Bristol Motor Speedway to Host Outlaws BRISTOL, TN (November 10) - With two existing NASCAR Winston Cup facilities recently breaking ground on dirt race tracks, Bristol Motor Speedway announced Wednesday it will to pour more ...
Bristol Motor Speedway to Host Outlaws
BRISTOL, TN (November 10) - With two existing NASCAR Winston Cup facilities recently breaking ground on dirt race tracks, Bristol Motor Speedway announced Wednesday it will to pour more than 8,000 cubic yards of earth on its existing surface for a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series event next season. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series and Bristol officials expect more than 50,000 fans to attend the June 9-10 event. TNN Motorsports will televise the June 10th race live, starting at 9 p.m. eastern time. The $102,670 purse will one of the largest for a double-feature event in series history. The preliminary program purse will reward $5,000 to the winner and $500 to start the 20-lap feature race. The main event winner will receive $20,000, and each driver starting the race will receive at least $1,000. Not since Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith turned the lights on at Charlotte has a race track announced such radical plans to host an event. "Even I think this is a pretty wild idea," Smith said. "Our superspeedways have, or are building, dirt short tracks to host these racing series in Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas and Las Vegas. But Bristol already has the most popular short track with all the amenities any race fan could want. Our people say we can put the dirt right on top of Bristol's concrete, the same surface that makes for great, legendary NASCAR shows. Just imagine what it's going to be like to see these cars under the Bristol lights." After weeks of research and inquiries with competitors, area dirt track owners and fan focus groups, Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series President Ted Johnson visited the speedway October 11th and reviewed plans with track officials, the speedway's development department and contractors. "It can be done," Johnson said, "and it will make a spectacular race. We made a couple of adjustments to plans for putting dirt on the track, increasing the width of the racing groove and such. "Our racers are really excited about it. The thing they keep saying is, 'How does Bristol feel about hosting cars that are going to run 15-to-20 m.p.h. faster than the NASCAR cars run?' The guys who are really excited about it are the NASCAR guys who used to run our series, guys like Tony Stewart, Kenny Irwin, Ken Schrader, Jeff Gordon, John Andretti and Dave Blaney. They say, 'You're going to do what?'" Conversion from concrete surface to dirt will begin in mid-May, giving the BMS development team the opportunity to roll out the dirt surface and condition it for two weeks of racing. As soon as the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series feature ends, the real challenge begins - the post-race cleanup - in order to get the track ready for the August lineup of NASCAR night races. "This first time out, we're going to say it will take a month to clean the track, apron, walls and grandstands of the dirt," Director of Development Scott Hatcher said. "We plan to stockpile the dirt on our property so that we can bring it back in for the 2001 dirt races." Blaney, who enters NASCAR's Winston Cup division, also owns the #93 Amoco Maxim driven by his brother, Dale. He plans to race in the Bristol event, though it will require a lengthy commute from Michigan. Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth, TX, and Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, NC, and broke ground on permanent dirt tracks in mid-August and have set dates for sprint car racing's premier series in 2000. The series will visit Texas Motor Speedway March 30-31 and October 12th and 14th, while Lowe's Motor Speedway hosts the fire- breathing, mudslinging sprint cars May 25-26 and October 5-6 next season. WoO
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