We just returned from the March 2012 NASCAR Race in Bristol TN. It was a wet but wonderful weekend in Bristol. We have been to the races at Bristol several times and it is a race track you have to put on your Bucket List. We have always done NASCAR races but after this weekend the track let us camp with our motor home in the drag strip facility and we now have the Drag Races added to our bucket list. Thanks to the wonderful folks at the Bristol Speedway, Tim Lopata, Doug Shillinger and Jason Thompson the Aero cars had a great display for the Food City folks at their Hospitality Area.
There were 14 Ford products in attendance and 7 Mopars. In addition, there were a few hot rods and a lot of race cars. We always enjoy visiting with all the other Dodge, Plymouth and Ford/Mercury owners but this year was really special. Eddie and Lenny Wood (Wood Brothers Racing) again stopped by and spent 3 hours visiting with all of us and providing autographs to anyone who asked. They are as down to earth as any NASCAR stars we have ever met and we enjoyed our time with them immensely. One very special moment was when Eddie was reunited with his very first car a 1971 Mercury Cyclone GT. He spent a lot of time talking to the current owners and looking the car over. It is in great shape.
Another highlight was an autograph session with some of thy Cup drivers. Katrina grabbed our “autograph helmet” and was able to get autographs from Jeff Gordon and Joey Lagano. Unfortunately, she also got Kurt Busch’s.
Just outside of our display area the new 2013 Ford NASCAR race car was on display next to the 2012 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers number 21. It was a great opportunity to compare the current NASCAR race car with the new one. I am excited about seeing these new cars on the track next year. They don’t look 100% like street cars but rather more like race modified street cars. I like what I saw.
Unfortunately, we did not get photos of every car on site but just missed a couple and we apologize.
After the show on Friday most of the cars headed south to Sevierville for more fun on Saturday including time at a show, cruise through the beautiful Tennessee hills and informal gathering with food at the famous Floyd Garrett Muscle Car Museum. For a few of us the draw of the Bristol track was too strong and we stayed there to attend the race on Sunday. The Speedway also invited us to display a few of the cars at the track’s Thank You Party for Season Ticket Holders before the race. It was a terrific event with NASCAR drivers such as Jeff Burton and the eventual race winner, Brad Keselowski, attending. They spent quite of bit of time talking and answering questions from those in attendance. If you were quick you could even get an autograph. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and we had wet drizzle all morning. However, those cars and spectators who showed up had a great time and were the real diehards.
We were showing our 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Cale Yarborough car. It is a 428 CJ with Ram Air and C6 transmission; one of only 22 ever built. Since Saturday was kind of a down day with no activity for the show cars we decided to exercise the 428 some on the streets of Bristol. We had a great time and turned some heads. In one way it turned out to be another highlight of the trip but not for the reason you might think. Check back later this week and we will tell you the story of when to ignore a GPS.
THANKS AGAIN TO THE SPEEDWAY, TIM LOPATA, DOUG SHILLINGER AND JASON THOMPSON FOR MAKING THIS ANOTHER GREAT WEEKEND FOR THE FORD FOLKS!
About the Author: I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California. The time there was very rewarding but the urge for a slower pace moved us to Tennessee a few years ago and we love it. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle. As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. When they don't we are usually out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.