August is on its way… and yes, we have tickets

Wow, it’s been way too long since we’ve posted on the blog. Sorry ’bout that, but man it’s been busy around here. Since MarchYou Belong At Bristol we’ve hosted a variety of events across the creek at the Dragway — including the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals last month. A big congrats to Tony Schumacher, John Force and Mike Edwards who took home the wins in NHRA’s top classes at Bristol.

Now for some Speedway stuff. While we haven’t hosted any major events since Jimmy Johnson grabbed the checkered flag in the Food City 500, there has been quite a bit happening in, around and on the concrete oval. Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on the infield project, which includes a new media center, inspection area and Goodyear Tire building.

Outside of that, we’ve been visited twice by drivers from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series testing tires for Hoosier. And also, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Denny Hamlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Ragan and Scott Speed completed a two-day tire test for Goodyear here at BMS last week. Check out video comments from Hamlin and Ragan.

Most importantly we’ve been working hard to sell August tickets. We’re finding that after 55 straight sell-outs it’s still hard for some folks to believe they can actually get tickets.

I got this e-mail from Cheryl Williams today, one of our fan advisory board members, who went to Daytona last weekend. It reads, “Hey Ben, I won some free tickets to Daytona, and wore my Bristol visor to the race. Lots of people told me Bristol is one track they want to go to before they die. They couldn’t believe it when I told them they could get tickets. I found it overwhelming at how many people didn’t know Bristol had night race tickets for sale. Of course I told them to go to the website, buy tickets and pass the word.”

Thanks to Cheryl for being a great Bristol ambassador. Now you folks do the same and tell all your race luvin’ buddies we still have IRWIN Tools Night Race tickets for sale. Just call toll-free 1.866.415.4158 or buy online.

Remember, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and we’ll be talkin’ to you again soon.


NASCAR drivers give the skinny on a more narrow Bristol

Last month here at Bristol we added more than 160 feet of SAFER barrier in Turns 2 and 4. As a result, the width of the racing surface was decreased some three feet. Also as a result, it’s been asked multiple times if this will impact the racing for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500.

Truthfully, that question can’t be answered yet. What is known is that there is a little less real estate out there on the half-mile for the drivers to negotiate.

Obviously, there will not be any noticeable changes during practice and qualifying. But when drivers choose to go two, or even three-wide under race conditions? That’s when the answer will be delivered. This same question created a little bit of conversation in Atlanta, during the March 7th race weekend.

Below is a snapshot of what some NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racers had to say about the added change:


“Bristol has always been one of my favorite race tracks, no matter before they repaved it or after they repaved it. I think our fans will always get their monies worth, no matter how wide or how narrow it is.”



“The wall is still where the wall is at. We’ll see it when we are out there so we always…the good thing about us as drivers, after all these years of doing this, doesn’t matter where they put it, we have to stay a fraction of an inch off of it and use every bit up to it. I am sure it is going to make a difference, there is no doubt about it, I mean we all use every bit of room we can get there anyway. It will make the exits of the corners a little tighter but I think the racing will still be good there because of it.”


“No. Like I said, they paint them so you can see them, so that will help us. (LAUGHS) Sorry, I had to say it that way; it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.”



“Bristol will be a lot of fun and Martinsville will be a lot of fun.  We’ve had a lot of success at Bristol.  I like racing there.  They’ve paved it and made it to where you could go the same speed anywhere on the track and it makes for some really tough racing and you don’t really have to bump people out of the way to get by them.  Sometimes we still do, but I think that will be fun.  I don’t think that will make much of a difference (the addition of more SAFER barriers).

I think that, if anything, it’ll make it a little tougher, which, I could tell by the release they put out there that that’s what they want.  It sounds like they’d put a jump on the back straightaway if they could, which is fine by me if they want to try that, but it’ll be good.  Those will be fun races.”



“Oh yes. We use every inch of that race track. It is definitely going to be unique. I am anxious to get there and see how many right sides we take off the first hour of practice. It is like anything else, eventually you get used to it. Then it is going to come down to the side-by-side racing and how that is going to affect that aspect of it. I think the most important thing is that you are really going to have to get your car working well. Because, you narrow the track up that means it might be a little harder to pass.

I like the safety aspect of it. It is definitely a good thing. I’m all for. I wish there was a way to move walls so we could keep the width of the track the way it was. But, that’s not the case so we are real happy they put the safety barriers up there on the straightaway.


“I guess so, if they are hoping for more crashing, then maybe. I mean I think the racing has been spectacular. I love the fact we are able to get three wide there now. We are certainly racing side-by-side. It is just that there is a little bit more room to race on.

You see more side-by-racing, I don’t think that is a bad thing. But want to see sparks fly and this might be the thing that does that.”


Hate to use a cliché, but we guess one could say, “the jury is still out on this one.”

Join us for the March 21 running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 and find out for yourself. Plenty of great seats remain available. You may call toll-free for tickets by dialing 1.866.415.4158 or you may PURCHASE ONLINE NOW.

You Belong At Bristol!


Bristol Trip To-Do Lists

Ah the racin’ rituals have begun. The message boards are hummin’, the Twitter universe is aflutter and Facebook friends far and near are gettin’ Bristol race ready.

Yep, hard to believe it, but it’s almost Bristol time. It’s a lot of fun keeping up with all that race fans are doing to get ready for their respective trek to the home of “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”

Just in the last couple of days I’ve read posts about fans “airing out” their campers, shopping for new scanners, updating their race wear so they’re in tune with their driver’s new sponsor colors and even entering the directions to Bristol in their GPS in search of that ultimate route to the hills of east Tennessee.

