Speedway Motorsports Unveils Plans for Bristol Dragway
14 August 1998Speedway Motorsports Unveils Plans for Bristol Dragway
BRISTOL, Tenn., Aug. 13 -- O. Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports , owner of Bristol Dragway, unveiled plans for an all new Bristol Dragway that will boast 35,000 permanent seats, more than any drag racing venue in the world. The new Bristol Dragway, which will cost approximately $10 million to build, will open in spring of 1999 for National Hot Rod Association sanctioned competition. Construction is under way on the site of Bristol's old dragstrip built in 1965 in the Tennessee hollow commonly known as Thunder Valley. Bristol Dragway will play host to the inaugural NHRA Winston Showdown, July 8-10, 1999, a special three-night all-star event that will match Top Fuel dragsters against Funny Cars for the first time in official NHRA competition. "This dragstrip will be second to none in terms of fan amenities, permanent seating, pit area and racing surface," said Smith. "It will truly be the state-of-the-art." Bristol Dragway plans call for a tower with up to 30 luxury suites, grandstands with aluminum seats and backs, and a 3,700-foot dragstrip with a five percent grade at the top and to assist competitors' braking. It also will feature a terraced reserved campground with elevated views of the dragstrip. In addition to the Winston Showdown, Bristol Dragway will host weekly NHRA bracket racing programs, Super Chevy Show in May and special jet and rocket car shows. Bristol Dragway will also play host to other events, including concerts. Bristol Dragway is owned by Bristol Motor Speedway, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports. Speedway Motorsports, the owner and operator of Atlanta, Bristol Charlotte, and Texas Motor Speedways, Sears Point Raceway, and 600 Racing, is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the U.S.