site of the current souvenir store and modular offices, Byrd said. One section of the existing Kulwicki grandstand in Turn 2 will also be replaced. The new grandstand will be 88 rows high -- seven rows higher than the frontstretch.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-27-2002)
- Bristol to get even bigger: The Bristol Motor Speedway will expand to nearly 160,000 permanent seats in time for next spring's race in March. At its new capacity, only Daytona International Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have more permanent seats on the circuit. An additional 13,000 seats are planned for the backstretch and every seat sold out in less than three hours. Construction hasn't even started.(Augusta Chronicle)(8-25-2002)
- Get Hitched at Bristol: Each year, many fans ask to use the Speedway as a wedding chapel during the NASCAR Winston Cup weekends, and this year officials worked out a program open to all wedding planners. More than a dozen couples likely will exchange vows at the start-finish line before the sold out Sharpie 500. "In the past, we dealt with each request individually and, frankly, discouraged people because we did not believe we could give them and their weddings the attention they deserved during a race weekend," said Jeff Byrd, president and general manager. "However, that goes against our policy to try to do whatever we can to grant fan requests, so let the wedding march begin." Speedway officials set some prerequisites. All participants must fulfill all license requirements and meet with Sullivan County's Deputy Clerk Sue Jones, who will officiate over all proceedings. And, all must have tickets to the race. "We didn't want to encourage people to get married, divorced and remarried each year just so they could get tickets to the Sharpie 500 night race," said Byrd. The mass ceremony will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 24.. Jones will perform each marriage individually.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(8-13-2002)
- BMS - Sponsor a lap, get in the pits: Fans can be in the pits with the purchase of a Sharpie 500 Lap Sponsorship at Bristol Motor Speedway. Lap sponsorships for the 2002 Sharpie 500 still are available as the July 15 deadline fast approaches. For the first time, Bristol lap sponsorships include a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race day Pit Pass (not Garage). Each lap sponsorship package also includes the lap sponsor's name printed in the race weekend souvenir program, the sponsor's 20-words-or-less message in the program as well as a copy of the souvenir program. Lap sponsorships are available to the first 500 respondents for the Sharpie 500 and a very limited number still remain. The cost of each lap sponsorship is $500. Again, the deadline for purchasing a lap sponsorship for the Sharpie 500 is Monday, July 15. To purchase a lap sponsorship, call the BMS ticket office at 423/764-1161. Specific laps are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. MasterCard, Visa or Discover cards accepted.(BMS PR)(6-30-2002)
- Bristol Cleaning Up: Jeff Byrd, vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, says a storm that hit the track and surrounding area Wednesday night left between $50,000 and $75,000 in damage. "We didn't have any broken glass but lost a lot of other stuff," says Wayne Estes, director of communications and events. "Nine air conditioning units on the suite levels were moved off their platforms. The large B letter on the outside of the elevator was blown off and over the Richard Petty Grandstand ... It landed about a quarter of a mile away in one of the parking lots."(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-3-2002)
- Food City extends: Food City announced that it has extended its agreement to sponsor the spring Cup race at Bristol for another five years.(Knoxville News)(3-22-2002)
- 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)
- 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.(ThatsRacin.com)(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)
- ChannelLock to sponsor Bristol: The spring BGN race at Bristol will be sponsored by Channellock which will take over as the new sponsor of the spring BGN event, which will be rennamed the Channellock 250.(BMS Site)(12-6-2001)
- Bristol Bristol Motor Speedway is currently presenting its fifth season of “Fantasy In Lights Powered by TVA.” Keeping true to tradition, this year’s edition of Fantasy In Lights brings more brilliant lights, additional displays and changes to the drive-through route that wraps around both Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway. This year’s route covers 4.3 miles and ends in the Speedway’s infield, home of this year’s expanded Christmas Village, where Santa will be waiting. Christmas Village visitors can roast marshmallows over a wood-burning fire and enjoy hot chocolate while shopping displays of crafts, toys and souvenirs. More than 100 light displays featuring more than 1 million lights highlight this year’s show. An all-new NASCAR pit-stop light display headlines the new features to Fantasy In Lights. Returning favorites include the Magical Tunnel of Illumination and a 100-foot tall “tree” in the BMS infield streaming down from the scoring tower. For more info see the Racing Charities page(12-4-2001)
