Bristol Motor Speedway

The World’s Fastest Half-Mile

When residents of Bristol, located in northeast Tennessee in Sullivan County, can no longer hear their own voices on the street, it can only mean one thing: NASCAR is back in town to race at the world’s fastest half-mile.

Every year, thousands of motorsport fans flock to the small community to take a seat in the stands at Bristol Motor Speedway and root for their favorite driver. Best of all, you won’t miss a second of the action on the .5-mile raceway – at Bristol, every seat is a good seat.

The track was built in 1960 and saw its first race on July 30, 1961. Initial sketches for the construction of the short oval were made on paper bags and envelopes.

It was a race of attrition, with only 19 out of 42 cars seeing the checkered flag. But history was made and the event became a staple of NASCAR’s ever-expanding schedule.

Over the years, Bristol has become a fixture on the NASCAR calendar, offering dirt racing alongside tarmac racing. Fans from all 50 states arrive with big smiles on their faces as the engines roar through the oval once more. Due to the tracks’ extreme banking, significantly higher speeds can be achieved compared to other short ovals of the same size. It’s a recipe for fun that fans and drivers have come to love.

However, the small arena is not only used for motor sports – the infield has also been converted into a football field and has served as the home ground in selected games for the Tennessee Volunteers and East Tennessee State Buccaneers.

Right next door to the racetrack is a quarter mile long drag track, the Bristol Dragway, better known to many as “Thunder Valley”. The dragway plays host to numerous NRHA events throughout the year.

Next up at Bristol Motor Speedway

More Racing in Tennessee

151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620

Quick facts

  • Darrell Waltrip holds the record for most wins, at 12

Read further:

This article includes links to third party offers. Each time you make a purchase, we receive a commission. Learn more