Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fast Track Facts: Richmond International Raceway

credit: NASCAR Media
Richmond International Raceway in Virginia is one of NASCAR’s most important tracks – it has the enviable task of hosting the final “regular season” race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season each year. Learn more about “America’s Premier Short Track” in this week’s Fast Track Facts.
  • Richmond International Raceway opened in 1946 as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, home to a 0.5-mile dirt track. It hosted the first NASCAR Grand National Division race in April 1953, won by Lee Petty. The track became an asphalt oval for the Sept. 1968 race, which was won by Richard Petty.
  • During the span from 1955-1968, the track also went by the names Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds (1955-1963) and Virginia State Fairgrounds (1964-1968). From 1969-1988, the track was known as Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. In addition to operating under different names, the track went through many different lengths – from a 0.5-mile dirt track, it became a 0.625-mile asphalt track for the second race of 1968; for the next race in spring 1969, it was a 0.5-mile asphalt oval, then expanded to a 0.542-mile asphalt oval, which it remained until 1988.
  • Between the spring and fall races in 1988, the track was reconfigured to its current layout: a 0.75-mile D-shaped oval. The last Cup Series race as a 0.542-mile oval was won by Neil Bonnett; the first race as a 0.75-mile oval was won by another member of the “Alabama Gang,” Davey Allison. Lights were added to the track, known as RIR since 1989, for the fall race in 1991.
  • Richard Petty holds the RIR marks for the most wins (13), most top five finishes (34), most top 10 finishes (41) and most starts (63), and is tied with Bobby Allison for most poles (eight). Jeff Gordon holds the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying record (20.674 seconds/130.599 mph), set back in Sept. 2013.
  • RIR currently hosts two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and two Xfinity Series races each year, plus one K&N Pro Series East race. It has previously hosted the Camping World Truck Series, the Whelen Modified Tour, the International Race of Champions (IROC), the IndyCar Series and USAC sprint cars.
  • RIR is part of the Richmond Raceway Complex, a 1,000-acre multipurpose facility which features numerous additional buildings. Facilities include five large show buildings, the Midway area, the Horticulture Garden, a 6,000-seat amphitheater and a 1,000-seat covered dirt-floor arena.
  • Find out more about Richmond International Raceway at www.rir.com.



Right Sides Only: Notes from the Food City 500 Winning Crew Chief, Chad Knaus

by Stacey Owens

What do you get when you cross an off-weekend with a rain delay and a new track surface? In this case, you get the 82nd win from Jimmie Johnson.

Crew chief Chad Knaus talked about the team's win in Texas followed by the week of rest and how those elements combined to make this weekend fun.

"It was a fantastic weekend. It was great. We had a lot of fun. After securing a win last week, it obviously takes a huge load off of your shoulders, and being able to come in here this week confident, relaxed, we had a weekend off, we really came in showing that the track was going to be significantly different with the way they applied the traction compound on the bottom of the racetrack, and we knew we were going to be chasing it, so coming in here with a preconceived idea of what it was that we were going to need to have on the race car was really not what we needed to do, and we didn't," Knaus said.

The weather wreaked havoc on every team and made it difficult to make decisions as teams unloaded on Friday afternoon. The weather wasn't the only culprit in throwing a wrench into crew chiefs' plans, though. The track surface at Bristol Motor Speedway is new. Not new as in just repaved, like Texas, but new as in having had a sticky substance called VHT applied to the racing groove.

So, how did Knaus and Johnson approach the weekend?
           
"We had a very open approach. Jimmie had an open approach. He had to adjust and change some things that he was doing. We had to change the way that we were setting up the race car, and man, Saturday afternoon it was really nice to see what we had going on, so it was a lot of fun. We had a great time. It was a great weekend. I think, again, hats off to the -- it doesn't always work, but man, this place, they do everything they can to try to put on a fantastic show for the fans, and they did it today. That was a fun race to watch and a fun race to take part in," Knaus explained.

Knaus said that the key to making adjustments relative to the track surface was that every other crew chief was in the same situation.

