Photo is from first race on July 30, 1960.
Bristol Motor Speedway — iconic sports venue, a favorite of NASCAR fans and drivers everywhere — had its beginnings in notes scratched on a napkin.
Those notes were the thoughts of Larry Carrier, Carl Moore and R.G. Pope, who, a little more than 50 years ago, returned from Charlotte, N.C., inspired to build a race track in Northeast Tennessee. Little did they know that their intimate half-mile facility would turn into one of the hottest tickets in racing.
“Of course, we never imagined this,” Moore said. “Nobody could have ever dreamed it would turn into this.”
When Bristol Motor Speedway opened in 1961, it could easily have had a different name.
In fact, if not for some local opposition, fans might well have flocked to Piney Flats International Speedway for the past 50 years.
The first proposed site was in Piney Flats, but, said Moore, the idea met with local opposition. True to their word — if anyone not in favor of the construction and existence of such a facility in the small community came forward to oppose it, they would find another site — the entrepreneurs settled on a dairy farm located less than 10 miles away — in Bristol.
Read the expanded version of this report in the print edition or the enhanced electronic version of the Kingsport Times-News.