Bristol Motor Speedway, as a half-mile oval with the steepest banking on the NASCAR circuit, is sometimes referred to as "The Toilet Bowl." When the cars line up for the start, they often stretch nearly halfway around the short track. As a result, Bristol is known for its "paint swapping," and races tend to include numerous accidents and caution flags. Partly due to what often seems like demo-derby action, tickets are notoriously difficult to get.
Bristol Motor Speedway was the long-time home to the Southeastern 500 and Volunteer 500 (both running from 1961 to 1979), and more recently to the Busch 500, Valleydale Meats 500, and Goody's 500. Hosted in 2006 were the Food City 500 and Sharpie 500. The "500" in these races stands for 500 laps, which works out to 266.5 miles.
Bristol Motor Speedway Visitor Information
Bristol Motor Speedway contact information: Bristol Motor Speedway. 151 Speedway Blvd., Bristol, TN (37620). Phone 423/764-6555 or 423/989-6901. www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.
Bristol Motor Speedway security: Coolers are allowed, but they can’t be larger than 14 inches long. Each fan may carry in one bag, but it must also not exceed the 14-inch limit. The track prohibits umbrellas, bicycles, folding chairs, glass containers, beer balls, noise makers, balloons, and beach balls. All bags are subject to a search, so fans should enter at least one hour before the start of a race.
Bristol Motor Speedway parking: Parking on the racetrack grounds is limited to those with permits. Those who need handicapped accessible parking must phone 423/989-6931 for a space. The track operates two free parking areas on State Route 394, which offer free shuttles to and from the track. A parking map can be downloaded from the track’s Web site.
Bristol Motor Speedway first aid: Fully staffed first-aid stations are located outside the track between Gates 7 and 8 and inside the track in the north grandstands, the east grandstands, and west grandstands. Ask a track employee which station is closest to your seats. Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center (1 Medical Park Blvd., phone 423/844-1121) is about 11 miles from the track.
Bristol Motor Speedway concessions: Local merchants set up temporary markets near the track on race days where basic necessities can be purchased.