Fans still enjoying race weekend despite not being allowed to attend race


BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Despite an abnormally-quiet race week, race weekend is looking like a different story for some fans.

“I mean this is our livelihood we look forward to this, this is our vacation it’s like our family vacation for us twice a year every year,” Robert Shearl said, who drove from Castlewood, Va. to camp at Earhart Campground this weekend.

It’s hard to give up on traditions.

“In a row I’ve been coming here 17 years,” Shearl said.

Fans won’t be allowed inside Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend, they can’t even go on the premises.

“There’s nothing, no sponsors to walk, but we’re here in support of the drivers in support of Bristol,” Earhart Campground camper Patti Hartranft said.

That won’t stop them from enjoying race weekend.

“I got the phone call and I said yep we’re in not a problem and I called him and he said yep we’re in and we drove down from Pennsylvania to be here,” Hartranft said.

Hartranft and her family drove 10 hours to camp out here. Shearl had a shorter drive and has some big plans this weekend.

“We’re gonna sit and put a 43 inch TV on the tailgate and we’re gonna drink a beer and we’re gonna watch a race we might not be able to hear it because of the cars but that’ll be great to,” Shearl said.

It’s not the same experience, but there’s an opportunity to have a great time this weekend.

“I’m grateful that this campground opened and we can see the track and we can hear the cars and hopefully the drivers know we’re here,” Hartranft said.

They’re hoping the drivers can see them in the stands for the night race in September.

“Oh yeah I’m hoping it’s back to normal if not we’ll be sitting out here again and watching the race on TV it’s not gonna hold us back,” Shearl said.

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