Bristol Here We Come DAYTONA BEACH, FL (August 19, 2002) - It is that time of year when NASCAR turns its attention to Thunder Valley at Bristol, TN. Wednesday, August 21, 2002 marks the opening night of racing at the high-banks of Bristol Motor...
Bristol Here We Come
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (August 19, 2002) - It is that time of year when NASCAR turns its attention to Thunder Valley at Bristol, TN. Wednesday, August 21, 2002 marks the opening night of racing at the high-banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. The Goody's Dash Series and the Hills Bro. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring will come together to put on two exciting stock car shows in one night.
Goody's Dash Series, Pabst Blue Ribbon "150" will get underway at 7:00 Wednesday evening which will be immediately followed by the Hills Bro. All Pro Series race.
This week will mark the beginning of the end for the 2002 Goody's Dash Series season. Bristol gives way to Pittsburgh, which leads to the bullring at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Jake Hobgood enters the event with an 89-point cushion over Robert Huffman. Hobgood no doubt is feeling the pressure. He knows as well as any of the drivers, that Bristol is no place to rest on your laurels. "This place can reach out and bite you fast," said Hobgood. "You have to be on your toes every single lap," adds Huffman.
Bristol has an eerie way of taking control of destiny. For anyone that is unlucky enough to find its hallowed walls, they leave the track with its indelible impression. There are no small crashes at Bristol and the complexion of the event can change in a hurry. It is a track that pushes drivers and machines to their limit. On one hand a driver needs to save his equipment for the last stage if the race. Yet, a 150-lap event doesn't give you too much time to just ride around. These drivers race hard from the moment the green flag is displayed, until the checkered flag waves.
And the track is predictably unpredictable. You can bet that there will be a crash or two. You can bet there will be some fender banging. You can bet there will be some hot tempers tested. But, you cannot easily predict a winner.
The 2001 race looked to be in the hands of eventual season Champion Cam Strader, when out of nowhere came an unknown, Brandon Ward. Ward passed Strader with ease and collected the win. Strader was a veteran and Ward was running a very limited schedule. This year, Brandon Ward is in the battle for Mag Clip Rookie of the Year honors. This year, Brandon Ward has more experience under his belt. Does this give him more confidence? "I am looking forward to Bristol, " he said. "But, that is not a track anyone can let themselves become overconfident. Everyone wants to stay on the bottom and the track roughness causes a lot of shock travel. So you have to check and double check things all day. To have a chance to win, you have to be there at the end. Bristol is an intimidating place no matter whether you have won there or not. But, knowing you have won there at least gives you a baseline to work with. It does give you the confidence that what you ran before worked and maybe it will work again."
Top 10 at Bristol 2001:
1. Brandon Ward; 2. Cam Strader; 3. Mickey York; 4. Johnny Chapman; 5. Angie Wilson; 6. Zach Brewer; 7. Jason Boyd; 8. Greg Goodell; 9. Brian Loftin; 10. Shane Hmiel.
Last 10 Winners:
Brandon Ward (2001); Roger Sawyer (2000); Zach Brewer )1999); Robert Huffman (1998); Brian Sockwell (1997); Lyndon Amick (1996); Mike Swaim, Jr. (1995); Edward Howell (1994); Mike Swaim (1993); Hut Stricklin (1992).
OTHER NOTES OF INTEREST:
* No driver has repeated as Bristol Race Champion since Dean Combs won both events in 1981.
* B.J. Mackey plans to be at Bristol in a Daly Racing Pontiac. Mackey has only one start in 2002 (Daytona). He holds the track qualifying record established in 2000. (16.264 secs./117.978 mph)
* Eric McClure of Abingdon, Virginia will make his series' debut at Bristol. Eric is the nephew of Morgan-McClure/Kodak Winston Cup owner Larry McClure, and works full time with the Morgan-McClure team. He races in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge at Lonesome Pine Raceway. McClure enters Bristol fresh off a win at Lonesome Pine Saturay, August, 17th.
The Goody's Dash Series race from South Boston, Virginia will be aired on Speed Channel Monday, September 2nd at 8 pm. Ralph Shaheen and Jeff Hammond will co-host the one hour broadcast.
Motordrome Speedway, Smithton, PA - Friday, September 13, 2002.
Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA - Friday, October 25, 2002.
Goody's Dash Series Championship Awards Banquet, Greensboro, NC - Saturday, November 23, 2002.