"I think what helped us the most this weekend is that everybody else was lost. I don't know if that makes sense or not. But you didn't have a standout at our company that was maybe the car that you needed to pay attention to that was really fast, so you kind of look at their notes and look at what it is that they do. We just stepped back, there was a lot of frustration from Jimmie, honestly, after midway through the first practice session... And we were able to just be like, look, let's just do what conceptually we think is correct, and we threw a lot of the convention away from it that we had done in the past and we had seen in the past work, and just made some things happen.
           
"Now, the thing that's difficult is he [Johnson] drives a race car way different than other people do, and what he likes to feel in the race car is significantly different than what a lot of other drivers like to have. The track surface being the way that it was I think is exactly what we needed because everybody was searching, people were sliding all over the racetrack, they were complaining and nobody was really in a comfortable state of mind, and that's when I think the 48 team excels is when there's chaos. I think between Jimmie's experience, his driving ability and what we can do with the race car, that's what we excel," Knaus explained.

Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs

Does Knaus alter his strategy based on what his driver can do behind the wheel? Yes. He talked about the impact that Johnson's ability and his communication about the car's performance have on his decision-making.

"It's huge. The driver inputs in these race cars are -- the box that we operate in now is so tight and narrow that the inputs that the drivers use are what change the pitch, the heave, the roll, the longitudinal, lateral movement of the race car. What they do is really key. Jimmie uses all of his tools very, very well. He drives with feel. He's not a guy that says, 'Okay, this is the fastest line, and that's the way I'm going to get around the racetrack.' I've tried for years to get him to drive like that, and he won't do it. He's a driver that wants to adjust, manipulate the car with his inputs, and that's great. That's what makes him such a fantastic driver. So paying attention to what he says is a very, very important part of getting the most out of your race car.

           
"Again, that's why coming in here this weekend with an open mind, even though frustration did come in a little bit, that's what allowed us to get the car as what it was today, and I think our car was great.  I saw him be able to do some things with the race car that we haven't been able to do with our cars here in the past. Not just that it was fast but the way he was able to drive it, and all that was a direct result of what he was giving us for input," Knaus said.

When it comes down to it, the crew chief can only do so much. When asked about why the No. 48 was ultimately able to win, Knaus pointed to a number of reasons.

"You know, there were so many contributing factors. We had a fast race car. The car was solid.  Jimmie did a great job. Our pit crew, I think, today really helped us a lot. We were able to gain positions, maintain positions on pit road, get us into spots where we were able to actually restart up towards the front, and I think we saw the comers and goers really happen on restarts the most. So not that we always had the preferred line on a restart, but at least we were close enough to the front that when something bad happened, we didn't fall back. So the pit crew kept us in the game and allowed Jimmie to do what it was that he needed to do on the track. So I think that was one of the big, big factors where we were today," Knaus explained.

Knaus may not have taken much credit for the win, but Johnson was quick to extol the virtues of his crew chief.

"Chad did a great job of coaching me up and seeing through some of my animated descriptions and my frustration and really controlled the group. It didn't let my emotions affect his thought process, and he did a great job of calming me down and saying, look, this is changing, this is the situation, let's just keep working on it, we'll get it, we'll get it, and he really -- from an emotional standpoint and kind of mindset standpoint kept the wheels on the train, or I guess the train on the tracks," Johnson said.

With consecutive wins this season, it looks like the train isn't just staying on the tracks; it's left the station. Can anyone else catch them?

Find out as our coverage continues next weekend at Richmond International Raceway, starting with Travel Tips for all the information you'll need to plan a trip to the Virginia track.


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 Stacey Owens lives just outside Music City USA. She's always wanted to be a NASCAR writer, so working as a columnist and support editor for Skirts and Scuffs allows her to live that dream every single weekend.
    The sole NASCAR enthusiast in her home, she's hopeful that one of her three daughters might also harbor an appreciation for NASCAR, but it isn't looking good so far.
    This self-admitted grammar nerd also loves country music, though she can't carry a tune; Kentucky basketball, even though at 6' tall, she's never played a day in her life; and her husband who's supportive of her NASCAR obsession and tunes in with her every week... even if it's just to watch the flyover.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Travel Tips: Richmond International Raceway – April 28-30, 2017

credit: NASCAR Media
Richmond International Raceway in Virginia hosts the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series this weekend, Friday through Sunday, April 28-30, for the Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 and the Xfinity Series ToyotaCare 250.

