Thunder Valley Mayhem highlights Bristol Chevy Show

J.R. Ward fires up his 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Pro Mod machine in front of the Bristol Dragway tower Friday. He will participate in Thunder Valley Mayhem on Saturday.

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Brandon Cross, Bristol Dragway’s senior director of events, says there’s something for everybody at this weekend’s Bristol Chevy Show.

For the Chevrolet enthusiast, it features the largest car show in the region. It offers a place to get those hard-to-find parts through a huge swap meet. The main attraction, however, is the Beef O’Brady’s Thunder Valley Mayhem on Saturday. The event features several exotic machines like fire-breathing Jet Dragsters and ground-pounding Pro Mods.

“As a fan, you can’t miss the Beef O’Brady’s Thunder Valley Mayhem. It’s a great family show we put together as we’re racing in the Bristol Chevy Show,” Cross said Friday. “There are the Nostalgia Funny Cars, the old Funny Cars with huge burnouts. We have the Pro Mods who put on a great show.

“The freestyle motorcycle guys fly across the ramps doing back flips. The kids’ favorites are the jet cars. They put on a huge smoke show with lots of fire, and there are fireworks after that.”

In addition, there is bracket racing throughout the weekend. Cross said it’s an opportunity for fans to get a chance to see top local drag racers as well as seeing future stars in the Junior Dragster ranks.

J.R. Ward, a veteran Pro Mod racer from Virginia, was at the dragstrip Friday preparing for the weekend of racing. He drives a 1963 split-window Corvette with a 526-cubic-inch blown motor that makes around 3,500 horsepower.

The high-powered machine will run at a speed of 200 mph in an eighth of a mile and 250 in a quarter-mile, providing incredible G-forces for the driver.

“Within 60 feet, it’s running about 100 mph and pulls about three and a half G’s,” Ward said. “It’s like being shot out of a cannon.”

The Bristol Chevy Show opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday, which features racing throughout the day. The Thunder Valley Mayhem Pro Show is at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Gates open at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Time trials start at 9 a.m. and bracket racing eliminations begin at 12:30 p.m.