Nighttime madness at Bristol

Bristol: At speed and at night.
Bristol: At speed and at night.

Three weeks ago, I checked the Bristol Motor Speedway web site to see if any tickets were available for the Irwin Tools 500 night race this past Saturday night.

The best available seats were on row 3 of the Allison straightaway on the front stretch — a damn good location for a track that used to sell out a year in advance.

As with nearly all NASCAR tracks in this current economy, sellouts are a thing of the past.  Empty seats were visible around the stadium track called “the last great coliseum” and — many fans feel — the best place to watch a race live in the Sprint Cup series.

Bristol is also the place where favorites fall by the wayside and accidents and stupid mistakes ruin the night for many.

Kevin Harvick took out Denny Hamlin, who was leading, at the time and the accident also sent Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the garages for lengthy repairs.  In the end, Joey Logano came home for his third victory of the season with Brad Keselowski finishing second.  Both brought boos from many of the fans.

It was, however, a fun night for Amy and I.  Traffic to the track was not bad and we parked across Volunteer Lane from the track.

A good race and a trip to the track we hope to repeat next year.

Paratrooper drops in during opening festivities.
Paratrooper drops in during opening festivities.
Frans cheer on their drivers at the start of the race Saturday night.
Frans cheer on their drivers at the start of the race Saturday night.

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