Which brings me to the point of this post… What does your Bristol prep involve? Seems for a lot of fans it’s a multi-day, or even multi-week process.

No doubt there’s a lot to check off your list before you head our way. Let us know what you do, before you’re Bristol bound.


You Really Do Belong At Bristol

It’s always interesting to talk with race fans; more specifically, Bristol fans. As Sr. Director of Fan Relations, I get the privilege of doing it on a daily basis. So does Jeff Byrd, our President and General Manager, who publishes his desktop phone number and e-mail address in every newsletter. So do all of our customer service representatives in the ticket office.  Heck, all of us here at Bristol enjoy talking with our fans.

Conversations are numerous and include various topics. But practically every conversation, be it by e-mail, phone or face-to-face, is woven with a common thread. Invariably somewhere along the way, the fans tell us two things in one way or another: 1) Bristol is more than just a race and 2) I feel like I belong at Bristol.

Obviously we think Bristol is more than just a race, or a race track as well. Around the halls here in the O. Bruton Smith Building, we call it “the Bristol experience.”  And of course we think fans belong here as well. The whole “belong” thing is certainly an intended double entendre.

We think fans “belong” here and we want them to buy tickets to our races. But more importantly, “you belong at Bristol” translates into the sense of belonging our fans feel after a trip to these northeast Tennessee mountains.

And so is the basis for our latest television spot promoting the March 19-21 Food City 500 race weekend. This spot was forged out of the stories we’ve heard, the relationships we’ve built and everything that truly is, the Bristol Experience.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=3194222&dest=-1]

By the way, my name is Ben Trout and as I said earlier, I’m the Sr. Director of Fan Relations here at BMS. I invite you to stop in and say hello when you come to Bristol. My office is on the first floor of the O. Bruton Smith Building. Also, feel free to give me a call (423.989.6954) or shoot me an e-mail. We love to hear your comments and suggestions.

I’m also one of the gang behind the scenes of our Facebook and Twitter pages. So if you’re into the social media thing, friend us and follow us – we provide quite a bit of insider info through those channels.

But most of all, remember… You Belong At Bristol!


Gordon says Bristol is most exciting, most popular and should be in Chase

Jeff GordonFrom last week’s Q&A session with Jeff Gordon at Texas Motor Speedway:

Q: If you could change anything in the Chase, would it be to add another restrictor plate race, add another short track or road course?

JEFF GORDON: I think it would be pretty cool to see Bristol in there. It’s the ultimate experience from a driver as well as a fan. I think to have our most popular and exciting track in the Chase would be big.

Whether or not Bristol ever ends up in the Chase or not remains to be seen. But we’re big on providing “the ultimate experience.”

Join us in 2010 and see why drivers like Gordon and your fellow fans consistently use adjectives like ultimate, most popular and exciting when talking about Bristol Motor Speedway.

Season tickets (all March and August events, including the Sprint Cup Series IRWIN TOOLS Night Race) may be reserved now by calling 423-BRISTOL.

Also available are March 2010 Race Weekend Packages (includes Food City 500 Sprint Cup, Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide, Scotts EZ Seed Showdown and Ford Fan Friday tickets) and single-event March tickets. To buy online, click the appropriate link below:

2010 March Weekend Package
March Single Event Tickets

The holiday season is the perfect time to purchase tickets as a gift for your favorite race fans… or even for yourself!

We’d love to see ya in 2010!



Now thats a punkin’

Every now and then, we get a pleasant surprise from our truly outstanding fanBMS-O'-Lantern base. But you know what, we shouldn’t be surprised. Why? Because Bristol Motor Speedway has the greatest race fans in the world.

Such was the case this morning when our e-mail inboxes were filled with a special Halloween treat straight from the Keystone State.

Here is an excerpt of an e-mail from Terry and Suzie Cornelius from New Castle, Penn., that was written to Karen Bruce, one of our customer service representatives here at BMS.

“Yes, it is only October and Halloween is here. But of course, my family and I already are thinking of Bristol in March. I hope you are able to get these photos I’m sending and that you show them to the other folks at Bristol Motor Speedway who are responsible for making Thunder Valley the premier place to go when it comes to NASCAR racing. My family and I would like to thank you and your team for your efforts as they’re greatly appreciated.”

No, Terry and Suzie. There’s no need to thank us. We thank you and the thousands of other Bristol fans who get the pleasure of seeing a couple of times a year here at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”

The words from Terry and Suzie were plenty enough for us here at BMS. But the BMS Jack-O’-Lantern? That gets a WOW! We think it’s a masterpiece. Thanks for taking the time to share a little something extra on this Halloween.



Bristol… Something Different – a video history

As you’ve probably heard by now, we have a new sponsor for our August Sprint Cup Series race… IRWIN TOOLS. The race will be called The IRWIN TOOLS Night Race.

For the first time, officials from IRWIN were in Bristol today to begin making plans for the 2010 race. As part of introductions, we played this video which originally aired in 2008 on SPEED during its pre-race programming.

Immediately I thought, why haven’t we shared this jewel yet? So without further delay, we hope you enjoy this Ken Squier narrated video which takes a look at the rich history and tradition of Bristol Motor Speedway.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2722186&dest=-1]


BMS Web Site & Tickets

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Bristol on Flickr

PHOTO: Another gorgeous Autumn day in Thunder Valley.


IRWIN Tools Night Race at  Bristol Motor Speedway.

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