Fans, businesses excited as dirt race weekend nears

Local

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — We are just four days away from yet another significant event at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Food City Dirt Race will be attended by race fans from all across the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty for the last year, but one thing for sure is that Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled to bring history to “the world’s fastest half-mile.” We checked in with race fans about their excitement.

“We just love coming down to Bristol. The food, the people, the excitement,” said race fan and Nebraska native Tom Brummet.

Many near and far are making the trek to experience a first in their lifetime.

“Dirt. I’ve never been to the local ones, a real dirt race where you had professionals racing and I can’t even picture it in my head. I’m really looking forward to it,” Brummett explained.

The Food City Dirt Race at BMS brought Brummett and his pals to experience the cultural marvel, after skipping out last year due to COVID.

“I’ve been coming for about 15 years,” he said. “I’ve been to a lot of tracks and Bristol is the best.”

“I love short tracks rather than the superspeedways. They’re just more fun, and then Bristol has no bad seats.”

Sports Fever and More owner and Bluff City native Danny Gentry said he has been selling shirts at Bristol Motor Speedway since 1982.

“Oh, gosh. I’m excited about it, although the fans is limited but this is the biggest crowd from what I heard,” Gentry said.

Gentry and his crew are selling shirts and hats just steps away from the speedway’s entrance.

“The general public is excited because most of the race fans have never seen the cars run on dirt,” Gentry said.

It’s an adrenaline rush that can be felt even on the Virginia side of Bristol, where businesses on the state line are preparing for one of the biggest races since the pandemic.

“We expect it to be a big weekend,” Burger Bar manager Corey Young said.

Young hopes this race weekend will bring in big bucks for the Bristol classic, following the hit it received at the peak of the pandemic.

“It’s been rough working through the pandemic. Business has been slow,” Young explained. “There was another race last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, and it was huge for us, so we had a big weekend so expect to keep rolling and have a big weekend.”

Brummett explained, “Makes the hair on your arms stand up when they drop the green flag and everybody hits the throttle at the same time. Just a wonderful atmosphere. I love Bristol.”

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