bristol motor speedway

NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s ‘My Greatest 8’ — ‘It’s Bristol, baby!’

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Hard as it may seem to believe, there is just one race left in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR Cup career.

NASCAR America began a series last week that chronicles eight of Junior’s favorite memories of his career called “My Greatest 8.”

Today marks the eighth and final episode of the series.

Until 2004, no driver had swept a weekend of Xfinity and Cup races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. became the first when he swept the fall weekend under the lights at the short track.

While his father won at Bristol nine times, the night race win for Earnhardt was his only Cup victory at Bristol.

In victory lane, Earnhardt coined one of his trademark phrases when he proclaimed, “It’s Bristol, baby!”

Prior to his final start at the track in August, Bristol Motor Speedway erected a large sign with the phrase outside the track.

Here’s the first seven segments of “My Greatest 8” that have aired in chronological order:

Monday, Nov. 6: First Xfinity championship in 1998 driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Tuesday, Nov. 7: Wins second consecutive Xfinity championship in 1999.

Wednesday, Nov. 8: First career Cup win at Texas in 2000.

Thursday, Nov. 9: Wins 2000 All-Star race

Monday, Nov. 13: Wins 2001 Pepsi 400 at Daytona

Tuesday, Nov. 14: Wins 2004 Daytona 500

Wednesday, Nov. 15: Wins second Daytona 400

Here’s why Bristol lost bid to operate Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
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A late bid by Bristol Motor Speedway to operate Fairgrounds Speedway was rejected Thursday by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville (Tennessee) and Davidson County.

An intent to award the bid to Tony Formosa to continue running the track was issued Thursday. The Tennessean reported that the city would offer Formosa a 5-year contract.

Bristol Motor Speedway’s bid had received support on Twitter from Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott, among others.

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County released its reasoning Friday based off an evaluation on the four bids. Bristol Motor Speedway’s bid ranked third.

In the comments for the Bristol bid, the government report stated: “The proposal relies on Metro capital funding commitment for improvements with no financial contribution from the proposer (“As the facility owner, it would be desired that Metro would fully fund the renovation capital costs”); shared revenue would be Metro’s share of sales tax only with no lease payments or direct revenue to The Fairgrounds; 30-year lease not desirable; lacked details throughout the entire diversity plan.’’

In a statement from Bristol Motor Speedway after the bid was awarded: “Since news of Bristol Motor Speedway’s interest in Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway became public, the groundswell of local and national support for our vision to bring NASCAR back to Nashville has been humbling. We along with the entire racing community have a deep respect for the Fairgrounds Speedway history and would love to renew its tradition through NASCAR national series events as well as local races. We believe that the historic Fairgrounds racetrack can again become a premier destination that builds on the strengths and traditions of Nashville. We hope there will be future conversations with the city about how Bristol Motor Speedway is well-positioned to help accomplish these goals.”

As for the winning bid by Formosa, the government report stated:  “Detailed plan evaluation criteria section was slightly less detailed and comprehensive; demonstrated a strong understanding of neighborhood impacts and the fair board operations; proposed the highest guaranteed lease payment for proposed motor sport and non-motor sport events; proposed creative non-motor sport events to activate speedway on non-race days; committed more towards revenue while providing less guarantee towards improvements; while the funding amount of $500,000 for improvements was not the highest, it did not rely on any Metro funding that may or may not be available; considerations of noise reduction.’’

The bid by Formosa was given an evaluation score of 78.25 of 100. Bristol Motor Speedway’s bid scored 50.50. A bid from Alexander Racing scored 74.50, and a bid by Alabama Track Ventures LLC scored 48.30.

The evaluation scored up to 40 points for detailed plan, 35 points for qualifications and experience, 20 points for financing proposal and five points for diversity plan. Bristol Motor Speedway scored the lowest (15 points out of 40) for its detailed plan. It also ranked last in its financing proposal (10 points of 20).

Intent to Award Letter and Justification document 


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Five Cup teams to miss practice time at Darlington

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images
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Reed Sorenson, Corey LaJoie and Michael McDowell each will miss 15 minutes of the opening Cup practice Friday at Darlington Raceway for being late to qualifying inspection at Bristol two weeks ago, NASCAR announced.

Rookie Erik Jones will miss 15 minutes in Friday’s final practice for failing inspection before the Bristol race two times.

David Ragan will miss 30 minutes in Friday’s final practice for failing inspection before the Bristol race three times.

Opening Cup practice is from 1 – 2:25 p.m. ET.

Final Cup practice is from 3:30 – 4:55 p.m. ET.

Both practices will be on NBCSN.

Bristol Motor Speedway in running to manage Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway

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Bristol Motor Speedway is among at least two groups under consideration to manage Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, track officials told NBC Sports on Wednesday evening.

“We can confirm that Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) has submitted a proposal to manage the historic Fairgrounds Speedway and would be honored to serve as its promoter,” BMS executive vice president and general manager Jerry Caldwell said in a statement.

UPDATE: Bid to run track to go to current owner, Tennessean reports

The .596-mile track, which has a seating capacity of 15,000, was previously known as Nashville Speedway and Music City Motorplex.

The Speedway last held a NASCAR Cup race in 1984 (Geoffrey Bodine won), while its last Xfinity race was in 2000 (Randy Lajoie won), the same year of its last Truck race (Randy Tolsma won).

More recently, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East last raced there in 2008, the same year as the NASCAR Southwest Series also raced there.

Caldwell continued: “Bruton Smith, executive chairman and Marcus Smith, chief executive officer (of BMS’s parent company, Speedway Motorsports Inc.), have a vision that the venue can again become a premier destination and they have a solid reputation of creating world-class facilities.

“If selected, the BMS team stands ready to work in collaboration with the city of Nashville to boost the fan experience, improve safety and produce iconic events at the Fairgrounds Speedway. We are confident that great success can be achieved for the racetrack while balancing the quality of life for its surrounding neighbors.”

According to a report in The Tennessean newspaper, BMS is one of at least two groups vying to manage the track, which is the second-oldest continually operating track in the U.S. The other group is headed by current facility manager Tony Formosa, who has operated the track since 2010.

The prospect of BMS caught the attention of several current and former NASCAR drivers on social media:

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Xfinity Series gets new Dash 4 Cash schedule for next season

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NASCAR announced a new schedule for its Dash 4 Cash program in the Xfinity Series next year and it will include one new track in Talladega Superspeedway.

The new four-race schedule will also play out over the course of four consecutive races for the first time.

Talladega takes the place of Phoenix Raceway, which hosted the first Dash 4 Cash race of this season.

The new schedule has the program taking place at Bristol Motor Speedway (April 14), Richmond Raceway (April 20), Talladega (April 28) and Dover International Speedway (May 5).

Rules and format for the program will be announced at a later date.

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