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  #1  
Old 09-13-2002, 09:19 PM
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Pics of short track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Very, very long)

First of all, these are much belated pics of the night short track race at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) during the weekend of 23 - 24 August at Bristol, TN.

I am painfully aware that not every one here is a fan of NASCAR. There are many things that are wrong with it, but action is not one of them. There is more drama during a yellow flag pitstop of a NASCAR race than there is in an entire 2 hour Formula 1 race. And I watch every F1 race religously. In fact I will be attending both the practice and qualifying sessions at the USGP.

But this season has been a stinker in F1. The only real drama was the hulla-baloo in Austria where RB pulled over for MS. That showed me what is wrong with F1. It's a team sport whereas NASCAR is an individual sport. When two stock car drivers from the same team are competing for the lead it's virtually no holds barred. They will do everything but spin the other out, and even that is not unheard of.

As far as which series has the better drivers, well I'll go so far as to say you put Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart in the seat of a Ferrari or BMW and within a year both will be knocking on the door of a championship. They are the supreme road course warriors in NASCAR so turning right and left are childs play for them. When you have God given talent like those two do I don't care whether you are racing go karts or 18 wheelers, they will be near the top for most races. However, in my opinion without a doubt Shumacher is the best driver on the planet. End of Story. At least for now.

Anyway, let's just say that both sports have shortcomings and are not perfect and leave it at that.

Here is Bristol Motor Speedway. It is just over 1/2 mile in length and the corners are banked at a 36 degree angle or something like that. BMS's motto is 'Racing the way it ought to be'. The 3400lb. cars come into the turns at about 100mph with brake rotors glowing bright red as they try to hold to the bottom of the track, and then it's balls to the walls at 140mph until breaking hard into the next turn. The Winston Cuppers ran qualifications Friday afternoon, followed by a 1 hour 'Happy Hour', then later in the evening the Busch drivers competed in the Food City 250 (laps). If you look in the infield you can see that virtually every square inch is covered with haulers, equipment, machines and people. It's no wonder that Tony Stewart 'accidentally' shoved someone, because there's just no amount of free space in there.


Here is Jeff Gordon in the #24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte Carlo during his qualifying run which netted him the pole position for the Sharpie's 500 on Saturday night at a speed of just over 124mph.


Here is Rusty Wallace in the #2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus in a qualification run which placed him #4 on the grid. Where Wallace is now is approximately the same location on the track where he was 'nudged' aside by Gordon 2 laps from the end of the race.


Here are some of the 43 cars on pit lane. You can see just how tightly bunched together they are. Pretty hard to keep any secrets or fart without someone 7 cars down hearing it.


This is the preparation before rolloff to start the warmup laps. You can see the moisture on the ground. It rained pretty hard about 1 1/2 hours before the official start time, but fortunately it stopped fairly quickly and the track dried exceptionally such that there was no delay in the start time. They did run several more than normal warmup laps to help dry the track.


Last warmup lap before a combined 33,000 American horsepower is unleashed live before 150,000 spectators, all standing on their feet and toes with ear plugs snugly ensconced in their ears.


One of the many caution laps showing Gordon leading Wallace


Here is the obligatory victory burn-out as Gordon celebrates breaking his 31 race winless streak after giving Wallace a 'love-tap' to get by.


I'll conclude by saying as a regular spectator of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speeday (IMS), I just realized after this weekend at Bristol that my brother and I are getting royally ripped off. First of all, at BMS you can see the entire track, whereas at IMS you are fortunate if you can see 1/2 the track in most seats.

There is so much excitement at BMS that it is like being at a tennis match featuring Boris Becker and Pete Sampras. Your head is constantly going side to side to try and keep track of the action. The sound of 43 cars blitzing around that track can only be described as the sound that 1,000 bees would make swarming inside of a beehive. From our vantage point it looked like big old honkin' slot cars racing around a track at your local hobby center, except in a big punch bowl.

