Bristol race draws big crowd to the ‘Last Great Coliseum’


BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – While Bristol Motor Speedway has a policy of not releasing official attendance numbers, BMS General Manager confirmed what anyone could see if they were at the track Saturday night, or if they were watching from home.

“We had a huge crowd and we were up over last year,” said Caldwell.

He credits a great weather forecast … and a lot of hard work.

“Across this region, we work so hard to welcome these folks from all over the world. When it all comes together and we get great weather and the stars align, its a lot of fun, and that’s what happened here” said Caldwell.

Well-known NASCAR writer Jeff Gluck took to Twitter- proclaiming Saturday at BMS “a good race” citing the results of his popular social media poll.

NBC Sports said ratings were up seven percent over last year – making BMS the highest-rated Saturday Cup Series race on cable in 2 years.

But, did local businesses see the bump too?

Kevin Mumpower says, “Race weekend here on Euclid avenue was a little slower than the last couple of three weeks.”

He and his wife, Ginger, recently opened Gingerbread Cooking and Catering.

“A lot of people just camp, so they’ll go to the campgrounds. Down there was probably pretty busy, but up here, not so much,” said Mumpower

So they made the move and took their business to BMS.

“We set up down on the track on Friday and Saturday and we made up for it,” says Mumpower.

In this big crowd – the track confirms it welcomed a lot of newcomers, something Caldwell says he hopes becomes a tradition.

“It’s a bucket list event for a lot of people, what we want to do is move it from the bucket list to the annual list,” said Caldwell.

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