Bristol Dragway releases 2014 schedule

Times Staff Report

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BRISTOL, Tenn. - Stacked with ground-shaking, pulse-pounding power, the newly released Bristol Dragway schedule ensures fans visiting Thunder Valley in 2014 experience how the iconic quarter-mile earned its nickname. Featuring the Father’s Day weekend Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals and popular Roadrunner Markets Street Fight series, longtime fans also may notice the return of NOPI to this year’s line-up as well as the expansion of big money bracket racing with the new five-day K&N Spring Fling presented by Sparco.

“Our 2013 season was one of the strongest we’ve had in Thunder Valley, and we look forward to continuing that momentum in 2014,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice-president and general manager of Bristol Dragway. “There is no doubt that Bristol Dragway is one of the premier facilities in drag racing, and we are committed to providing our fans with second-to-none hospitality as well as an exciting variety of events. We know they won’t be disappointed with their 2014 visits to our unique venue.

“We like to say we have something for everyone in Thunder Valley,” continued Caldwell. “Each season we make a point to include a broad range of events in the schedule, and it’s no different in 2014. The calendar includes many of our traditional events such as Monster Truck Madness and Thunder Valley Mayhem. We’re also brining back some fan-favorites like NOPI, and of course the Dragway’s flagship NHRA event. A trip to the Thunder Valley Nationals has become tradition for so many families, and we’re glad we are able to continue celebrating Father’s Day with them.”

One of the most popular stops on the NHRA calendar, the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers offers drag racing fans an experience unparalleled in motorsports. Fueled by thunderous engines and extreme speeds, the event’s electric atmosphere ignites in 2014 with the addition of Top Fuel Harleys to the weekend schedule.

For those fans seeking to test their own skills on the legendary straight strip Bristol Dragway also returns its popular Roadrunner Markets Street Fight series, allowing anyone with a street-legal ride to pilot their machine down the quarter-mile. Comprised of 17 events, the season opener is scheduled for Saturday, March 29 with the majority of events taking place on Thursday evenings and a few select Saturdays in 2014.

Local racers can also test their mettle in the DER Bracket Racing Series which hosts its sixth season in Thunder Valley. Slated for nine weekends of competition in 2014, the popular grassroots racing series features competition in categories ranging from Super Pro to Junior Dragsters.

Junior dragsters also take to the straight-strip July 21-26 at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals presented by Viperizer. Drivers ranging in age from eight to 17 compete in both index and bracket races at the NHRA event and also power up their half-scale dragsters for the Huddleston Performance Jr. Dragster Nationals presented by Mike Bos Chasis Craft scheduled for July 18-20, just ahead of the NHRA weekend. The events attract more than 500 racers from all states east of the Mississippi and provide a perfect opportunity for straight-track fans to watch the sport’s future stars.

Thunder Valley also ensures fans of every manufacture have an opportunity to support and show-off their favorite classics. Ford Fun Weekend and Mopar Thunder team back up in 2014 for a doubleheader event on Aug. 29 - 30, and Bristol’s Super Chevy Show is slated for Sept. 26 - 28.

Home to one of the largest Super Chevy Shows in the country, Bristol Dragway concludes its weekend of bowtie action with Beef O’ Brady’s Thunder Valley Mayhem presented by Thompson Metal Services. Motocross, Megasaurus and mayhem invade the quarter-mile as some of the world’s fastest machines take center-stage for a can’t-miss weekend event sure to entertain the entire family.

Another family favorite, Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness presented by Beef O’Brady’s, creates car-crushing carnage at BMS on Friday, July 26. Featuring some of the biggest names in the business, these extreme machines vie for the title of racing champion before producing pandemonium in their high-flying, metal-mashing freestyle performance.

The NOPI Supershow returns to the Bristol Dragway schedule for the first time since 2005. Attracting imports, tuners, modifieds and more to its May 30 – June 1 weekend, the event features drifting exhibitions, drag racing and a multi-division car show.


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