The Track Takeover returns to RIR on Sunday, April 30 from 10 a.m.-noon ET. All ticket holders get exclusive access to the track just hours before the green flag, where they’ll get to sign their names to the start/finish line and share an experience with driver Austin Dillon. Find out more here.

Key on-track times:

Friday, April 28
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice – 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series practice – 1 and 3 p.m. ET
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying – 4:45 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 29 –
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice – 9 and 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series qualifying – 10:05 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series ToyotaCare 250 – 1 p.m. ET
Sunday, April 30 –
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 – 2 p.m. ET
A complete schedule of events at the track is available here.
 
Check out the “Worry Less” Fan Guide here, and get the track’s grandstand guidelines here.

For updated information for race weekend and to purchase tickets visit http://www.rir.com/

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Caption This: Clint Bowyer & Michael Annett

Welcome to Caption This!

Each Saturday, we’ll post a comical NASCAR photo taken by a Skirts and Scuffs photographer. You have until Monday night to leave us a funny caption in the comments. Your goal is to make us laugh out loud.

We’ll publish the winning caption on Wednesday.

All of the weekly winners’ names will be tossed into a hat for a drawing, and one will win a prize package of racing swag at the end of the season. It could be you!

Enjoy this week’s photo of Clint Bowyer and Michael Annett, which was captured by our Lisa Janine Cloud last season.


Here are the rules:
* Leave your photo caption in the comment section below by Monday at midnight.
* Include your name and twitter handle.
* Only one entry per person for each photo.
* If you win multiple times during the season, you get an entry in the prize drawing for each win.
* Anonymous posts & entries without a twitter handle are not eligible to win.

Keep in mind that we offer Caption This in the spirit of fun. Any nasty, vulgar or otherwise offensive entries will be disqualified and removed at the discretion of Skirts and Scuffs.

So bring on your funnies! Then pop in again on Wednesday to read the winning caption.
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Weathering It All: Five Questions for Bristol

Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images
By Kristen Schneider

It seems like we don’t talk about Bristol Motor Speedway anymore.

That's mostly due to the horrible Tennessee weather that throws the weekend schedule for a loop – but there are some interesting storylines headed into Thunder Valley, like the repave and how the series will wring out the obstacles and put on two races.

Maybe it’s just my thought process. If you’re like me (a young woman who’s finishing up her third year of college and taming a quarter-life crisis), you might be too busy to keep up with everything going on. NASCAR chatter falls to the wayside with finals on the horizon.

Are you in the same boat? That’s why Five Questions is here to talk about the CMS date move, Justin Allgaier, and some more tidbits to keep in mind as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series fight off the rain at Bristol.

Why can’t fans get behind the Charlotte move? The world almost collapsed this week when NASCAR announced some start time changes to some fall races. Once of them was more noteworthy than the others; the October Charlotte Motor Speedway race will now be on Sunday. The "lone night race of the playoffs" is no more. Weather pushed the race to Sunday the past two years, and now it’s a permanent change. The response was mixed in the usual fashion – drivers and industry members love the move, and many fans dislike it. Daytime racing at Charlotte is better when compared to its nighttime equivalent, and the past two years support that claim. It’s hard to say this isn’t a good idea – so why are fans screaming that it isn’t? The change goes into effect this fall, which causes an issue for current ticket holders. People base vacations around these dates at least a year in advance. That seems to be the biggest grievance so far, and it’s a legitimate one. However, that doesn’t make the overall concept a bad move. Once October rolls around, fans will probably see the light.

