How Many Seats At Bristol Motor Speedway? [Ultimate Guide!]

The track that has defined American motorsport for decades is now a year-round fixture on the calendar, with the British Midlands playing host to a series of motorsport spectaculars. Now in its 55th year, the legendary Bristol Motor Speedway is no longer a one-off event but rather part of a full calendar of races and activities that run throughout the year.

Arguably the most iconic track in US motorsport – its distinctive yellow and green colour scheme was made official in 1973 – the Bristol Motor Speedway has seen some incredible moments throughout its history. The most memorable undoubtedly being Dale Earnhardt’s incredible final ride, when he crashed and burned in the Daytona 500 in 2001.

Over the years, the track has hosted numerous motorsport events, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, the Camping World Truck Series, and the USAC Championship Cars. The speedway is also the site of the UK’s premier motorsport event, the British Grand Prix.

An Unexpected Surprise

It was widely expected that Bristol Motor Speedway would be a one-off event on the 2005 NASCAR calendar, with its 55th anniversary taking place in April that year. After years of speculation, the track was finally confirmed as part of the schedule for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. However, just three weeks before the big event, NASCAR announced that Homestead would be removed from the schedule and the race relocated to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. As a result, Bristol was left off the 2005 calendar altogether.

Undaunted, the track’s organisers decided to bring the event forward to March 2006 and the decision proved to be one of the best ever made by the organisation. The decision to move the race forward meant that it was played in winter and under the lights, giving the event a whole new atmosphere. It also meant that the track could be resurfaced, something that had never before been done in an effort to give it that extra bit of bite that it needed to make for a good show.

Since then, the track has remained a fixture on the calendar and this year is looking set to continue that tradition as the season-ending event at Homestead is due to be held in November. However, just because the event is moving to a different location, that doesn’t mean that it is no longer an important part of the NASCAR calendar. Far from it, in fact.

A Track To Celebrate

It was an incredible feat for Bristol Motor Speedway to pull off what is arguably one of the most successful relocations in motorsport history. The track’s decision to move the date of its iconic race forward to March and the decision to keep it as part of the season-ending festivities at Homestead was enough to convince NASCAR that they should return the event to its original home. The result is that next year’s edition of the race will be held at the end of April and will be officially called the Bristol Motor Speedway 70th Anniversary Cup.

That’s not all that the track has done to celebrate its 70th anniversary either. In addition to relocating the date of the race, the organisers have also changed its name. From now on, the annual event will be known as the Bristol SuperSaison, in an effort to connect it more with the rest of the races on the calendar. The change was made official this year at the drivers’ meetings in August.

A Year Of Growth

The first couple of years after the event’s re-location to March were quiet on the racing front, with just the annual SuperSaison taking place in the summer. However, that has changed in the past couple of years, with a variety of races taking place throughout the year. The most important being the twice-weekly NASCAR races, plus the IndyCar Grand Prix in May and the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. The speedway also puts on an incredible fireworks display every year towards the end of July, which brings a bit of a carnival-like atmosphere to the entire city of Bristol.

It seems that the success of the annual event in March has led to the organisers deciding to make more of an effort in putting it on. This year’s edition will see four consecutive nights of racing throughout the month, with the big race being held on the final night, dubbed the Grand Finale. To add more events, the track will also be hosting a midget car exhibition on the Friday before the big race, which will be fun for kids and nostalgic for older fans who remember the good ol’ days when midgets used to race at the speedway. The track has also announced a couple of driver’s appearances, including one of its biggest names, Jimmie Johnson.

More Than Meets The Eye

What has become clear over the years is that the Bristol Motor Speedway is more than just a track. It is a cultural hub, with various restaurants, bars, and shops located around the area. The track even has its very own museum, which commemorates the rich history of the speedway and the great drivers who have graced its tarmac.

Bristol Motor Speedway is arguably one of the most important venues in NASCAR, not just as a track but because of everything it means. The decision to move it forward to March and retain it as part of the season-ending festivities at Homestead was a masterstroke and has undoubtedly helped to keep the sport alive and well in the city of Bristol. Long may that continue.

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