Add to that the fact that there are wrecks and near wrecks happening all of the time, and the number of saves by drivers keeping themselves out of the walls, truly shows their talent as race car drivers.

If anyone ever gets an opportunity to go to BMS, particulary for the night race I would say that you are a fool to not do it. It's the hardest ticket in all of motorsports to get, and now I know why. I only came across my two tickets because my neighbor across the street had to back out due to family commitments.

I took a colleague with me from work, who was really not a true NASCAR fan and only came with me because he could drink copious amounts of beer and spy the hotties at the track. He certainly did both of those to excess, but he's also now a big fan of NASCAR as well.

It is very easy to get hooked, if you just let yourself enjoy it for what it is. Entertainment!
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Last edited by IndyMike; 09-13-2002 at 09:29 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2002, 09:28 PM
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Mike,

Nice write-up
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:33 PM
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Originally posted by operknockity
Mike,

Nice write-up
Thanks! I didn't realize it until I posted, and then the last 5 pics didn't post because they were shot on the following night. The pitfalls of copying without editing the file names.

I must be more tired than I thought. Guess I'll get a warm glass of milk and hit the hay.
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Last edited by IndyMike; 09-13-2002 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by IndyMike
I didn't realize it until I posted, and then the last 5 pics didn't post because they were shot on the following night.
I noticed that and made a comment in my post. By the time the thread redisplayed you had fixed it.

I used to be a bigger race fan than I am now (actually still a race fan, but just haven't kept up). And, yeah, NASCAR can be much more exciting in a shorter period than F1, but they're all good fun!
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by operknockity
but they're all good fun!
Couldn't of said it better myself!
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Old 09-14-2002, 12:48 AM
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And, yeah, NASCAR can be much more exciting in a shorter period than F1, but they're all good fun!
F1 is a parade, NASCAR is a race, IMO.
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Old 09-14-2002, 04:45 PM
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How hard was it to get tickets to Bristol??? I've heard it is very difficult to get seats there.

nice pics, by the way
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Old 09-14-2002, 05:58 PM
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Bristol is a great track, great racing. I'll never forget the time DE pushed ole Corn Flakes acrost the finish line. I gotta go to Bristol someday!
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Old 09-15-2002, 07:05 AM
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Nice write up. Someday I'll get to a short track. Have been going to Daytona twice a year for those races. I remember when you could get into a NASCAR race for under $20.
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Old 09-15-2002, 07:07 AM
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Originally posted by DougDogs
How hard was it to get tickets to Bristol??? I've heard it is very difficult to get seats there.

nice pics, by the way
Sat next to guy at this years Daytona 500. Said last year at Bristol they were scalping tickets at $400-$500 each.
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Old 09-15-2002, 09:43 AM
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Sat next to guy at this years Daytona 500. Said last year at Bristol they were scalping tickets at $400-$500 each.
I don't remember where I heard it, but about a year ago someone said the waiting list for tickets to bristol was as long as the waiting list for NY Gaints season tickets
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Old 09-15-2002, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ObD


Sat next to guy at this years Daytona 500. Said last year at Bristol they were scalping tickets at $400-$500 each.
Face value for the Busch race was $64 and $121 for the Winston Cuppers. That's what my neighbor sold them to me for. Even though I didn't really care to go see the Busch whackers, since it included qualifications for the Cuppers I couldn't pass it up. Plus I think my neighbor would only sell them as a complete Busch-Winston package, so I didn't want to get too particular. Beggars can't be choosers you know.

I'm not sure I would pay anywhere near $400 to return to next years race. I would consider paying $250, but anything beyond that I personally would consider imprudent, bordering on gouging.

Word around the BMS track is that they are going to add another terrace and name it after Earnhardt. This will effectively increase seating to 160,000. I think if anyone is interested they can pull up BMS's website and get additional info.