Are back-to-back Dash 4 Cash wins in Allgaier’s future? After two 30th-place finishes to kick off the season, JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier redeemed himself with a victory at Phoenix International Raceway. That win also earned him the first of four Dash 4 Cash payouts. A cool $100,000 is nice – but having two big checks is even better. His chances of doubling his bonus are high since the series is at Bristol; one win, five top-fives, and seven top-10s at BMS make him one to watch this weekend. He doesn’t have to win to get the bonus, but that would sweeten the pot. It’s hard to guess what he and his team brought to Thunder Valley (due to limited practice time). However, Allgaier’s record at Bristol signals a shot at another bonus.

With Blaney’s growth and competitiveness, are the times a-changing? One of the bigger stories of 2017 is Ryan Blaney’s surge to the front. He and the Wood Brothers Racing group put together strong runs but can’t clinch the finishes that reflect their progress. We all knew Blaney was talented before this year; his clean racing style and relationship with Team Penske prove he’s mature and capable. His presence at the front not only tells me he’s close to a win, but it also says that WBR is getting a lot better. Their program is stronger than ever. Throughout this season, we’ll see Blaney emerge as one of the ones to watch for years to come – especially with his talent and youth.

Who’s the next big name to test the NASCAR waters? Big things are happening in the IndyCar world, with F1 driver Fernando Alonso signing to run the Indianapolis 500 next month. This has the NASCAR world buzzing. The NASCAR family is left to wonder if bigger names would participate in the Daytona 500, and if so – who? The obvious choice is Lewis Hamilton, who has expressed interest in NASCAR’s biggest event. Also, the draw would be incredible. I wanted to include others who would jump in a stockcar, but Hamilton seems like the perfect fit. Let’s make it happen.

Do you have a few dollars to spare? It’s somewhat cliché to call the NASCAR community a "family," but we only say it so much because it’s accurate. The first time I ever met Sam Bass was at Darlington Raceway last fall, and he pulled me into the biggest hug as if we were life-long friends. Everyone in the NASCAR realm has a similar story. That’s just the person he is – friendly, kind, and always happy. Sam’s going through a rough battle with various health issues right now, and he needs a kidney transplant. However, you probably wouldn't know it if the tweets of support weren't abundant; Sam's a selfless man who weathers adversity well. It's admirable. If you can donate a few dollars, use this link to help Sam out. He also needs prayers and positive thoughts. Please give whatever you can – because people like Sam Bass are rare.

Friday, April 21, 2017

TV Schedule: April 21-23

Bristol Motor Speedway. Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

By Rebecca Kivak

NASCAR heads to the Last Great Coliseum - Bristol Motor Speedway. Get ready for some beatin' and bangin' as the Monster Energy Cup and XFINITY Series converge on the concrete bullring.

The following is a handy guide to TV coverage and events at Bristol. Friday morning's rain has affected the day's schedule, with Cup qualifying being canceled.

All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, April 21:
2 p.m. XFINITY Series final practice, FS1
3 p.m. Monster Energy Cup Series Practice, FS1

Saturday, April 22:
8:30 a.m. Monster Energy Cup Series practice, FS1
9:30 a.m. XFINITY Qualifying, FS1
11 a.m. Monster Energy Cup Series final practice, FS1
12:30 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay: XFINITY Bristol, FS1
1 p.m. XFINITY Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300, FS1

Sunday, April 23:
12:30 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:30 p.m. Monster Energy Cup Series Pre-Race Show, FOX
2 p.m. Monster Energy Cup Series: Food City 500, FOX
9 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

Thursday, April 20, 2017

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Food City 500 at Bristol

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 3: Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman
All with 2: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne

By Track
Joey Logano - 5
All with 4: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
All with 3: Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth

Recent Pole Winners: 
2016 Carl Edwards
2015 Matt Kenseth

Last Year's Race Winner: Carl Edwards

The Likely Suspects: Think wild and the powerfully patient this week when doing your picks. These drivers are on my radar: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is a two-way tie between the oh-so-patient Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. My next picks are Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Chase Elliott. I will complete my team with Ty Dillon and Matt DiBenedetto

