Bristol Motor Speedway

Track Length: .533 miles
Race Length:266.5 Miles
First Race:July 30, 1961 - Volunteer 500
Banking:36° (Corners); 16° (Frontstretch & Backstretch)
Lengths:650 feet (Frontstretch & Backstretch)

Track History

Mailing Address
PO Box 3966
Bristol, TN 37625

Qualifying Records
  • Kyle Busch, Toyota, 129.535 mph; March 15, 2013 (Cup)
  • Greg Biffle, Ford; 127.132 mph; March 26, 2004 (Nationwide)
  • Ken Schrader, Chevrolet; 126.922 mph; Aug. 25, 2004 (Trucks)

Race Records
  • Charlie Glotzbach, Chevrolet, 101.074 mph; July 11, 1971 (Cup)
  • Brad Keselowski, Chevrolet, 93.509 mph; August 22, 2008 (Nationwide)
  • Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet; 88.813 mph; Aug. 20, 2003 (Trucks)

Forty years ago Larry Carrier, Carl Moore and R.G. Pope gave birth to a dream on what was then a dairy farm in Eastern Tennessee. With an investment of $600,000, the partners purchased 100 acres and within a year construction was completed on what would soon become racing's fastest half-mile, Bristol Motor Speedway.

The partners probably couldn’t even imagine at the time that the initial 18,000 seats would give way to 160,000 -- the largest sports arena in the state and the toughest ticket to acquire in NASCAR.

On July 30, 1961, NASCAR made its debut at Bristol International Speedway on the perfect half-mile oval with 22-degree banked turns. Fred Lorenzen won the pole for the inaugural Volunteer 500 with a speed of 79.225 mph., while Jack Smith was credited for winning the race, despite having been relieved by Johnny Allen after the first 290 laps.

The track's configuration and name may have changed over the years, but the action at Thunder Valley has remained the same. Forty-two cars started in the first event and only 19 remained at the end. To this day, Bristol remains a race of attrition in both the Cup and Nationwide Series.

In 1969, Bristol was reshaped and remeasured to 0.533 mile. Six years later the track was sold to Lanny Hester and Gary Baker and in the spring of 1978 they renamed the venue Bristol International Raceway and showcased the action under the lights that August.

Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the track for $26 million in 1996 and renamed the track Bristol Motor Speedway.

Directions & Parking

The track is located on Volunteer Parkway, Highway 11E, on the south side of Bristol, Tenn. From the south: exit I-81 at I-181 to 11E; or at Tennessee Exit 69 and take Highway 37 to 11E. From the north: exit I-81 at Virginia Exit 3 and take 11E south; or at Virginia Exit 17 and take Va. 75 south, Tenn. 44 south, to U.S. 421 north, to Tenn. 394 south (the Bristol Beltway).

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