Home It’s Bristol, baby; Street Outlaws style in Thunder Valley

It’s Bristol, baby; Street Outlaws style in Thunder Valley

Rod Mullins

When was the last time Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway had turn away people?

bristol motor speedwayTry Tuesday night at Thunder Valley as Bristol Dragway hosted a special event featuring the stars of the hit Discovery show, Street Outlaws, and was it a big hit.

More like a grand slam for the track, the crowd and the Bristol region. The only downside? Not everyone got to see the Street Outlaws in action because of the larger than expected crowd.

The entire 405 Top Ten List from Street Outlaws including the show’s biggest stars, Big Chief, Murder Nova and the duo of AZN and Farmtruck along with 22 other street racers from Oklahoma City and across the United States descended upon Thunder Valley for a never before seen 32-car field drag race, in pursuit of big money; $100,000, the largest prize amount in the show’s history.

It was the first time Bristol Dragway had sponsored an event of this type and a first for the Street Outlaws who normally do their drag racing on the street.  The free taping event for the special was so big that after 8:00 pm, track communications reps had e-mailed out announcements and social media that the event had reached capacity, forcing track officials to stop admitting vehicles on property.

“What an amazing turnout at this episode taping of the Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway.

Estimates placed the crowd at near 21,000 for the event and photos shared on social media showed Bristol Dragway filled to the brim and overflowing  with fans from all over the area.

“We knew the show was tremendously popular, however we didn’t anticipate a turnout this strong for a Tuesday night. It’s a testament to the show’s popularity, the power of social media engagement and the opportunity for fans to be a part of history,” added Caldwell.

The Street Outlaws made an appearance at the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race in Bristol during the weekend promoting and publicizing the event.

Pilgrim Media Group, the series producer, filmed the event for a Street Outlaws special that will air early next year. Although some fans attending probably know the outcome, the highlights of the event will not be revealed until the special airs.

In the meantime, Caldwell is apologizing to the fans who came to Bristol and weren’t able to see the taping of the special because of the larger than expected crowd.

“We sincerely apologize to any fans of the show who were not able to join us,” said Caldwell.

Story by Rod Mullins/Augusta Free Press

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins covers NASCAR for AFP, and co-hosts the mid-week “Street Knowledge” focusing on NASCAR with AFP editor Chris Graham. A graduate of UVA-Wise, Rod began his career in journalism as a reporter for The Cumberland Times, later became the program director/news director/on-air morning show host for WNVA in Norton, Va., and in the early 1990s served as the sports information director at UVA-Wise and was the radio “Voice of the Highland Cavaliers” for football and basketball for seven seasons. In 1995, Rod transitioned to public education, where he has worked as a high school English, literature, and creative writing teacher and now serves as a school program coordinator in addition to serving as a mentor for the robotics team.