What a weekend! Now anyone who knows me knows that Tennessee is one of my most favourite places on Earth. The scenery, atmosphere and people there are amazing. Bristol itself is a pretty cool place on its own. Driving through the old downtown is interesting. If you are standing on the right side of the road you are in the State of Tennessee, but if you are on the left side you are in the State of Virginia. Yes the state line runs down the middle of Bristol! Another fact that I did not know is Bristol is the Birthplace of Country Music.

“Record producer Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Company was making music history in Bristol TN/VA.  Between July 25 and August 5 of that year, Peer conducted recording sessions using the new Western Electric electronic microphone during which 19 performers (or groups of performers) recorded 76 songs.  Those sessions – the now famous “Bristol Sessions” – are known as the “Big Bang” of modern country music, and were called by Johnny Cash “The most important event in the history of country music.”

The 1927 Bristol Sessions featured the first recordings of both Jimmie Rodgers, and the Carter Family.  Jimmy Rodgers is now referred to as the “Father of Country Music” and was the first person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The Carter Family, featuring A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter, is now known as “The First Family of Country Music” and are also in the Hall of Fame.  The 1927 Bristol Sessions not only initiated the careers of these superstar performers, but initiated the broad commercialization of country music.  Many of the songs and stylings of those sessions still resonate and influence the music of today.  

For these reasons, in 1998 the United States Congress officially designated Bristol TN/VA as the “Birthplace of Country Music.” –https://birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/

Now onto the track and the races. Bristol is now as the Last Great Coliseum. Driving up to the track it is quite the sight to see. Saturday morning while we were driving into town to do some touristy stuff, we came across the “Hauler Parade” A police escorted parade of all the NASCAR Cup Haulers heading into the track. It was a cool sight to see. When we got back to the track we walked in through the back and stood at the top of the track at the entrance to turn 3. It is crazy to see how banked and steep the track is. Pictures and video do not do it justice (although my legs and calves could tell you after that weekend). Jenny and I walked down into the infield and went to find the media center. We found our work station, got our stuff set up and decided to go for a walk around the infield as the trucks were getting ready for practice. We watched some of the practice and walked through the pits taking in the sights, sounds and smells (if your a race fan you get this!) We then headed back to the media center for the interviews. Jenny is a big Kyle Busch fan so we wanted to be there for that. Denny Hamlin and Kamui Kobayashi who is a Japanesse Formula 1 driver who will be running a few races this year for the 23 XI team. We noticed a bunch of other drivers making there way into the media center and once the interviews were done they dispersed themselves around the room and we were free to walk up to anything and ask them questions. Very cool experience that we have not yet come across. We decided to go and sit in the stands to watch the truck race and what a race it was! Probably one of the best truck races I’ve watched, Christian Eckes was the winner.

Stats for the race: 250 laps 133.25 miles Total time for the race – 1 hour 39 mins, 6 cautions flags and 4 lead changes among 3 drivers average speed was 80.017 miles per hour

After the race we headed up more stairs to the main level and out to the fan area to join the 80’s after party hosted by the band Spankz! We hung out there for a while enjoying the party and then Jenny found some people she knew so we headed back to their campsite to continue the shenanigans there.

Sunday, we decided to do some fan experiences and we participated in the track walk. Very cool experience of signing our names at the start finish line. We then walked the track. I talked about it earlier but the banking and how steep it is, is insane. Pictures and video do not show it at all. We then moved to the infield for driver introductions. Jenny fangirled a bit high fiving the drivers as they came past including, of course Kyle Busch. Daniel Suarez was handing out stuffies in the shape of tacos and threw one to me. He is one of Cleve’s favourite driver so cool gift for him! We decided to watch the first stage of the race from the stands so we made our way up. We decided to watch the start of the race from the media pit. We stood along the fence, watching the cars come to the green flag. The sound is deafening and the rumble shakes your body. My ears were still ringing 2 days later. We found some seats and watched the race. After the first stage was complete, Jenny and I decided to go down into the pits to watch second stage. Media is allowed to stand in any empty pits to take pictures/ videos etc. The first empty stall we found was in between Martin Truex Jr and Daniel Suarez. We no sooner got there and the caution flag flew, so very quickly Jenny got to stand right there as the crew complete a pit stop on Martin Truex Jr’s car and then Daniel Suarez’s crew completed the pit stop on his. We then decided to head to the other side and ended up between Joey Lagano and Kyle Larson and again we just got there and the caution flag flew again. We finished watching the second stage from the pits and then made our way back up to the stands to watch the final stage. What a race it was. Tires and tire wear was the biggest problem and age and knowledge became key as the older more experienced drivers quickly learned to change their driving style and save their tires. It was an exciting race right to the end and Denny Hamlin was able to pull out the win!

Stats for the race: 500 laps 266.5 miles Total time for the race 3 hours 20 mins 9 caution flags 54 leads changes among 16 drivers average speed 79.678 miles per hour

Overall, what an amazing weekend. NASCAR is amazing to the media and makes you feel so welcome. Bristol is amazing and I was glad to bring Jenny so she could experience this as well! For more videos check out Life’s A Blog on Facebook, Life’s A Blog on Instagram and @tracyellispc275realty on TikTok

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