Where is Bristol Motor Speedway? The term ‘theatre of speed’ is probably the most apt way to describe Bristol Motor Speedway, the half-mile oval which has been among the most popular NASCAR tracks since its inception in 1961.
With giant grandstands towering high above the high-banked track on all sides, Bristol is probably the closest modern equivalent to a Roman gladiatorial arena.
Billed as the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, Bristol is a fan-favourite if for no other reason than it is different. The concrete track, twin pit lanes and furious nature of the racing makes it one of the biggest spectacles on the NASCAR circuit.
Under Speedway Motorsports ownership the track has continued to innovate, with the entire circuit converted to dirt in 2001 and 2002 for the World of Outlaws and again from 2021 onwards for the NASCAR Cup series spring race.
What Is Bristol Motor Speedway?
Bristol Motor Speedway is a concrete half-mile track in the mountains of Bristol, TN. Bristol was built in 1960, and has been nicknamed “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, “Thunder Valley”, and “The Last Great Colosseum”. Bristol is one of the deepest banked tracks on the schedule, featuring 24 degrees of banking through the turns.
This gives the track high speeds when entering the narrow turns. Since opening, Bristol has become a fan favorite due to the close quarters racing the track creates, and the frequency of the “bump-n-run” move that has become iconic at Bristol.
Bristol has hosted two races per year since opening. The first event, the Food City 500 in the spring, and the Bristol Night race in August. The Bristol night race has become the track’s “crown jewel” event, due to the event being held on a Saturday night, and the style of racing.
The most famous race at the track was in 1995 during the night race, where Dale Earnhardt spun Terry Labonte as the two cars crossed the finish line on the last lap of the race. Other notable races at this track have occurred in 2010 and 2017, when Kyle Busch swept the weekend, winning the Truck series, Xfinity Series, and Cup series races in a row.
Since the 2021 season, the spring race at Bristol is held on a temporary dirt surface.
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.
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.
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.
Bristol Motor Speedway Racing Lines
The preferred racing line at Bristol is the high line around the top of the race track. This allows drivers to carry more speed through the turns and get a better exit onto the straights.
There are two main racing lines at Bristol Motor Speedway. The high line is the outside groove and the preferred line for most drivers. The low line is the inside groove and is used mostly by lapped traffic or when a driver is trying to make a pass on the inside.
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 are The Lap Records at Bristol Motor Speedway?
The current NASCAR lap record at Bristol Motor Speedway is held by Chase Elliot, who ran a lap of 131.713 mph in 2019. That’s the NASCAR lap record anyway.
However Bristol Motor Speedway often replaces its asphalt for dirt, and when the Sprint cars get hold of the “fastest half mile” they have done a lap in 0:13.326 seconds with Sam Hafertepe Jr in 2021 on a World of Outlaws Sprint Car race. You can check out the table below for more details.
Is Bristol Speedway in Tennessee or Virginia?
The Bristol Motor Speedway, located in Bristol, Tennessee, is just 36 miles from Damascus, Virginia. BMS is NASCAR racing’s most popular track. The track first opened in 1961 with over 165,000 seats. The Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the largest sporting arenas in the world.
What is Bristol Speedway famous for?
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.
How much are Bristol race tickets?
On average, the cost to attend a live event at Bristol Motor Speedway is $196.25. Seats located in the back of the venue are always the cheapest option and can cost as low as $35.00 a ticket. Premium seating with unobstructed views of the event can go for as high as $1372.00 for a seat near the action.
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