Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bristol Motor Speedway

BD is a big Nascar fan but has never had the opportunity to see a race in person. (I should clarify that by saying that BD is a big fan of any sport, or really any type of competition in general, and Nascar is no exception.) Bristol, TN is only about 4 hours from our house, and BD has always said the track at Bristol would be his top choice to see his first race. A few weekends ago he finally got his chance.

Can't you just hear the excitement in his voice??

We had tickets to the Scott's Turf Builder 300 Nationwide race on Saturday and the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race on Sunday.

Bristol Motor Speedway is a half-mile track, and the stadium holds 160,000 fans. The race on Sunday was sold out. I'll pause for a moment while that sinks in...160,000 people in one place. I have to say though, that the lack of chaos that we experienced is very impressive. That place runs like a well-oiled machine; there were thousands of people everywhere you looked, but yet there were no lines for the bathrooms and short lines for the concessions. It was pretty amazing.

The tickets were purchased online from ebay, so we were just trusting that the seats were as good as the seller said they were. We were not disappointed. The nice thing about the Bristol track being so small is that there really are no bad seats, but ours were particulary not-bad. We had seats in the Allison Terrace for both races - on the front stretch, just to the left of the start/finish line.

Now we understand why people say it is totally different to see a race in person than to watch it on TV. For one, the noise level at the track is nothing compared to how it sounds on TV. Oh my goodness...the NOISE. Those engines are indescribably loud. Earplugs are an absolute necessity. And also, the TV doesn't really do justice to the fans. There are all makes and models of people there, and I quickly discovered that it is absolutely the best place to people watch. (You know, in case you don't find it utterly fascinating to watch cars go in a circle for 500 laps. *ahem*)

The atmosphere is great - everyone is there to just have a good time and cheer on their driver. There is lots of drinking and partying, but we did not run into any obnoxiously drunk people, or for that matter...any obnoxious sober people, which is saying a lot for a crowd of 160k.

Exhibit A:

These guys were grilling out, singing karaoke, and throwing Mardi Gras beads to the crowds walking by their RV.

Let's take a closer look at one of those guys because I think he's a little confused. Uhhhhh...shouldn't we be throwing beads to him??

On Saturday before the Nationwide race we watched the Sprint Cup drivers do a final practice before Sunday's race. We went down to the track to see the cars up close.

Kevin Harvick won the Nationwide race on Saturday.
Unfortunately, Kyle Busch won the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. BOOOOOOooooooo. He did do a good burn-out to celebrate his win. Too bad he's a huge tool.

Jeff came in 4th though, so we did have something to celebrate. Actually Hendrick had 3 of the top 6 finishers on Sunday.

When we left the race, the 4 lane divided highway leading to the track was closed, and there were people shoulder-to-shoulder as far as we could see in both directions leaving the track.

And, last but not least, here are some videos for all you die-hard fans. Of course the audio in this video does not do justice to the true noise level.


Pickles and Dimes said...

Looks like a great time! My mom is a diehard Jarrett fan. My old bedroom at their house is a shrine dedicated to him.

Also, I think Tony Stewart is a giant tool.

Alice said...

oh man. i can not do nascar. i just can't. it's like a genetic deficiency or something :-)

glad you guys had so much fun!!