- No More Dirt at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway confirmed Tuesday that it will not be covering its .533-mile 36-degree banked oval with dirt next season, after two years of hosting the Pennzoil World of Outlaws and the United Dirt Track Racing Association. Bristol director of communications Wayne Estes confirmed that the wear and tear of putting on and taking off the layers of dirt, and the added expense of cleaning up after the dirt shows, were taking a toll on the facility(SpeedVision)(10-10-2001)
- Bristol Tunnel: Construction began Sept. 10 on a $400,000 infield pedestrian tunnel at Bristol Motor Speedway. The 8-foot-tall, 9-foot-wide tunnel will pass under turn three, opening near a television camera platform in the infield and exiting under the Darrell Waltrip grandstand at the turn-three crossover gate. The project is expected to take six weeks to complete, and will also include a wider crossover gate that will allow transporters easier access to the infield.(Wisnton Cup Scene - need sub to read)(9-20-2001)
- Sad News - One dies at Bristol UPDATE: An out-of-town race-goer was electrocuted Sunday morning while taking down a flagpole at a campground near Bristol Motor Speedway. The electric shock caused an explosion that reportedly was heard miles away. Two other campers suffered an electric shock as they tried to remove the 20-foot-tall pole from the soaked ground and it became entangled in power lines, police said. A man in his 40s or 50s died instantly, Bristol Tennessee Police Lt. Mike Vance said. His 16-year-old son and a woman were seriously injured and were taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center. Their conditions were not known Sunday night. The three were not identified pending notification of next of kin, police said. Vance said he believed they were from Michigan. They, and others in their party, had been camping at 149 Old Thomas Bridge Road, the lieutenant said. It was not raining at the time, but Vance said the ground was soaked.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-27-2001)
UPDATE: An auto racing fan was electrocuted and his son and a woman were seriously injured while taking down a banner at their campsite near Bristol Motor Speedway, authorities said. Bradley McNeice, 42, of Goodrich, Mich., was killed instantly in the Sunday morning accident as he was loading his camper following the Sharpie 500 NASCAR race Saturday night. McNeice, his 16-year-old son, William McNeice, and Christina Ulman, 45, of Fair Haven, Mich., were taking down a banner on a 20-foot pole when it became entangled in power lines, police said. McNeice and his son went into cardiac arrest, according to police dispatchers. The son was upgraded Monday from critical to stable condition at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Ulman was moved to the Erlanger Burn Center in Chattanooga.(ESPN/AP)(8-27-2001)
- 2002 Bristol Date: the Bristol Motor Speedway site is listing the 1st 2002 Bristol race as March 24, 2002, see my Tentative 2002 Winston Cup Schedule, am adding dates as columns, readers and sites post 2002 dates and build the schedule for 2002(7-16-2001)
- Bristol August Cup Sponsor: Sanford of North America will sponsor the Winston Cup August race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It'll be called the "Sharpie® 500". TBS will televise the race Saturday night, August 25, 2001. Although NASCAR drivers use Sharpie® markers almost every time they sign autographs, sponsorship of the "Sharpie® 500" is Sanford's first official entry into motorsports. Sanford produces and sells high value writing instruments, mechanical pencils, permanent markers, highlighters, pens, professional art products, sharpeners, presentation products, and children's writing and art products. Brand names include Sharpie®, Papermate, Accent, Expo, Vis-A-Vis, uni-ball, Colorific. Parker and Waterman. Sanford's parent company is Newell Rubbermaid(BMS Site)(1-24-2001)
- New Bristol Sponsor: Bristol Motor Speedway season ticket packages and spring race tickets will be mailed out to ticket holders prior to the end of February. A sponsorship announcement regarding the August night race has prompted rescheduling of ticket printing(BIS Site)(1-8-2001)
- Bristol Christmas LAST DAY: Fantasy In Lights, the Tri-Cities' newest holiday tradition is now open, and the holiday season officially is under way. The Speedway Children's Charities fund-raiser runs every night through January 6, 2001 from 6:00-10:00pm/et at Bristol Motor Speedway, also info at :Fantasy in Lights(11-26-2000/1-6-2001)
