As much as we enjoy going to races and car shows all summer long, the grueling schedule does take its toll. By the time October rolls around, we've worn out at least two pairs of shoes and all but exhausted our supply of sunblock as we crisscross the country, attending events from Anaheim to Orlando. Right about that time, we get a call from Year One, inviting us down to Bristol, Tennessee for their annual Fall Automotive Nationals, which typically falls on the third weekend in October. For any other event, we might politely pass on the offer and stick our feet back in a tub of water, but our past experiences at Bristol have given us good incentive to return.
When we go to Bristol for Year One's Bash, we know the event will be run in a first-class manner and the variety of cars and activities will be second to none. We're not the only ones who feel this way, as attendance has increased sharply for the third straight year. The little things can make a big difference in drawing participants with top-flight cars and Year One knows how to bring them in. One of the more popular amenities is the car wash area, which makes it easy to clean off the bugs and road grime accumulated on a trip into the heart of the Smokey Mountains. Drag racers make sure their annual budget includes a trip to Bristol in the fall, because they know the track will hook and the cool, comfortable air will make conditions nearly ideal for personal bests. The autocross draws more cars every year, but it still may be the best deal of the weekend, as many drivers will get more seat time in those three days than the rest of the year combined.
Spectators love the Bash, because they're always treated to highly competitive racing in several different classes, as well as incredible exhibition runs by wheel-standers, rocket cars and a variety of historic dragsters. Finding the best vantage point at the track allows spectators to take in all the action on the strip, while having a bird's eye view of the autocross course. Saturday's program was capped off by a fireworks display of such epic proportions, that it might have been visible from the moon.
Year One constantly strives to make their event stand out from the rest and this year they outdid themselves. For a mere $20, NASCAR fanatics and thrill-seekers alike could venture out onto Bristol's fabled half-mile oval in their street car for 10 hotlaps behind the BMS pace car. Year One's ability to improve their event every year is simply amazing and we can't wait to see what they have planned for next fall. Check out the action from this past year's event and make plans to be there in 2004.