|Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR|
There can be no bigger connection with a NASCAR Sprint Cup race and my personal life than the second Bristol race – the night race. The reason? It is always run on the weekend closest to my birthday.
This year because of the track reconfiguration since the spring and the fact that I am hitting a milestone birthday, Bristol is more important than ever. As fans celebrate the new old Bristol, I’ll be ushering in a new decade!
From my earliest memories of being a NASCAR fan Bristol was a much anticipated race. Run at night, short track action, and the rich reputation for drama-fueled racing, I was all about casting aside other plans to watch the race.
Sold out, festive atmosphere, rabid fans willing their heroes in racecars to entertain and enthrall them, I was on the edge of my seat each August. And, even though I lived relatively close to the track in my Salem, VA address, I was never able to make the trek to the track.
But like the Daytona 500, the Winston, Talladega and Darlington, the night race at Bristol was a can’t-miss-event!
When changes occurred at the track there were strong rumblings that the racing suffered which led to a decline in crowds. What was once a sold-out event for years on end was becoming a venue difficult to fill. The economy, of course, was tanking at the same time as the changes in attendance.
After this spring’s dismal attendance record and lackluster racing (according to some but not all fans), Bruton Smith decided to “fix” what was ailing his gem of a track and bring back the spectacular qualities missing in recent years.
Now the weekend of my birthday/Bristol is upon us. I have the same excitement I always had for this storied and long-adored track. The buzz is racing at Bristol will be as exciting as its heyday and I cannot wait to see it. Short-track racing under the lights on my birthday weekend is bar none a fantastic combination.
Only time will tell what the action on the track will be, but I will always remember the anticipation I had as I awaited my milestone birthday and the rebirth of one of the most exciting tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
Having the Bristol night race held on my birthday weekend is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.
Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.