- Bristol, no new pit road but a tunnel: There likely will be no changes in the pit road situation at Bristol Motor Speedway in the near future, Jeff Byrd, Vice President and General Manager of BMS, said Monday that the pit road issue is a dead one for now. BMS is the lone facility hosting NASCAR Winston Cup Series events which has pit roads on the front and backstretch. Several drivers have complained that a poor qualifying effort, which results in a backstretch pit stall, erases any hopes for winning on the tight, high-banked halfmile. However, Byrd said, construction crews will begin test boring during the track’s down time with the hopes of installing a pedestrian tunnel in the third turn by next spring. Currently, teams and track personnel enter through the turn three gate. During action on the track, there is no way to exit or enter the infield(Kingsport Times News)(9-19-2000)
- Bristol...more seats: Bristol Motor Speedway officials have decided to expand seating at the Bristol Motor Speedway, half-mile track, site of two Winston Cup races every year, from 147,000 to 160,000 by spring 2002. Plans call for the demolition of grandstands along the track's backstretch and in a portion of the turn two grandstand. Those stands will be replaced with bigger, taller seating areas that will be on the same level as the 12,000 high-rise seats added in 1999. The new seats, to be added after the August night race next year, probably will be the final ones built at the speedway(Greenville News)(9-16-2000)
- Bristol/Richmond changes? hearing that NASCAR may cut back on the Bristol and/or Richmond night-race schedules in 2001. Supposedly they are looking at one round of qualifying instead of two. A morning practice session on Friday, one round of qualifying, then a Happy Hour, followed by the BGN race that night. Then the gates wouldn't open Saturday until around 3:00pm with a 7:30 start. No practice or qualifying at all on Saturday. Supposedly teams are in favor of it(8-27-2000)
- Dirt back to Bristol: The dirt will be making a reappearance in the summer of 2001 at Bristol, with World of Outlaws and Hav-A-Tampa series races on the first weekend in June, unless there are changes in NASCAR’s schedules, which the track doesn’t expect.(SpeedVision)(8-23-2000)
- Bristol Story: from the Kingsport Times-News - At Bristol Motor Speedway, dirt is the word by Kenny Bruce(5-30-2000)
- New Bristol Speed Record: WoO regular Sammy Swindell, timed at nearly 155-mph in the straightaway, easily surpassed the all-time BMS track record with an unofficial lap of 13.62 seconds for an average of 141-mph. The previous BMS NASCAR mark was 15.18 seconds for 125-mph(Bristol Herald Courier) and (Kingsport Times-News)(5-26-2000)
- Cars Test the Bristol Dirt: A few dirt late models showed up at Bristol Motor Speedway Thursday night to give the new track surface the acid test in preparation for the Hav-A-Tampa race June 2-3. See photos and the full story at SpeedVision by Laura Kreuzer(5-21-2000)
- BMS Pitroad Update: Despite media reports to the contrary. NASCAR still has not made a decision about the future of one pitlane at Bristol Motor Speedway. BMS director of communication, Wayne Estes says NASCAR has indicated a desire for one pit lane. But so far, they have not presented a workable plan to the track. After March 26th's race, a number of drivers including race winner Rusty Wallace made it clear that they do not want any change at Bristol privately, BMS officials would prefer that NASCAR hold off any decision until next year because the track has other changes to make this summer. In June BMS will host the Hav-A-Tampa series and the World of Outlaws and BMS will be converted to one huge dirt track, that will take several weeks to do, and it will take several weeks to get things cleaned up for the August race(WCYB News Center 5)(4-5-2000)
- Bristol Record: Racing events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend broke all attendance records in the 40-year history of the track, according to officials of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.(AutoChannel)(3-28-2000)
- Bristol Pit Road: Bristol will follow NASCAR-mandated form and construct a single pit road by the 2000 fall night race in August. Bristol is the last track on the circuit with front and back pits(SpeedVision)(3-25-2000)
- Bristol Pit Road Story: Single pit road in the works for Bristol Motor Speedway by Kenny Bruce(Times-News)(3-7-2000)
- Bristol Pole Day: Local businesses are being encouraged to join the party at Bristol Motor Speedway’s AmSouth Bank and First American Pole Day on March 24. This year’s Pole Day commemorative ticket honors Ned and Dale Jarrett, the only father and son to record NASCAR Winston Cup championships and Bristol victories. See full story at: Kingsport News-Times(3-2-2000)
