Like some sort of enormous spacecraft rising up from the earth, Bristol Motor Speedway makes quite an impression on first-time visitors. And had it not been for the vision of two local businessmen, it might never have come to fruition.

In 1960, Larry Carrier and Carl Moore decided Bristol was the perfect place to build a world-class racetrack. They purchased 100 acres of land where a dairy sat at that time and began chasing their dream.

Plans that were drawn initially on a napkin resulted in one of the greatest racing facilities ever built. Originally named Bristol International Raceway, the tiny, half-mile oval, opened in 1961 with fewer than 20,000 seats. Four years later, in 1965, Bristol Dragway, opened its gates. Carved between the mountains behind the Speedway, the Dragway became known as Thunder Valley due to the unique sound the cars made as they rocketed down the strip.

Both tracks are now world famous and widely revered as the premier NASCAR track and NHRA dragstrip in the country, hosting a number of nationally televised races every year. BMS, which seats 150,000, is one of the top-five facilities in the world in terms of permanent seating while the Dragway is among the most popular events on the NHRA schedule.

BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY & DRAGWAY

BRISTOL, TN
151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620
(423) 969-6900

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