|Credit: Jeff Zelvansky/Getty Images for NASCAR|
Before I knew much about tracks, I knew about short tracks. My husband and I lived in Salem, Virginia, a suburb of Roanoke, and a stone’s throw away from Martinsville Speedway.
And, as much as I loved and still love Martinsville, it was Bristol that I was infatuated. While both have their respected and storied history, Bristol’s just seemed much, well, sexier!
What I love about short tracks is the intimacy and immediacy of the action. Whereas superspeedways bring the speed, the possibility of “The Big One," and the enormity of the sport, short tracks give way to the origins of it.
Short tracks like Bristol, located in Bristol, Tennessee, bring out the basest in the forty-three drivers who comprise the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
From beatin’ and bangin’ to tempers flarin’, Bristol is like a Saturday night special even when it’s raced on a Sunday afternoon like the Food City 500.
Although the August night race in Bristol gets all of the attention, I do so adore any racing at Bristol.
Bristol Motor Speedway is a half-mile concrete oval that was opened for NASCAR races in July 1961.
Among the most popular in the NASCAR circuit because of its steep banking, Bristol typically packs the crowds into their stadium seating.
|Kyle Busch swept the Bristol races in|
2011, one of just many memories from the
track. Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images
What many may not know is that Bristol Motor Speedway is the fourth largest sports venue in America and the eighth largest in the world with a capacity to hold up to 165,000 people (according to Wikipedia.com)!
Along with the staggering crowd size, Bristol races are deafening. From the crowds to the overwhelmingly powerful cars in the “fishbowl” setting, Bristol has the distinction of being one of the loudest in the sport.
In recent years, especially since the repave that occurred in 2007, there has been some grumbling that Bristol is not as wild and wonderful as it once was. Racing, it has been said, is much tamer and nearly lackluster.
It’s true that the racing has changed, but attitudes have not! And with the type of season we’ve had already in 2012, I’m anticipating some fantastic maneuvers at Bristol.
When you put forty-three ego-maniacs in tight quarters and put a handsome purse at the end of a stick, those boys are going to do whatever it takes to win!
Whatever we encounter at this historic, heart-pumping, and ear-piercing track, I simply can’t wait because Bristol Motor Speedway is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.