- Bristol - One Pit Road? Bristol Motor Speedway remains the only track with pits on the frontstretch and backstretch. Track officials are hoping to go through this year before making a change, but NASCAR officials have seen a plan for one pit road at the track. No changes will be made before the March 26 Food City 500(Roanoke Times)(2-28-2000)
- Speedway Motorsports: NASCAR isn't the only racing entity seeking to expand their media horizons. Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc. announced today the purchase of Racing Country USA, a nationally syndicated radio show from Morris International. Founded in 1990 as NASCAR Country, Racing Country USA is a two-hour program reaching over 300 affiliates nationwide. The format includes country music, NASCAR-related features and interviews with top personalities from both venues(Speedway Illustrated)(2-18-2000)
- Bristol being Sued: Bristol Motor Speedway is being sued for $65 million by the former owner, Larry Carrier, who claims workers denied his family access to his leased property and even used a chemical spray to keep his son away(That's Racin'/AP)(2-12-2000)
- DW to be Honored at BMS: Seven-time Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt and reigning champion Dale Jarrett headline the list of stars who will pay tribute to Darrell Waltrip at the March 24 "Finishing 1st For Kids" Children of Bristol charity benefit. Waltrip, Bristol’s all-time leading winner, is honoree for the fifth-annual dinner that benefits Bristol’s Boys and Girls Club; Girls, Inc.; and Speedway Children’s Charities. The benefit has raised more than $700,000 for local children in its first four years(Bristol Motor Speedway Site)(2-9-2000)
- Bristol Tops: A NASCAR Online poll of more than 45,000 fans rated Bristol Motor Speedway’s August night race as the event they would choose to attend if they could attend just one in 2000. The GoRacing.com 500 drew the ballots of 39.3 percent of the 45,758 respondents, followed by the Daytona 500 (28.7 percent), Coca-Cola 600 (11.2), Brickyard 400 (7.2), Pepsi 400 at Daytona (5.9) and Southern 500 (3).(Gaston Gazette)(2-6-2000)
- Scalpers: Bristol Tennessee City Council members passed a resolution Tuesday night(2/1) that will make it illegal to sell tickets for more than face value. The council took action because scalpers create traffic problems and cheat race fans with sales of counterfeit tickets(BMS Site)(2-3-2000)
- Bristol Tix to honor Jarretts: The 2000 AmSouth Bank and First American Pole Day commemorative ticket will honor the achievements of Ned and Dale Jarrett, the only father-son combination to win NASCAR Winston Cup Championships and victories at Bristol Motor Speedway. AmSouth Bank and First American Pole Day opens the Food City 500/Cheez-It 250 weekend on Friday, March 24. ‘‘Gentlemen Jarrett,’’ the fourth in a series of commemorative AmSouth Bank and First American Pole Day tickets, features portraits of both men and photos of their championship cars on a patriotic background. The ‘‘Gentlemen Jarrett’’ commemorative tickets are on sale now at the BMS Ticket Office, 423/764-1161, and will be ready for delivery on February 1. Complimentary tickets also will be available through a special AmSouth Bank and First American promotion in East Tennessee(Times-News and the Bristol Motor Speedway Site)(1-25-2000)
- Insurance and Speedways UPDATE: Nationwide Insurance will sponsor a safety program at tracks owned by Speedway Motorsports. The company will make a $1,000 donation to Speedway Children's Charities in the name of a driver who most notably demonstrates safety during a race. It will provide fan assistance during races and a booth so pictures of children can be taken to assist in identification in case they become lost(St Peterburg Times)(1-12-2000) -- UPDATE: Some more info on the Nationswide sponsorship at the six Speedway Motorsports tracks. It includes: 1.) Sponsorship of the safety vehicles used at those six tracks (including new uniforms for the personnel), 2.) Nationwide Fan Assistance patrol, (10 golf carts at each track to help with medical transports, and serve as roving information booths answering questions, giving directions, etc.), 3.) "Safe Driving Move of the Race", (reminiscent
of the Raybestos break of the race) and finally 4.) the child registration booth already mentioned. This is tied into the Nat'l Center for Missing and Exploited children. Nationwide will also have a hospitality tent at each track and a program to give away 50 tickets per race by the Nationwide State Management team for each home state for the track(1-14-2000)
- Bristol a Success: Fantasy In Lights, a Bristol holiday tradition that closed its third season Saturday night, enjoyed its most successful season yet. Fantasy In Lights, a drive-through holiday light extravaganza at Bristol Motor Speedway, benefits Tri-Cities children through Speedway Children’s Charities(BMS Site)(1-12-2000)
