By Don Freels, Bristol Fan 

Twice each year, race fans, their families and friends take a weeklong camping vacation in the foothills of northeast Tennessee. They typically stay in the same campground, and perhaps even camp in the same spots.


They make friends with those around them… Good friends. You know what I’m talking about… friendships in which people genuinely care about one another… their mutual health and happiness. These friendships are bonds that last for years.

These bonds result in sharing Christmas cards every year, and folks remembering your birthday. Family formed at Bristol is special.

I personally know of accounts of Bristol-found friendships that have resulted in individuals gladly driving several hours, just to help someone in need… people reaching into their wallets to aid a fellow Bristol fan.

Yes indeed, families are formed at Bristol.

As for me, I’ve been going to Bristol Motor Speedway for several years now, attending both the March and August NASCAR races. I’ve camped in Earhart East Campground, and socialized in the same area of the campground.

It all started with the BMS Message Board. One of the folks I normally camped with called me one evening and asked me to join the message board and interact with some of the friends she had made.

I joined. I made friends easily with those who were on the board and we began getting to know one another quite well. The core group started camping together, and every race a few more folks from the message board camped with the group.

From there, the group expanded every race week until it became what it is today, a community – perhaps some of you have heard of it. We call it Jelloville. Now, I look forward to going to Bristol as much as I would look forward to my family’s annual reunion.

But Bristol is even bigger than that…

In the Bruton Smith Building, Bristol’s staff has become an expansion of our “family”. At no other sports venue I’ve visited have I encountered such a close knit group of professionals, who are totally dedicated to providing their attendees the very best fan experience they could possibly have.

At no other venue have I been treated in a way that clearly conveys that “I’m special, and what I think really matters”.

From the folks painting the walls on the track, to the folks in the ticket office, to the General Manager of the Speedway, I’ve been met with smiles and open arms.

Plainly stated, it’s the Disneyworld of racetracks. Come to Bristol. In fact, join us in March! Enjoy the race, and become part of our ever-growing happy family!


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