Coincidentally, the friend that I took along has a nephew that works for the Detroit Press as a journalist. We found out the Saturday morning of the race that he was working the Ford Racing hospitality tent. We paged him when we got to the Village Hospitality tent and he gave us passes to the Ford Racing gig. We got to hear Ryan Newman (who, by the way, won todays rain-shortened race at Loudon), Ricky Craven and Elliot Sadler talk and take questions from the crowd.

I'm convinced that in spite of Tony Stewart worst efforts, this is one of the reasons that NASCAR is so fan friendly. These 3 gentlemen were so accessible, cordial and had great senses of humor without putting on any aires. They treated everybody with respect no matter how stupid the question, and signed autographs or took pictures depending upon the request. Just down to earth, rightous-on kind of dudes!

Elliot Sadler was making fun of how Ward Burton talks. I about fell out of my chair laughing when he was busting on Ward. You almost need a translator to cut through Sadler's southern dialect.

My buddy is already working the tix angle with his nephew as I write, so with any kind of luck we might get ducats as well as pit passes next year! If my friend comes through I guess all of the beer and food are on me next year.

Then again, the way he drinks maybe I'm just better off paying the 400 or $500 scalpers fee. I assume they take Mastercard.
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Old 09-15-2002, 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by IndyMike
If my friend comes through I guess all of the beer and food are on me next year.

Then again, the way he drinks maybe I'm just better off paying the 400 or $500 scalpers fee. I assume they take Mastercard.
At Daytona you can bring in your own beer and food which was one of the reasons NASCAR was popular to some extent. They tried to limit it this year under the guise of terrorist threats. Used to be able to carry in an 18" cubic cooler. Now it's like 6"x6"x12". Like I said in an earlier post used to pay under $20 to get in, $10 of beer the the cooler, park for free 200' from the track, and bring in anything you want. Cheap entertainment. A little too much money is involved now and the crowd just isn't the same without the good ole boys calling the shots.
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Old 09-16-2002, 06:27 AM
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Originally posted by IndyMike




Elliot Sadler was making fun of how Ward Burton talks. I about fell out of my chair laughing when he was busting on Ward. You almost need a translator to cut through Sadler's southern dialect.

I think if you want to talk like ward, you need to shove about 8-10 marbles in your mouth, and then try talking. My wife calls him "mumbles"

what's really amazing is how articulate his brother jeff is. (must be different father's or something like that. (or a mix up at the hospital )
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Old 09-16-2002, 06:32 AM
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Nice write up Indy. If you enjoyed Bristol and the ability to see all the action, I would suggest you check out Dover when you get a chance

I went for the first time 3 years ago and was amazed by the difference you can see in person on a short track. I'm skipping next weekends event but should be back there next year.
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Old 09-16-2002, 06:54 AM
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Nice write up Indy. If you enjoyed Bristol and the ability to see all the action, I would suggest you check out Dover when you get a chance

I went for the first time 3 years ago and was amazed by the difference you can see in person on a short track. I'm skipping next weekends event but should be back there next year.
Hey, Phil! Maybe I'll take you up on that next year! I like the Dover track a lot. The "Monster Mile", right?

I can't stand the Loudon track one bit. Rusty Wallace had it right when he said that there's nothing wrong with that track that a bulldozer can't make right. It's a one track groove, with virtually no banking. The whole thing just makes for boring follow the leader type racing. Reminds me too much of F1.

As for the other tracks I'd like to visit one day I definitely want to do Daytona, Richmond, Darlington and Rockingham as well. If I have time for others than I'd like to do Michigan and Lowe's Motor Speedway.

If I don't burn all of our money on Bimmers, maybe one day I can can retire and just buy a motorhome following the 'Good ole boys' around the circuit, at least to those tracks east of the Mississippi.

Sounds like a plan.
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Old 09-16-2002, 07:30 AM
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Hey, Phil! Maybe I'll take you up on that next year! I like the Dover track a lot. The "Monster Mile", right?

We usually have a camper @ Dover so you are more then welcome to join the party
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