There are plenty of special days in and around Bristol Motor Speedway. This place is tailor-made for them. If you've been here, you clearly know this. If you haven't, you've likely heard about them (please note: you should make it a point to visit us one day).

From history-making NASCAR races to spectacular holiday lights and all that falls between, memories have been, and continue to be made here.

To that end, January 22 may seem inconsequential to most; just another day perhaps. For Bristol Motor Speedway and the Tri-Cities region, it's a date that holds true significance and is a special day.

It was on this day, in 1996, that Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Chairman O. Bruton Smith completed the purchase of Bristol Motor Speedway from owner and co-founder Larry Carrier.

Hold on… there's a story here. It was once shared with me, "On that day a hush fell over the Tri-Cities region." Bruton had just completed construction on Texas Motor Speedway and there was a fear that one, or both Bristol race dates would be moved to his newest track, or spread among venues within Bruton's Speedway Motorsports, Inc. family.

But… O. Bruton Smith had a "Bristol" vision.

Now if you Google "Quotes about having a vision," you'll come up with roughly 560,000 results, most filled with plenty of inspiration, motivation, verses and shining examples of those who forged ahead to accomplish a goal.

Sharing a quote from Mr. Smith himself, "The road to success is always under construction," - Bruton immediately took action and began improvements on the fantastic motorsports foundation established and cultivated by Carrier and Carl Moore in 1961.

The previously mentioned "hush" turned into cheers. Many cheers. Under Bruton's leadership, investments generated expanded seating, suites, access routes, restrooms, elevators, concessions and an array of fan amenities - all combining to elevate Bristol's status, making it the most popular track among NASCAR fans.

On a personal note, when I drive into work each morning and I see the towering grandstands on the horizon, I find myself thinking how incredible it is that this Colosseum stands strong here in the hills of northeast Tennessee.

So yes, January 22 is a special day.

And the countdown is on.  We're all set to welcome NASCAR's greatest fans home in 50 days (or so) for the Food City 500 race weekend. Come be a part of all this venue has to offer. Make a memory. Call toll-free 866.415.4158 or visit for ticket information.

We hope you join us.