- Bristol and goRacing: Bristol Motor Speedway and Action Performance Companies, Inc., announced that motorsports' goracing.com website will sponsor the Bristol night race for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and will be known as the goracing.com 500. An exclusive five-year agreement grants goracing.com, inc., a subsidiary of Action Performance Companies, Inc., title sponsorship rights to BMS’s famous annual summertime night race. The inaugural goracing.com 500 will be held on August 26, 2000 and the March Busch Series Race will be known as the 'Cheez-It 250' in Year 2000(Bristol Motorspeedway Site)(11-25-1999)
- Bristol and Dirt? YEP UPDATE 2: Hearing that Bristol Motor Speedway will put down dirt and run a World of Outlaws(WoO) event there in 2000. Supposedly Bruton Smith will make the announcement on Wednesday. On the Bristol Motor Speedway Site it reads: "Stay Tuned! Big News Is Coming Wednesday We Will Post A Special Announcement Very Soon" and under What's New, they already have the announcment posted: BMS To Become a Dirt Track To Host Outlaws, Hav-A-Tampa(11-2-1999) -- UPDATE 2: and an additional story from Racer Magazine(11-3-1999)
- Bristol Scalper Story: Bruton Smith’s new grandstand addition at Bristol Motor Speedway is intended to increase opportunities for race fans – not ticket scalpers. Ticketing Director Evelyn Hicks and Ticket Manager Gail Hulse aggressively pursue those who purchase tickets to Bristol for the sole purpose of reselling their tickets to make a profit at the expense of race fans. A sign in front of the Ticket Office and copy on the back of the year 2000 tickets warn that BMS will pull tickets from scalpers. One of the new Kulwicki Tower season ticket buyers from Kingsport, Tenn., did not heed the warning and put his tickets up for bid last week on the internet. Hicks notified him by letter that he would not receive his year 2000 tickets and that his credit card will be credited for the purchase amount. He will not receive the opportunity to purchase tickets for year 2000 or beyond. See the rest of the story at the Bristol Motor Speedway Site(9-21-1999)
- Short Track Wins UPDATE: Nine different drivers win the last nine short-track races: Dale Jarrett, John Andretti, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte, Bobby Hamilton and Jeff Gordon(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE Make it Ten drivers, add Dale Earnhardt to the mix(8-29-1999)
- Worst to First: Dale Earnhardt's win at Bristol was the lowest starting position(26th) to win at Bristol in it's history(8-29-1999)
- Bristol TV: Bristol Motor Speedway will have an additional 12,000 seats on sale at the Bristol dragstrip (behind the speedway), and people can sit there and watch the race on a big-screen TV for the Auguest nigh race(PitNow)(6-28-1999)
- Back stretch wins: Only two drivers in the history of Bristol has ever won a race after pitting on the backstretch. Davey Allison in 1990 and Dale Earnhardt, in 1994(NOL Notes) Whoops, Dale Earnhardt was the Past Champ in 1994 and had the luxury of choosing the first pit stall, so I doubt they chose a back stretch pit stall. NOTE: the past champ no longer has this luxary(4-10-1999)
- Bristol and Football: There will not be a Tennessee vs Virginia Tech(not UVA) football game any time soon at the Bristol Motor Speedway, says CBS' Sportline. Bristol GM Jeff Byrd was trying to get those two teams to come to his track for a major game that would seat 150,000. But, the colleges prefer to hold those games in their own stadiums and not share any revenue with another organization or company. Byrd is under a lot of pressure to give Speedway Motorsports Inc., the public company that owns Bristol, shareholder value. Bristol and the other SMI tracks need more events beyond the NASCAR, IRL and AMA events to fill up the empty weekends(TV Times)(3-8-1999)
- Track Sponsor? Lowe's wasn't the first company approached about sponsoring a Speedway Motorsports Inc.-owned track. Three years ago, Exide Batteries, which sponsors Jeff Burton's Winston Cup car and a race at Richmond International Raceway, received a proposal to put its name on the Bristol Motor Speedway. The company did n't see the value in it(Times-Dispatch)(3-7-1999)
- Football at Bristol?? Get a load of this story - Bristol Motor Speedway is
hoping to host a University of Tennessee football game soon, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. The track wants to set a college football attendance record, drawing as many as 150,000 -- and generating $8 million in ticket revenue. Humpy Wheeler, president at track owner Speedway Motorsports, says "there's no telling whether it will happen, but we'd love to do it." UT officials will do it if a road opponent agrees. See the story in the The Business Journal of Charlotte, it's a tidbit of a bunch of stories, look halfway down the page(thanks Gordonline)(12-17-98)
