Another Bristol Trip in the books! I look forward to heading to the Track for the Nascar race each April and August. After every trip I think there is no way the next trip will be better and then I get there and something amazing happens! Dad and I left for Bristol Friday morning and had sunshine the entire drive. Bristol actually sits in between Virginia and Tennessee. If you stop by State Street you can stand in both states at the same time! The first stop is always the Food City in Virginia. We try to shop local when heading to the race. After years of dealing with U.S. Opens I know businesses need foot traffic as the locals try to stay clear of the insanity! After loading the truck with our favorite goodies we headed two miles down the road to Tennessee! The campground is about 1 mile from the track. Yes you read that correctly…we have to camp! There are not enough hotels in the area so Nascar and camping tend to go hand in hand. The first time I went to a race I just told myself I would put on a happy face…it was just 3 days. Now that I am addicted to Nascar I don’t even worry about the camping! Dad found a camping coffee pot and I bring about 200 Clorox wipes. I am good to go!
We stay at Thunder Mountain Campground because they have real bathrooms. They are owned by a local brewery next to the Holston River. Leave it to me to find a way around using a port a john! I think they are the only campground with real bathrooms so basically they could charge me a million dollars and I would keep coming back.
After setting up the tent and grabbing our gear we headed to Bristol Motor Speedway to watch The Cup Cars Qualify. My driver, Kevin Harvick, crashed during practice and had to go to a back-up car. After Cup qualifying we watched the K&N series qualify. There is a new driver, Jesse Iwuji, who is transitioning from the US Navy to the Nascar circuit. I have been following his career and was excited to see the #36 in action! Gotta Support the Veterans!
After qualifying we headed towards the other side of the track to sign-in for my Racing Experience! My dad bought me a “Seat Time Experience” for my birthday. There was a little lack of organization and we were early so a woman told us to just go enter Gate 9 and there would be a table set-up. Gate 9 just happens to be the Gate that the drivers, crew members, and crew chiefs use! Well you didn’t have to tell me twice to head down the ramp! Dad was trailing behind me going “This isn’t right. We can’t be down here. This isn’t right!” Clearly he would not be good at committing a crime! I told him “until someone kicks me out I’m not leaving!” I had a very official piece of paper in my hand and no one ever stopped me. I was able to get some great pictures at track level and I saw Chad Knaus, Aric Almirola, Rodney Childers, and Brad Keselowski. I also got to see Kevin Harvick’s wrecked race car be towed from the track. I won’t need a ticket for the August race…I’ll just hang out at Gate 9!
Eventually the Seat Time Experience Crew Arrived and I jumped in a retired Race Car for Hot Laps around Bristol Motor Speedway. I was assigned to the 6 Car. I don’t even know how to explain being in the race car going over 100 miles into turns that have 45 degree banking. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Saturday morning was hot and sunny! We spent the day at the track watching the Xfinity series and K&N series race. Both races were filled with action. Unfortunately my Veteran in the K&N series didn’t make it past lap 30, but he was still fun to watch! After the races we went shopping. There are tons of vendors set-up around the track. I found a #4 Kevin Harvick Winter Hat for just $10! Of course when it is over 80 degrees I would buy a winter hat!
Sunday morning we woke up to dark clouds. We cleaned up the camp site and as the rain drops fell we hung out in the truck. There was a break in the rain and we started to pack up the tents. As we were packing up, the sky over the track looked gorgeous so we grabbed our race gear and our rain gear and headed for the track. As we were walking “Joe DeNardo’s Nephew” stopped us to tell us that a tornado had touched down and that there was no way they were racing. Luckily I tend to not get my weather forecast from tipsy Nascar fans and we arrived at the track just as caution laps were ending. Time for Green Flag Racing!! Even with the junky weather we were able to get 204 Laps out of 500 in the books on Sunday and I got to wear my new hat since the temperature was now closer to 40 degrees! My driver didn’t get a win, but the weekend was awesome! I am already counting down the days until the August race!
Grammie stayed at home with the Four Legged and I think she is trying to convert to a Nascar fan so that she doesn’t have to watch the dogs by herself again! Rufus does not make things easy for other people. He wants his mom to be with him 24 hours a day and even though he loves his Grammie he is not happy when his schedule changes. Bailey and Riley are actually pretty well behaved, but when you have to spend so much time with Rufus they start to get frustrated and then no one is listening to Grammie. She woke up twice during the course of the weekend thinking she was paralyzed as one of the dogs was sleeping across her legs!
#Rescue #Nascar #Bristol #HotLaps