Holman One Of Many Looking Forward To Sept. 11 American Freedom Spectacular At BMS
Fresh off the IRWIN Tools Night Race, Bristol Motor Speedway hosts the USARacing Pro Cup Series American Freedom Spectacular Saturday, Sept. 11, an event which will showcase plenty of talent from a number of drivers eager to prove themselves on a bigger stage.
While USARacing Pro Cup drivers run the gamut from experienced short track veterans to young and exuberant rookies, all of them hope to be standing in victory lane once the checkered flag falls at the end of their 200-lap battle. For them, a win at Bristol puts them one step closer to finding their way through the ranks of stock car racing.
One driver who has experienced the excitement of winning at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile is Abingdon, Va. - based competitor Caleb Holman. Holman, who is tied for the Series point lead, scored a victory during the Pro Cup Series’ last appearance at BMS in 2008 and hopes to back that up next weekend with a similar result.
“That win was big for us,” Holman explained. “I’m excited to be here as the defending winner. It is my first time coming to a track as the defending winner. It is a big deal for me because I grew up 20 minutes down the road.
“This track is special because I got my first win here. I don’t know if there really is anywhere more special than this.”
“I’ve come to a bunch of races here with dad and I watched the [USAR] race here two years ago,” Elliott said. “I’ve always loved Bristol. I’m just glad to finally be able to run on this track.
“The banking is so much higher here than any other places we go,” he said continued. “I’ve run at Winchester (Speedway in Indiana) and it is close. This place is really neat.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum is former NASCAR Cup Series competitor Rick Wilson. Wilson won the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown race at BMS in March. The event, featuring several of NASCAR’s legendary drivers, was Wilson’s first time on the track in Bristol in more than a decade. It should not be a surprise that he won, however, as he developed an affection for the track long ago.
“When you come to Bristol, when you walk through the gate, it takes your breath,” he explained. “It has always been a blast for me. You have to have a good car, but event with a fast car, you can still get in to trouble. I’ve always had fun here…it is a heck of a lot of fun.”
Wilson, who drove for the local Morgan McClure Motorsports in the late 1980s, is ready to step behind the wheel again.
“I enjoy running every now and then,” he said, “but I love racing at Bristol. I’ve got a good hot rod and I’ve got a lot of fans around this place.”
J.P. Morgan, who holds down the third place in the points race, was quick to point out what makes Bristol so unique.
“You can’t see past where you’re going,” he said, “which is something different. The unknown is just around the corner. This place reminds me of New York City…You come in here and you have to look straight up to see the sky. It is an awesome facility and an honor to run here.”
USAR Pro Cup Series veteran Jeff Agnew hopes to turn his trip to Bristol into a visit to Victory Lane. The 1998 Series Champion sits fourth in points and is fresh off a victory at Concord Speedway.
“It is always fun to come here,” he said, “because you have to hold your breath for 200 laps. I just love this place because you can get two or three wide.
When asked what it would mean to win at Bristol, Agnew summed it up simply.
“It would mean a lot because of the history here. Winning is what it is all about. I’d love to see it happen here.”
In addition to the USARacing Pro Cup event, nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel brings his Street Stock Spectacular, a series he started just three years ago, back after a successful debut at BMS in 2008. The series features street stock cars – as many as 99 in a field -- that line up to start the race three wide. A 20-lap Charger race also is scheduled for the afternoon.
The Frank Kimmel Street Stock Spectacular takes the green flag at 3:15, followed by the USARacing Pro Cup race. The Charger race kicks off action at 3 p.m. Gates open at noon.
Tickets are just $15 in advance, or $20 on the day of the American Freedom Spectacular. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5.
Anyone donating blood at Bristol Motor Speedway’s Fifth Annual Blood Drive will receive one free ticket for the American Freedom Spectacular.
For more information, please call (423) 989-6900 or visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.