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The mission of Bristol Motor Speedway is "To Exceed Expectations."
THE HISTORY OF BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Sometimes, history has a mind of its own and fate is just along for the ride.
1960s - The Beginning
When Bristol Motor Speedway opened in 1961, it could easily have a different name and in a different location.
The first proposed site for the speedway was in Piney Flats, Tenn., seven miles south of the current location.
But, according to Carl Moore, who built the track along with Larry Carrier and R.G. Pope, the idea met local opposition. The entrepreneurs were on record stating if anyone not in favor of the construction and existence of such a facility in the small community came forward to express their opposition, they would find another location. Some local citizens did, so, the track that could have been called Piney Flats International Speedway eventually was built on a dairy farm less than 10 miles to the north Hwy. 11-E in Bristol.
Carrier and Moore had gotten the motivation after traveling to North Carolina in 1960 to attend the first event at Charlotte Motor Speedway - built by Charlotte businessman race promoter O. Bruton Smith (remember that name) and legendary driver Curtis Turner. It was from that trip the idea was spawned to build a speedway in Northeast Tennessee.
However, they wanted a smaller model of CMS, something with a more intimate setting and opted to erect a half-mile facility instead of mirroring the 1.5-mile track in Charlotte. It would reduce the amount of real estate needed for the project as well.
Work began on what was then called Bristol International Speedway in 1960 and it took approximately one year to finish. Carrier, Moore and Pope scratched many of their ideas for the track on envelopes and brown paper bags.
Purchase of the land on which BMS now sits, as well as construction of the track, cost approximately $600,000. The entire layout for BMS covered 100 acres and provided parking for more than 12,000 cars. The track itself was a perfect half-mile, measuring 60 feet wide on the strai