Bristol: Notes and quotes

* NHRA NATIONAL EVENT RETURNS TO BRISTOL DURING 50TH ANNIVERSARY: Bristol Dragway was formerly the site of the NHRA's SpringNationals from 1965-67. The winners of the last NHRA national event held there included Don Prudhomme in Top Fuel, Tom...

* NHRA NATIONAL EVENT RETURNS TO BRISTOL DURING 50TH ANNIVERSARY: Bristol Dragway was formerly the site of the NHRA's SpringNationals from 1965-67. The winners of the last NHRA national event held there included Don Prudhomme in Top Fuel, Tom Grove in Funny Car, and Ronnie Sox in Super Stock. Following its tenure in Bristol the SpringNationals moved to Englishtown, N.J. for one year, then on to Dallas for the next three and finally settling in Columbus, Ohio, where it has remained since 1972. Speedway Motorsports purchased Bristol Dragway in 1998 and completely renovated the location to make it one of the premier and state-of-the-art facilities on the NHRA circuit.

* KENNY AND BRANDON BERNSTEIN ON BECOMING THE FIRST FATHER-SON DUO TO WIN NATIONAL EVENT: Five-time Winston Top Fuel champ Kenny Bernstein recently collected his 54th career national event victory in Las Vegas. His son, Brandon, also was an event winner in the Federal-Mogul dragster category, making the pair the first father-son duo to win at the same national event. "My number one accomplishment was breaking the 300 mph barrier," said the elder Bernstein. "The father-son victory today comes right behind it. I couldn't even believe it. I still can't. It is certainly something we didn't expect at all. What was even more amazing is that my father, Brandon's grandfather, just happened to make the trip to this race. The chances of all three of us being together for a day like this would have to be 100 million to one."

The five-time NHRA Winston champion has admitted that he will drive no longer than the completion of the 2002 season if not earlier. Upon his retirement he will turn over the Top Fuel driving duties to his son. "Words can't explain how I feel," said the 28-year old second generation racer "To be able to win a race this early in my career is terrific, but to share victory circle with my Dad, well, like I said, I just can't explain how happy I am."

* GARY SCELZI OVERDUE FOR A WIN: Three-time NHRA Winston Top Fuel champion Gary Scelzi has 23 career victories and if history is going to repeat itself, Scelzi should be in the winner's circle very soon. Statistically speaking, the Team Winston driver averages one victory for every 3.96 starts over his Top Fuel career. With no wins after five events the team has reason to be optimistic.

Bristol Dragway is also one of only two facilities, Las Vegas Motor Speedway being the other, where Scelzi has not won a national event or been low qualifier.

* WHIT BAZEMORE ON FUNNY CAR COMPETITION AND RECORD-SETTING FIELDS: "When our Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird is right, it is as good as any car out (there), said the 38-year old Indianapolis resident. "In the Funny Car class right now, there is no room for error. If you make an error here, you are not going to qualify, and that is the reality of it. You have to be nearly perfect every qualifying run, much less win the first round. So when you win rounds on Sunday, you've got a good team.

"We are going in the right direction and it's a long season. The top 10 cars are all really strong and it's going to continue to be tough to win rounds. I am very pleased with third (in Winston standings prior to Gainesville, Fla., race) and we just have to keep hammering away and solve our problems. I am not satisfied with the way my (reaction times) are in this car, but I am going to keep working on it."

* TRACK RECORDS TO BE ESTABLISHED AT BRISTOL DRAGWAY: Since no NHRA national event has been held at Bristol Dragway since 1967, technically elapsed time and speed records will be established at the Inaugural Mac Tools NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. The unofficial quickest and fastest passes recorded at Bristol are: <pre> Top Fuel - 4.559 seconds, Bob Vandergriff, July 1999; 322.19 mph, Vandergriff, July 1999. Funny Car - 4.879 seconds, John Force, July 1999; 307.50 mph, Whit Bazemore, July 1999. Pro Stock - 6.974 seconds, Warren Johnson, July 1999; 197.71 mph, W. Johnson, July 1999. </pre> * FAN APPRECIATION DAY AT THE TRACK: The Second Annual Fan Appreciation Day at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2001, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Combined, Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway annually attract more than a million fans to the various events taking place at the motorsports venues. Fan Appreciation Day provides an opportunity for the speedway, dragway and participating sponsors to say "thank you" to the fans for their support. Fans will be able to participate in a wide variety of Fan Appreciation Day activities, including "track laps." For $10, fans can make 5 laps around "The World's Fastest Half-Mile" in their own personal vehicles. Proceeds from the "track laps" benefit Speedway Children's Charities. Other activities include go-kart racing provided by NASCAR SpeedPark, suite tours, live entertainment, show cars, food and much more. The first 500 fans arriving will receive a "goodie bag" and door prizes will be given away throughout the day. David Browning, a.k.a. The Mayberry Deputy, will make a Fan Appreciation Day appearance.

The day's festivities begin with a hot air balloon race at 8 a.m., lifting off from the BMS infield. There also will be opportunities for fans to win tickets to various Speedway/Dragway events.

Fans attending are advised to use the south entrance.


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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Gary Scelzi , David Brown , Bob Vandergriff