Race coverage begins at 1:00 Sunday afternoon; it will be a busy remote day. Be prepared.
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 faster than Tony Stewart downed a Whopper before the diet.
Pro wrestling is big in Tennessee, and Bristol resembles 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. Some stalwarts could struggle. Some unexpected names could excel.
- Now some other random facts from the track’s website. Please impress your friends on Sunday; it’s a big TV day:
- Jimmie Johnson is the defending race winner.
- Kyle Busch won the night race 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.
- Busch has the best average finish among active drivers.
- He also has four wins to boot.
- Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick round out the top five average finishes.
- Gordon and Kurt Busch have five wins here. Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin are multiple winners. Jimmie Johnson is not.
- Chevy has 38 wins here. Ford has 23. Honda has none. I’m proud to be an American.
- In 22 of 41 years, a driver who won at Bristol won the season championship.
- Fans can rent the track for social events starting at $1,000.
- The track does allow pets, if they are service animals. My cat Noah does a disservice by going to the bathroom outside the litter box. I’m not sure if he can get in the race.
- The track does not allow beach balls, beer balls, or scaffolding. I don’t know what events prompted including this on the website.