By admin | December 23, 2008
By Richard Allen
This past week the Allen family made what has become an annual Christmas season trek to the Bristol Motor Speedway. The trip is always a highlight of the holidays for my wife and I and most of all for our two young sons.
Whether you are a race fan or not you will enjoy the extravaganza of lights that surround the track and its property. Admission is only $10 per car on weekdays and $12 per car on weekends. All proceeds go to the very worthy cause of Speedway Children’s Charities.
There is something for everyone. There are, of course, racing themed displays. An illuminated pit crew servicing a race car with four tires and fuel and a dragster roaring down the strip complete with a parachute to slow the car at the finish will provide thrills for racing enthusiasts.
Aside from the racing themed lights, there are flaming volcanoes, dinosaurs, trains and patriotic symbols to capture the interest of almost everyone. And naturally, there are numerous Christmas appropriate lights as well.
There is also a Sevier County tie to the spectacle. The Aquarium of the Great Smokies provides one section of lights which gives the feel of driving under water with sharks and other creatures of the deep swimming over head.
Best of all for many visitors to the track is the fact that the course of the light show takes each car on a trip down the quarter-mile drag strip, albeit at a more leisurely pace than the run of an NHRA funny car. And, a lap around the high banked oval track is included. On a personal note, a Pontiac Montana minivan provides a unique feel when cruising on a 36 degree banked turn.
There is music played over an FM radio frequency which can be heard all around the facility. Also, there is an ice skating rink as part of the fun and there are numerous activities for the kids in the infield part of the speedway.
If you haven’t yet made your way to the Speedway in Lights there is still time. The display will remain until January 3rd.
To get to the Bristol Motor Speedway take I-81 North to exit #69. The signs will guide you to the track from there. It is well worth the trip and the minimal admission fee goes to a good cause.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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