Bristol is on the Mount Rushmore of tracks. The .533-mile bowl is one of the most popular spots for drivers and fans, who routinely gobble up the 160,000 seats.
Bristol has a smooth new surface but is a rough track that can resemble a steel cage match. It’s not a matter of if there’s contact, rather how often. Beating and banging is an art form best shown on the Bristol canvass.
Qualifying is important, as pit stall space is critical. If you start in the back, you’re almost a lap down the moment the green flag drops.
The race is also the first on NASCAR’s schedule that isn’t a speed demon. Don’t get me wrong, Bristol is a fast half-mile, especially with a surface redone in 2007 and all that banking. But this is the first time fans will see short track preparations on cars.
Now some other random facts from the track’s website. Please impress your friends on Sunday, as your queso recipe is awful:
- Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin won at Bristol last year.
- The frontstretch and backstretch are 650 feet in length, with 16 degree banking. Banking in the corners varies but can reach 36 degrees.
- Kyle Busch is a beast at this track. He swept all three series races here two years ago. In the Sprint Cup, Busch has five wins and the highest average finish among active drivers.
- Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle have the second-fifth best average finishes.
- Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch have five wins here. Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin are multiple winners. Jimmie Johnson is not.
- In 22 of 42 years, a driver who won at Bristol won the season championship.
- Fans can rent the track for social events starting at $1,000.
- Bristol has interest free payment plans to allow fans to watch the race in person.
- Brisol also does a really good job with driver Q&A race weekend.
- The track does allow pets, if they are service animals. Noah will allow me to watch the race.
- The track does not allow beach balls, beer balls, or scaffolding. What’s the point of going to a race if you can’t play with a beach ball on a scaffold?