My Final Four: Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon

Points to Ponder:
  • Roger Penske leads the series among active car owners with the most wins at Bristol with 12.
  • Eight different manufacturers have won in the MENCS at Bristol; led by Chevrolet with 43 victories; followed by Ford (36), Toyota (9), Dodge (8), Pontiac (8), Buick (4), Plymouth (3) and Oldsmobile (1).
  • The race winner has started from the pole 24 times (21.6%) - the most productive starting position.
  • 89 of the 112 (79.4%) MENCS races have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Joey Logano leads all active MENCS drivers in average starting position at Bristol with a 7.760.
  • Joey Logano (7.760) and Chase Elliott (9.500) are the only two active drivers with an average starting position inside the top 10.
  • Paul Menard (19 starts) leads the series in starts with the fewest DNFs (0) at Bristol.
  • Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers with three poles each at Bristol.
  • Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch each have five wins, the most among active drivers at Bristol.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Bristol with five; followed by Kyle Busch with three.
  • Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in top-three finishes at Bristol with 8 each.   
  • Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers in top-five finishes at Bristol with 13; followed by Kevin Harvick with 11.
  • Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes with 20; followed by Jimmie Johnson (17).
Remember if you're playing Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, your pick deadline is Friday, April 21 at 5 a.m. EDT.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Faith on the Frontstretch: Drained and Dehydrated, “Superman” Still Wins the Race

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images    
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” ~ Hebrews 12:1b

Watching Jimmie Johnson in Victory Lane at Texas was a little scary, considering how hot and dehydrated he was after his in-car drink system failed. As he leaned back against the car to talk on camera, I prayed someone would give him another bottle of Gatorade or get him to the infield care center.

“I guess we had a caution Lap 3 or something, and I pointed out to my guys that my drink system wasn't working, so I just didn't have any fluids,” Johnson said. “ Stage 1 and 2, they handed me a small bottle of Gatorade, which I drank, but the 160 laps at the end or whatever it was, I just didn't have any fluids at all in the car.”

During the final laps of the race, Johnson’s heart rate was skyrocketing and his left-side muscles started cramping. And although he seemed OK during his TV interview, during a radio interview shortly after the race, Johnson’s condition deteriorated.

“I felt my back lock up and then my chest and my arms, and I was starting to cramp everywhere,” he said. “That was an immediate trip to the infield care center to get some IVs. I had three bags of IV and feeling a ton better now.”

Three liters is more liquid than most non-athletes drink in a day, so Johnson was in need of serious rehydration.

Yet despite being drained and dehydrated, “Superman” soldiered on through the long Stage 3 and won the race. Then he climbed out of the car, stood upright and talked into a microphone. Quite a feat.

When Jesus hung on the cross on the first Good Friday, He was drained and dehydrated, too. He had nothing to drink for six hours, except when some not-so-brilliant soul held up a sponge soaked with vinegar, which probably stung His cracked lips.

Imagine the excruciating pain He was feeling. There were giant nails through His hands and feet, His arm muscles pulled taut or torn. Imagine the effort it took just to breathe while His torso sagged forward. It was a horrifyingly brutal form of torture and execution.

Yet Jesus soldiered on, did His divine duty and won His race. Exhausted and bleeding, He delivered salvation for you and me. With nails separating muscle from tendon, ripping His tissues with every shift of His body, He still spoke to the thief hanging beside Him. Through the pain, He remembered His mother, Mary, and asked His disciple to care for her.

Then, with a parched tongue and throat, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). And then He willingly gave up His spirit, collapsed and died.

Jesus was the real superhero. Not only was He drained, dehydrated and deprived of dignity, He was stripped of His Father’s comforting presence.

God had to turn His back on Jesus for a brief time so that the punishment for our sins could be fully paid. But even in His loneliness and suffering, Jesus knew that joy would come in a few short days — on that first Easter morning.

Jesus didn’t go to the infield care center to be pumped full of IV fluids. He received the holy power of heaven and rose from the dead, wholly hydrated.

On Good Friday and Easter, Jesus won the race for you, me and all of humankind. Will you dedicate your race of life to Him?

