Cleaning up the colosseum: What it will take to remove the dirt in the infield

Racing

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Currently, the “world’s fastest half-mile” is the world’s dirtiest half-mile with the ongoing dirt races taking place throughout the month of April.

While Bristol Motor Speedway brought back a racing tradition, it also brought 23,000 cubic yards of dirt into the infield, dirt that will have to eventually be removed, but just like any good party, someone has to clean up when the fun is over.

“It’s going to be a big project to get cleaned up and get ready for our other events, especially heading toward the September NASCAR race back on the concrete, but we’ll get it done,” said General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway Jerry Caldwell.

The cleanup process, according to Chad Baker, president of Baker’s Construction, shouldn’t be too bad.

“The cleanup process is a little delicate at the beginning getting started because we’re only about a foot deep at the top of the wall, but then we get down to the middle and we’ll have 8 feet of dirt right in the center. It’ll come out a lot easier than it went in, actually,” said Baker.

As far as getting the dirt out, Baker said that process will most likely take two weeks, but that’s not even the hard part.

“Getting the dirt out of the track surface is pretty easy, now the rest of the facility and all the dirt that’s been created from the dust, tops of the suites, the tops of the roofs of the concession stands and the restrooms and all the dust that’s settled in all those places will be a little bit different story,” said Senior VP of Operations and Development Steve Swift.

As far as where the dirt will go, it’s being recycled with plans to store it on-site in hopes of hosting another dirt race in the future.

“We lime treated this dirt. It was the only way we were able to get compaction in the wintertime and so we’ve got quite a bit invested, as in extra money, and being able to stockpile it and use it again will make us even faster at being able to put it back in,” said Baker.

However, something they’re not looking forward to is the actual cleanup process.

“To a certain extent, yes. There’s going to be a little bit of dread in there, but knowing what it’s created, it’ll be well worth it,” said Swift.

The cleanup process at Bristol Motor Speedway will begin around May 1 once dirt races are complete.

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