NASCAR Roars back into the Volunteer State

from the Crossville Chronicle- Crossville, TN. August 21, 2007
By Joe Dunn / joe@onpitroad.com
(BRISTOL, TN.) – It’s late August here in Bristol and the whole area is jumping as the Stars of America’s favorite racing series rolls into the Thunder Valley.
Thousand of campers are assembling in makeshift campgrounds surrounding the racetrack, some arriving as early as last week. Among those early campers is John Wilson of Crossville, who arrived Saturday in anticipation of the big race week. By mid-week he will be surrounded by fellow campers from Crossville, Richmond, VA., Stuttgart, AR. And Niagara Falls, NY who gather at the same campsites every year at Bill Gaines’ Bristol Campground.
There will be lots of action for fans in and around the Bristol area. For diehard racers, the action starts Tuesday night in nearby Bulls Gap where Clint Bowyer, driver of the Richard Childress 07 Nextel Cup car will be jumping into a dirt Super Late Model to compete in a charity race to benefit The Crumley House – Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, located in Limestone, Tenn. Bowyer heads a field of Team RCR drivers Austin Dillon (teenage grandson of Childress), Dale McDowell and Tim McCreadie that will be competing in the 30-lap, $5,000-to-win … $1,000-to-start Super Late Model feature.
Wednesday, race fans will be in Bristol for the “Doubleheader Day” – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O’Reilly 200 and USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Food City 150.
Thursday, Food City Family Night will be on State Street, Downtown Bristol, 1-9 p.m. with sponsor displays, race show cars and driver autograph sessions. Early in the day, the Nextel cup Team haulers assemble at the Bristol Mall giving fans plenty of photo opportunities. At 9 pm the haulers begin what has become known as the Blue Lizard NASCAR Transporter Parade, as they drive in an organized parade fashion from the mall to the Speedway infield. Fans will line the 5 miles of Volunteer Parkway to salute the teams and get tons of pictures. In Bulls Gap Thursday night will be the Scorcher 100, a 50 lap Super Late Model race.
Friday fans will fill the stands for qualifying for the Sharpie 500 followed by the Food City 250 Nascar Busch Series race. This will be a big night for the Busch series as the field will be overloaded with Cup drivers doing double duty.
Finally Saturday Night will be the Nascar Nextel Cup, Sharpie 500, the most popular race on the schedule for both fans and drivers. 500 laps of beating and banging Bristol style, as over 160,000 fans fill the grandstands to capacity.