When you think about Bristol Motor Speedway, the first thing that probably comes to mind is pain. Racing has been a part of Bristol’s history since the first race was held there in 1951. The track’s tight twists and turns, its thin strips of tarmac, and its fast, flowing walls have all contributed to a racing-related injury epidemic. Today, while the track still hosts some form of motorsport—mostly NASCAR—it’s not the same as it used to be. Teams have shifted to ovals, the track is no longer the focal point of the racing season, and fans have shifted to other sports.
But what is Bristol Motor Speedway actually like? And how far is it from where I live? Let’s take a look!
Bristol Motor Speedway is located in southwest England. The track measures just under five miles in length and is divided into three distinct sections, labeled Short, Mid, and Long. The first two are essentially a single lap, while the third is a bit longer. When you drive around the track today, it doesn’t really look much different from how it did 60 years ago. There are a few minor differences, like the addition of billboards and signage, and some trees and lighting have been added to make the place look a little less like a barren wasteland. These changes are all part of the ongoing effort to keep the history of the track alive. Unfortunately, the layout of the track hasn’t changed much over the years, which means that it’s still pretty challenging to maneuver. This is especially true near the start and end of the lap, where quick turns and sharp bends put a lot of strain on the drivers and teams.
Since the early 2000s, Bristol Motor Speedway has undergone an extensive transformation. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers and sponsors, the venue has been given a new coating of modern paint, fresh logos, and brightly colored walls. While the track layout hasn’t changed, the overall feel and atmosphere of the place has been transformed. This is due mostly to the addition of seats, which has allowed for more people to attend events at the speedway. The renovations were made possible by a large fundraising drive, headed by local businessman and philanthropist Richard Petty. The goal was to restore the track to its original condition and create a more intimate atmosphere for the audience. And it seems to be paying off. Attendance at the track reached an all-time high in 2015, largely thanks to the new seating arrangement and the fact that it now hosts a NASCAR triple header at the end of the season. The renovations were so extensive that they even extended to the paddock area, which gained an exclusive restaurant and lounge, as well as a beer garden.
The Paddock Clubhouse
If you’re looking for a place to eat or rest before or after the races, you’ll have to head to the paddock, which is the name given to the area outside of the track where the cars are kept before and after the race. Like the rest of the speedway, the paddock is still pretty basic, but it’s been given a completely new coat of paint, new signage, and a whole lot of plants and flowers. The area is now a venue for drivers and their families to socialize and mingle before and after the big races. This was one of the original aims of the renovation drive, and it seems to be paying off. Attendance at the speedway is up, and the new Paddock Clubhouse was named one of the best locations for parents to relax and take a break from the busy racing season. While most of the renovations have been made to the infield, the grandstands, and the paddock, the exterior of the track has been preserved thanks to an innovative recycling program. Metal bars salvaged from old cars were melted down and reused to make flower pots, signage, and even the scoreboards.
Attendance And Visitor Numbers
Despite the massive renovations made over the last decade, the track still faces an uphill battle for attendance. While the venue is no longer the commercial failure it once was, it still hasn’t regained the popularity it had back in the 1950s, when it was known as the ‘Grand Ole Opry’. Over the years, Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted some major sporting events, including the NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints in 2018, which drew a crowd of 50,000. The record crowd of 73,227 was on hand for the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series playoff race between Joey Logano and Martin Truex, Jr.. That same year, the speedway also hosted two concerts from the legendary U2, which were both sold out. Still, not enough people show up to make it worthwhile for the teams and sponsors.
Where Is Bristol Motor Speedway?
Where is Bristol Motor Speedway? To find out, you first need to head to the M25 junction 18 toward Bristol. From there, take the A4231 south to Bedminster, and then split off onto the A38. Follow this road until you reach Temple Meads, where you’ll find a large, roundabout. At this point, take the second exit onto the A38 south, and continue on this road until you reach the M5 motorway. At the roundabout, turn right onto the M5 and follow it to Junction 24. At this point, you should see a large, green-and-white sign for Bristol Motor Speedway. This is the entrance to the track. From there, take the first exit onto the A38 south, and continue on this road until you reach the M5 motorway. At the roundabout, turn right onto the M5 and follow it to Junction 24. At this point, you should see a large, green-and-white sign for Bristol Motor Speedway.
While some of the historic buildings at the speedway have been preserved and restored, most of the original structures have been razed. What remains is a combination of concrete and steel from the original buildings, which were erected between 1912 and 1952. With very few exceptions, all the buildings at the stadium were constructed using materials directly taken from old railroads and shipping yards, which were made available to the architect by the local council. Most notably, the grandstands and the paddock were both designed by the same man, Cliff Williams. The speedway has also been linked to more deaths than any other circuit in NASCAR history. It was originally built to be a branch of the Grand Ole Opry, a place where musicians from Nashville could come to perform. Unfortunately, the combination of speed and alcohol caused countless tragedies, leading to the death of several drivers and fans over the years. The tragedies were a result of poor decision making by some of the drivers and their unscrupulous promoters. Since the inception of the grand prix, there have been 73 drivers who’ve died while racing at the speedway. To this day, it remains the most deadly track in the history of motorsport. The legacy of these deaths still haunts the place. While some of the old structures have been preserved, they’re all overshadowed by the tragic events that happened there. Today, the speedway still holds a special place in the hearts of many American race fans, especially those who remember its heyday in the ‘50s and ‘60s.