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Bristol Motor Speedway is a NASCAR short track situated in Bristol, Tennessee. It was previously known as Bristol International Raceway and Bristol Raceway. It was built in 1960 and hosted the first NASCAR race on July 30, 1961. Because of its unique features, such as extremely steep banking, an all-concrete surface, two pit roads, and stadium-style seating, Bristol is one of the most popular NASCAR tracks. It’s also been dubbed one of NASCAR’s loudest tracks. The “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” is how the track is marketed.

With a capacity of 153,000 spectators, Bristol Motor Speedway is the fourth-largest sports facility in the United States and the tenth-largest in the world. Because of the high banking, the speeds are far slower than on most NASCAR oval tracks, but they are relatively fast compared to other short tracks. These factors result in a significant amount of car contact at NASCAR races, as the initial starting grid of 40 cars in the Cup and Xfinity Series, and 32 in the Truck Series, stretches approximately halfway around the course, putting slower qualifiers nearly half a lap behind the leaders.

General Information

Capacity: 1,53,000
Owner: Speedway Motorsports
Architects: Larry Carrier, Carl Moore, R. G. Pope

The drag strip at this venue has been dubbed “Thunder Valley” for a long time. At Bristol, both NASCAR Cup Series races are for 500 miles.

Thunder Valley is the moniker given to the drag strip at this venue. The spring race (historically a day race; however, due to Standard Time and the late afternoon start in 2006, the race ended in nighttime conditions) is sponsored by local grocery chain Food City and is one of NASCAR’s top 10 yearly races. The popular late-summer race (dubbed “the toughest ticket in NASCAR”) has been sponsored by a number of different companies. Newell Rubbermaid sponsored the race from 2001 to 2015, first as Sharpie (2001–2009) and later as Irwin Tools (2010–2015). In 2016, Bass Pro Shops partnered with the National Rifle Association to become the race’s principal sponsor.

Other levels and forms of racing thrive in Bristol; NASCAR Xfinity Series events often draw over 100,000 spectators, making it one of the most popular Xfinity venues in the country.


151 Speedway Blvd
Bristol, TN 37620
+1 866-415-4158

HERE Bristol

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