Bristol Motor Speedway finish line
Thunder Valley, Bristol Dragway from the end of the dragstrip.
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Bristol Motor Speedway & Thunder Valley



Bristol Motor Speedway:
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.

The track was first designed to be a smaller version of the 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway and the developers decided to create a half mile facility.  The first NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway was held on July 30, 1961.  The seating capacity at that time was only 18,000.  In 1991, Bristol Motor Speedway celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

The “There’s racing, then there is Bristol” tells the story about the “World’s Fastest Half Mile.”  Some say that Bristol Motor Speedway is the most exciting NASCAR race!  The half mile track is very exciting.  A sign hangs over the infield/garage entrance at Bristol Motor Speedway that reads: “WELCOME TO THE LAST GREAT COLOSSEUM.”  Truer words have never been written.

The Sprint Cup series races are in March.  The UNOH 200, Food City 250, and IRWIN Tools Night Race are all in August.

The Bristol Motor Speedway also hosts a variety of driving schools each year.  You can obtain information about various driving schools and availability by calling Petty Driving Experience 1-800-BE-PETTY.

Bristol International Dragway:
Bristol International Dragway was opened in 1965 and is considered a state-of-the-art super dragway, the best in the United States.  Because the dragstrip sits between two mountains, the acoustics helped name the facility “Thunder Valley.”

In 1997, the first 300 mph pass down the Bristol Dragway was accomplished by Doug Herbert at the Spring nationals.  Shirley Muldowney set the record 302 mph run in the same qualifying round.

The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals are held mid-June and the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals are held on Father’s Day weekend, the perfect time for drag racing.  Thunder Valley is the perfect place for drag racing.