When I think of Bristol, I think of two thing's. The first is when me and B/R's own Ben Bomberger, went driving around trying to find Bristol Motor Speedway one day with no direction's. We never did find it, but we used it as an excuse to go eat some Chick-fil-A, then go on to Pigeon Forge to race go-carts.
Next, I think of the time I went to a Friday Night Busch Race at Bristol. I didn't even know I was going until that Thursday, when someone called and said, "hey, I have two ticket's to the race on Friday. I can't go. Do you want them?"
Of course, I said.
So with the short notice, I had no time to ask off work. So here I go, to my very first NASCAR race by myself. (Nobody I knew could get off work to go I may add.)
So I opened that morning at work. I got to work at 5 AM, and I work 10-hour shift's, so I didn't get off work til 3 PM.
I believe the race started at 7 PM. So here I go, with absolutely no clue how to get there, or any time to spare to get lost. My thought was that if I get close, I'll see a lot of people.
Upon arrival at Bristol, Tenn., I saw detour sign's everywhere that said: "Speedway fans this way."
I found the track, and was like I can't believe I'm doing this.
I got there right at race time (came from Elkin, N.C., just to mention). I parked my car along the side of a four-lane main road, (the closest I could get I may add), missed the trolley to get to the race track, and I walked in. If you've ever been to BMS, you know it's a hell of a walk.
It was worth the walk to me. It was race time, it was night time, I was an 18-year-old on a adventure in the hill's of Tennessee.
I saw some of the best racing I've ever seen in my life, and everything was so real...so close, even though the wreck's were awesome, every time there was one, these guys without their shirts on and carrying the alcoholic beverages, would run up to the front to the fence and then be rushed away by security.
There I was...this kid, all alone, not knowing what to do or how to act. So I think I just stood there all night. I would have probably sat, but everyone was standing in my way.
If I believe right, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won that night. He drove up on something to Victory Lane. It was awesome that night, more than I ever expected.
It was around midnight, and I had been up since like 3:30 that morning and was now heading home, wondering how the guy that parked beside me was even walking let a lone driving.
But anyway, I was thinking to my self: "I'll drive a little while, and just get a hotel or something. I expected the hotels around the speedway to be steep, but after driving all the way to Wytheville, VA., I stopped.
Barely holding my eyes open, I went in the Holiday Inn and said: "I need a room."
The lady behind the desk said, "OK, that will be $250."
I said, "NO," and went in to town to the crappiest hotel.
They said, "$100."
I was like, "I'll drive."
I drove home tired as crap, but glad I made the trip to BMS. It was awesome, I wish I was going this year.
I loved it that night.