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.    ~ Matthew 27:50 (NIV)
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"Faith on the Frontstretch” explores the role of faith in motorsports and runs the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of the month during the NASCAR season.

Beth Reinke has been writing Faith on the Frontstretch since 2011. She’s a registered dietitian, author and editor who loves chocolate and Sundays. Follow her on twitter at
@bbreinke.



 
 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fast Track Facts: Bristol Motor Speedway

credit: NASCAR Media
One of the most popular tracks on the NASCAR circuit is Bristol Motor Speedway, which was constructed in 1960 and opened in 1961. The 0.533-mile short track in Bristol, Tennessee seats more than 160,000 spectators in its stadium-like setting, giving everyone a great view of the action. Learn more about the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • With its seating capacity, Bristol Motor Speedway is the fourth largest sports venue in the United States and eighth largest in the world.
  • Tiny Lund was the first driver to set wheels on the track for practice on July 27, 1961; Fred Lorenzen won the first pole position for the Volunteer 500. Only 19 of 42 cars that started actually finished the race, which was “won” by Jack Smith, who wasn’t in the car at the end of the race – Johnny Allen took over around lap 290 of 500 after Smith developed heat blisters on his feet. Completing the top five were some of the sport’s soon-to-be heroes: Fireball Roberts, Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty and Buddy Baker.
  • The high banks we know today came about in 1969 when the track was dug up and expanded from a half-mile to a 0.533-mile track. The higher banks, advertised at 36-degrees, were also added, and immediately added to speeds: whereas the track record to that point was Bobby Isaac’s 88.669 mph (set in March 1969), the new track record set by Cale Yarborough after the reconfiguration was almost 15 mph faster – 103.432 mph in July 1969. As a result of the resurfacing project in 2007, Bristol now lists its banking at 24- to 30-degrees
  • Five drivers thus far have earned their first career Cup Series win at Bristol: Dale Earnhardt (1979), Rusty Wallace (1986), Ernie Irvan (1990), Elliott Sadler (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002). In 1988, superspeedway superstar Bill Elliott won his first-ever Cup Series short-track race at Bristol, while in 2010 Kyle Busch became the first driver in NASCAR to win three top national division events – Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series – in one weekend.
  • Bristol Motor Speedway hosts a number of NASCAR events each season: two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, two Xfinity Series races, one Camping World Truck Series race, one K&N Pro Series East race and one Whelen Modified Tour race. Bristol is also the home to Bristol Dragway, better known as “Thunder Valley;” it hosts the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Thunder Valley Nationals each year. In May 2017, Bristol will host the Short Track U.S. Nationals, featuring Street Stocks, Modifieds, Compacts, Late Model Stocks, Pro Late Models and Super Late Models.
  • On Sept. 10, 2016, Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the “Battle at Bristol,” a non-conference NCAA football game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies. The game drew nearly 157,000 spectators, surpassing the previous attendance record of 115,109 at Michigan. Bristol is located approximately 125 miles from the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA and 110 from the UT campus in Knoxville, TN.
  • Find out more about Bristol Motor Speedway at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com


Monday, April 17, 2017

Travel Tips: Bristol Motor Speedway – April 21-23, 2017

credit: NASCAR Media
by Paula Thompson

The K&N Pro Series East and the Xfinity Series join the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend, Friday through Sunday, April 21-23. The Food City 500 on Sunday, April 23 will highlight the weekend.

Key on-track times:

Friday, April 21
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice – 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series practice – 1 and 3:30 p.m. ET
  • K&N Pro Series East practice – 2 p.m. ET
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying – 4:45 p.m. ET
  • K&N Pro Series East qualifying – 6 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 22
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice – 8:30 and 11 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series qualifying – 9:30 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 – 1 p.m. ET
  • K&N Pro Series East Zombie Motors 125 – 4 p.m. ET
Sunday, April 23
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 – 2 p.m. ET
The complete schedule for this weekend can be found here.

First-time fan information can be found here, and fan FAQs can be checked out here. The track’s rules and regulations can be found here.

Get more information on the schedule and purchase tickets at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com