Sometimes we just get brought back down to earth. It can be different things that do it for each of us. Different things affect all of us in different ways. However, sometimes, something, one thing, touches us all.

Sometimes we just get brought back down to earth. It can be different things that do it for each of us. Different things affect all of us in different ways. However, sometimes, something, one thing, touches us all.

Last week was such a time.

Weather is a unique thing. Being in the outdoor sports/entertainment business, most of us in racing pay quite a bit of attention to weather. We have different weather websites bookmarked on our computers. The Weather Channel is standard viewing. Some even go as far as getting weather update texts and tweets on our phones. And by the way, thanks to all of you who asked about us via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter during and following last week's storms.

So most of us saw the destructive path being cut by the storms across the South last Wednesday. We had the TV and websites and texts and tweets to tell us.

But even knowing what was coming, or at least thinking what might come, did not prepare me for what was left when the storms were gone.

From Alabama and Georgia, through North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia and other places, tornadoes by the hundreds discriminated little in the damage they left affecting people by the thousands.

Having lived in Florida for 10 years while working for NASCAR, I had lived through and seen results of more than one tropical storm and hurricane. There was a running joke that we didn’t get real concerned about the weather until it had a name attached to it. Bertha, Dennis, Floyd, Gordon, etc., etc.

Well what ravaged the South last week leaving the worst path of destruction since a certain Union General made his way through these part didn’t have a name when it came through. But sure left an impression in its wake leaving most of us asking “who was that masked man?”

It sure wasn’t the Lone Ranger.

From Alabama to Virginia, hundreds were left dead, thousands homeless and hundreds of thousands without power.

About 45 minutes south of Bristol Motor Speedway, in Greene County, Tenn., the destruction was staggering. About 45 minutes north of BMS, in Washington County, and southern Smyth County, Va., and the community of Glade Spring, the path of the storm could be followed like a highway. Only this GPS was uprooted 80-foot tall, 100-year-old trees and foundations where houses once sat.

In a neighborhood within sight of Turn 2 of BMS, it appears not a house was left undamaged. Yet, to the left or right, it appears not a house was touched.

In Glade Spring, the 230-plus-year-Old Glade Presbyterian Church, which had just been back under roof for less than a month after previous damage, suffered another setback, losing its steeple. Restaurants and businesses were flattened. Many who lived there not only suffered damage or loss to their homes, but many to their places of work and worship as well.

Nature’s double whammy.

Friday here at BMS, we’re kicking off the BMS Race to Relief. A 24-hour push to bring awareness and help where we can.

We’re going to let people drive on the famed high banks for a donation. Twenty-five percent of every ticket to the August race weekend we sell Saturday will go to relief effort.

We’re a sponsoring a drop-in-the-bucket campaign as well. More than 16,000 cars are estimated on Volunteer Parkway in front of the BMS on any given Saturday. If just half of them stop and drop in a bucket the change in their ashtrays (I have more than three bucks in mine at this moment), we could raise thousands of dollars.

We hope to.

We also have been designated as an official collection point for the local Red Cross chapter. Baby items, cleaning supplies and non-perishable food is in critical need. Bring it and we will get it delivered.

When things like this happen, we often ask, ‘what can we do?’

This Friday and Saturday, we will give folks lots of options.

Let’s help these folks start to put their lives back together because these events have touched us all.