- Bristol, now completely ringed by high-rise seats and suite, is like a giant solar collector, reflecting heat off the aluminum bleachers and funneling it to the infield. Heat in the pits and garages was a primary complaint here this weekend.(SpeedNet), I also heard many folks in the lower parts of the stands and infield got sick from the fumes.(8-24-98)
- Food City announced Thursday that it had extended the sponsorship of Bristol Motor Speedway's spring Cup race, the Food City 500, through the year 2002. Food City began its sponsorship of the Bristol race in 1992.(NASCAR Online)(8-20-98)
- No driver has ever won at Bristol from 24th or further starting spot.(ESPN2 Qualifying), Dale Earnhardt won from 24th in the 1994 spring/day race. In 75 Winston Cup races at Bristol, 17 have come from the pole, 12 from the outside pole. 66 races have been won from a starting position of 10th or better.(research by me), Earnhardt is the last driver to win the Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Bristol and championship in the same year, in 1987.(8-21-98)
- I hear a rumor that Bristol Motor Speedway will have one pitroad next spring with the entrance near turn three?(Robman), other new with Bristol has the front and back stretch being switched so more suites can be added and the roof is still being considered for the track(4-1-98)
- Bristol Motor Speedway has two pits roads: 21 pit stalls on the front stretch and 21 on the back stretch(1 must be shared)(3-23-98)
- Other things that may be in place for the Food City 500 at Bristol or be completed soon: Four jumbotrons(huge TV's), one each general direction. More luxury boxes and VIP section in turn 1 (which to my knowledge is now done) and creating a tunnel and eliminating the two gates in 2 & 3.(3-23-98)
- Not really NASCAR news but: It was announced Tuesday that later this year Bristol
Dragway, owned by Bruton Smith, will be leveled and a new multi-million dollar facility will be built in time for an NHRA event in `99. The track will include 30,000 seats and luxary skyboxes. It is projected to take six to nine months to complete. According to BMS president Jeff Byrd, the event next will be a "major event, not a national event," something like the Big Bud Shootout, Winston Invitational, or the Pro Stock Super Bowl.(2-19-98)
- I hear Bristol Motor Speedway has torn down their old infield care center and is replacing it with a new, state-of-the-art facility. It will not only have the emergency care facility, but it will have exercise equipment, a whirlpool, and physical therapists and chiropractors staffing it. Supposed to be unveiled before the race there in April(2-11-98)
- 'Season tickets for Bristol Motor Speedway's four featured events in 1998 now are available. For $300, you get a luxury seat in the new Terrace section at the top of the front straightaway grandstand. For $200, you get a seat in the aluminum grandstand. The tickets will be available this week at NASCAR's visit to Charlotte, and will grant entry into the Busch Series and Winston Cup stops in March and August."(GVA) Also, 15,000 seats go on sale today on front stretch, 9000 will be stadium type seats with cup holders. These will be the top rows down the front stretch continuing into the first turn. Price $300 bucks each for both WC and Busch races. Buy 6 and you get reserved parking. Also will have special concession stands and offer things not available elsewhere at the track such as elevators to terrace seats same as for the sky boxes. For the first time, all Busch seats will be reserved. All of the buildings on the front stretch and the temp seats in first turn have been removed. The concrete stand is coming out next.(9-30-97)
- "Bruton Smith has been upstaged the last several weeks by Bill France and Roger Penske in the land rush to buy and build race tracks. But sources close to Smith say he is promising 'something big' in the near future . . . which could come this week when the stock-car tour hits Bristol. One thing Smith could announce at Bristol -- construction of an infield tunnel. The biggest thing Smith could possibly announce: a deal for a New York City area race track. Given France's current string of PR victories, Smith would need something of that magnitude to catch back up"(JournalNow)(8-17-97)
- Following the Goody's Headache Powders 500 at Bristol in August, the front straightaway grandstand will be demolished and they will build an all-new Allison Family Grandstand. When complete there will be 131,000 permanent seats in the grandstands and skyboxes(WC Scene 7-5-97)
- As reported here back in November 1996, I hear again that Bristol will abandon the concert surface after this race and go back to asphalt and Richmond will get two night races in 1998 and a later Spring date(4-10-97)
- News on improvements at Bristol, adding seats, improving and replacing walls, looking into replacing the concrete surface and still looking into the roof/dome(1996)
- Bristol possibly going back to asphalt and might get a DOME?(1996)