Tom and Pam Weavil of Huntsville, Ala. believe their "front row upper deck" campsite at Earhart Campground is the best space in the facility. (photos by Jeff Bobo)
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Generally the arguments about which camping spot is the best at Bristol Motor Speedway revolves around proximity to the track, availability bathing facilities, and depending on if you like party — how rowdy your neighbors are.
A couple of early arrivals at Earhart Campground Sunday both claim to have the best camping spot on the facility — one based on mainly the view; and one based partly on a unique built in “TV stand.”
Visitors were moving in this weekend at the campgrounds surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway in preparation NASCAR action Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Tom and Pam Weavil of Hunstville, Ala. spent two years on a waiting list with Earhart Campground to get the last spot on the “upper deck front row” facing the race track.
Every other camp spot on the hill behind the guardrail requires campers to park nose-to-tail from the guardrail.
“It’s the last spot on the line and the whole camping area narrows down here, so this is the only one that gets turned (facing the track),” Tom Weavil said. “The rest of them are sideways.”
From beneath their awning the Weavils can sit on their lawn chairs and watch what’s going on in the rest of the campground outside of turn one, not to mention the outer exterior of the race track.
“I love to sit and look at the lights on the track when it gets dark,” Pam Weavil said. “We like to watch people as they’re setting their campers up.”
Tom Weavil added, “We watch the traffic coming in and out on 11-E. we’ve got a beautiful view of the condos they built over here. Mountains to the right. Mountains to the left.”
And, there’s always something entertaining going on in the campground below them.
“This is Bristol,” Tom said. “What happens in Bristol stays in Bristol.”
Pam added, “We like to sit up here and watch, and we laugh at people. I guess we’ve done something dumb like that too, and someone was watching us.”
The only view that Michigan natives Chris Couchman and Jeff Ainsworth needed Sunday afternoon was the flatscreen TV resting on an electrical transformer box beneath the large canopy outside their campers.
Couchman and Ainsworth drove all the way from Elgin, Mich. to Bristol, Tenn. Sunday to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan on TV.
They too are located on the “upper deck” of Earhart Campground, but they’re on the back row at a crossroads.
“We’ve had this spot for seven years,” Couchman said. “This is the best spot in the whole campground. We’re on the corner so we get to set the big canopy up. We’ve got a built in TV stand which is actually the electrical transformer.”
Whether you’re a race car driver, or a camper, when you come to Bristol, you can’t be surprised if you experience a little damage.
While en route, Ainsworth blew a tire on his camper, bent the axle, and then a bottle of Bloody Mary mix “exploded” in the cupboard. He took it all in stride.
“It’s Bristol, baby,” Ainsworth said.