How long is Bristol Motor Speedway? Bristol Motor history

How long is Bristol Motor Speedway? A favorite track of NASCAR fans across the nation is the Bristol Motor Speedway. Its two annual Winston Cup events (currently the Food City 500 in April and the Goody’s 500 in August) attract the largest crowds of any sporting events in the state of Tennessee.

The “World’s Fastest Half Mile” is legendary for its tight, competitive races and for the deafening roar reverberating off the surrounding hills as the stock cars circle the track.

How Long is Bristol Motor Speedway?

As mentioned above the NASCAR Cup series race is 500 laps or 266 miles. This means the average length of time for a NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is 3 hours, 4 minutes, and 11 seconds.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races are typically 2 hours, 30 minutes long. The NASCAR All-Star Race is typically 1 hour, 50 minutes long.

How long is Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol Motor Speedway History

Known as The Last Great Colosseum, Bristol Motor Speedway’s stadium-like structure serves as a versatile multi-use venue that hosts major auto races, football games, concerts and many other captivating events.

Work began on what was then called Bristol International Speedway in 1960 and it took approximately one year to finish. Many of the original ideas facility founders Larry Carrier, Carl Moore and R.G. Pope came up with for the track were sketched on envelopes and brown paper bags.

Purchase of the land on which BMS now sits, as well as construction of the track, cost approximately $600,000. The entire layout for BMS covered a little more than 100 acres.

The very first NASCAR race at BMS, held on July 30, 1961, was won by Jack Smith with relief help from Johnny Allen.

The facility was held by several different owners in the early days, but eventually found its way back to Carrier ownership in 1985. On Jan. 22, 1996, Carrier sold the speedway to O. Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., at a purchase price of $26 million.

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The sprawling facility has come a long way from its early roots. Today the Colosseum offers guests a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious man cave suites to bar stools in the Busch Banks and Brews Deck to a relaxing environment high atop the track at the Turn One Tavern to a nightclub inside the oval called The Apex. The BMS footprint now includes more than 500 acres of the surrounding area.

The short track is a (0.533-mile) concrete oval with corner banking ranging from 24 to 28 degrees and a pair of 650-feet straightaways. Also part of the complex, the adjacent quarter-mile dragstrip, Bristol Dragway, offers more than 50 events annually, including the marquee NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals every Father’s Day weekend.

The Thunder Valley Amphitheatre transforms the dragway into a premier concert venue on select dates to host some of the world’s best music acts.

While enjoying racing at the iconic oval, fans are offered a unique viewing experience courtesy of Colossus TV, the world’s largest outdoor center-hung four-sided video screen with a 540,000-watt audio system.

Bristol hosts races in several NASCAR touring series, highlighted by two major NASCAR Cup Series weekends. The biggest names in NASCAR, including Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Bobby Allison have earned victories at the legendary track.

For 32 years Food City has sponsored the Spring Cup race at Bristol. Food City is NASCAR’s second longest running race entitlement sponsor in the sport. Food City has been involved in the event since 1987 through their hosting of one of the most popular fan events on the NASCAR circuit, Food City Family Race Night.

The historic facility, forged amid the scenic mountains of Northeast Tennessee near the Virginia state line, earned its reputation for producing incredible finishes during its most storied event, referred to as “America’s Night Race.”

The first Night Race at Bristol was held in 1978, and stands today as one of the first on the Cup circuit to illuminate NASCAR’s marquee touring series under bright stadium lights.

In 2023, BMS will celebrate its 45th anniversary of conducting major auto races after dark and appropriately both the Food City Dirt Race and the Bass Pro Shops Night Race in September will be held under the lights.

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In 2023, the iconic Night Race will continue to be the elimination race in the Round of 16 Playoffs for the Cup Series. As always, the drama is sure to be intense as four Cup drivers seasons will end at Bristol after the 500 grueling laps in playoff mode.

In 2016, Bristol enjoyed its “Biggest Year Yet” hosting the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, where border rivals Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee played a college football game in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 156,990.

Prior to the game, a special country music concert was held, featuring a trio of successful local acts. The Honda Ridgeline Bristol Tailgate featured Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry and Old Dominion in front of a crowd of more than 40,000.

Interestingly, two other football games have been held inside the BMS oval. In 1961, the NFL’s Washington Redskins took on the Philadelphia Eagles in a pre-season game. The Eagles won, 17-10. The week following the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, BMS held a second game in 2016, the Food City Bucs at Bristol presented by Food City.

The local favorite East Tennessee State University Buccaneers upset rival Western Carolina University 34-31 in a thrilling come-from-behind victory.

Where is Bristol Motor Speedway?

Located in Northeast Tennessee in the town of Bristol, Bristol Motor Speedway is a legendary NASCAR short-track nicknamed The Last Great Colosseum for its epic battles and Roman-like architecture. Its features steep banking, an all-concrete surface and stadium-like seating that heighten its popularity among fans and participants.

The speedway is among the largest sporting venues in the world. In addition to the speedway, Bristol has a .25-mile dragstrip that hosts an annual NHRA event, the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Nicknamed Thunder Valley due to its location and scenery, the dragstrip hosts all three additional national touring NHRA series, plus other weekly and monthly events.

How long is Bristol Motor Speedway

Two of the premier facilities on the NASCAR and NHRA circuits and home to the most popular NASCAR Cup events in the USA, the Food City 500/Dirt Race and Bass Pro Shops Night Race, in April and September respectfully.

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Why Does Bristol Motor Speedway Have a Concrete racetrack?

When it was first constructed in 1960 the bristol motor speedway had a track made of asphalt, like most other Speedway. For many years this worked great. Cars were slower and caused less pressure on the track. However as this pressure and the speeds of NASCAR racing increased it started to cause problems.

The asphalt track surface was starting to break up in the sharp high banked turns. There was significant remedial work to address this, as it was affecting grip and therefore the safety of race cars during races. the owners attempted resurfaces and new designs but these were not successful.

in 1992 It was a decided to try a new approach and the whole track was re surfaced with concrete rather that asphalt. It made Bristol Motor Speedway the first to host a NASCAR Cup race on Concrete in August 1992.

Is Bristol Motor Speedway A Tough Track?

Bristol is often referred to as the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” and is one of the most competitive and challenging tracks on the NASCAR circuit.

The short length of the track combined with the high banks and concrete surface make for a very fast and physically demanding race.

The additional pressure form being such a popular race also affects drivers, as seen from tempers fraying during the race. Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick getting into it in 2021 for example.


What is the shortest Nascar track?

At . 526 miles in length, Martinsville Speedway is the shortest track on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. Because of its small size, tight corners and unique shape – described most often as a paperclip – Martinsville offers some of the most exciting and close-quarters racing in the sport.

How many laps is the Cup race at Bristol?

The Food City Dirt Race is 250 laps around the 0.533-mile track for a total of 133.25 miles. The race will feature three segments (laps per stage) — Stage 1: 75 laps, Stage 2: 75 laps, Stage 3: 100 laps.

What is the longest Nascar track?

The biggest NASCAR oval is Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. It measures at 2.66 miles. For all NASCAR tracks, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, is the longest. The road course hosts the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series once per year and is 4.048 miles.

Above is information about How long is Bristol Motor Speedway? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of Bristol Motor Speedway history. Thank you for reading our post.

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