Bristol Motor Speedway Brings Home Two Awards From NASCAR Summit
Each year NASCAR officials invite track operators to a three-day meeting in North Carolina to exchange ideas and share best practices. With NASCAR events being some of the largest spectator events in America, the goal is to continually evolve the ever-changing landscape in crucial areas such as security, safety, medical and operations for the coming year.
At the end of the NASCAR Summit, awards are presented by NASCAR to individuals who excelled during the previous season in their various fields. Bristol Motor Speedway, in cooperation with its partners, brings home two prestigious awards.
Robbie Parks, RN, EMT-P, an employee of Wellmont Health System, was presented the Nursing Director Award. Wellmont, the exclusive medical provider for the Speedway and Dragway, has provided at-track care for more than 15 years. Parks has worked BMS race weekends since 1986, but this was his first year leading the Wellmont Infield Care Center. His team also supports the other seven Wellmont locations around the track during NASCAR weekends.
"I was surprised, because I'm still learning all the ins and outs of my new position," said Parks. "Without the support of the Wellmont staff, the Bristol Motor Speedway team and NASCAR, none of this would have been possible."
In addition to Wellmont's care for BMS guests, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office along with other law enforcement agencies, provide security on BMS property during race weekends. Lt. David Meade, Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Sullivan Co. Sherriff's Office, also was recognized by NASCAR and presented with the Security Award for Excellence.
"I am extremely humbled," said Lt. Meade. "The success of the security services provided at BMS is not based on one person. It's about all the track personnel working well together such as the Bristol police, fire department, EMS and track services workers. I'd like to give a special thanks to NASCAR Security and the BMS front office. They help guide us so we can provide the best possible service to the fans.
"I remember when Jeff Byrd created that motto, 'Exceed Expectations' and I think from the time of his passing until now, looking back, he would be very happy about how people have embraced those words of encouragement. Jeff helped lead us down the road, but I think we're doing a pretty job of taking this to the next level because of everyone coming together with a common goal."
The Summit, held at the Concord (N.C.) Convention Center, included a record number of over 800 attendees. Competition for the yearly awards is steep. Beyond the traditional tracks that serve NASCAR Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series events, NASCAR international tracks are included in the consideration pool of candidates.
"It is an exceptional day for Robbie Parks, Lt. Meade and our partners at Wellmont and the Sullivan Co. Sherriff's Office," said Jerry Caldwell, general manager at BMS. "It's great that NASCAR takes the time to recognize the efforts of track operators and their partners. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make a race weekend a great experience for all guests. Bristol Motor Speedway drew fans from all 50 states and more than 26 countries in August. Our track's rich history and international appeal wouldn't be where it is today without dedicated partners, volunteers and staff all striving to Exceed Expectations."