After months of preparation and two test sessions, the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) are underway. Nestled in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee, “The Last Great Colosseum” is set to play host to this historic short track racing event.
Six divisions, including the CARS Late Model Stock Tour, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Models, Southern Super Series, ARCA/CRA Super Series, National Short Track Alliance Top Speed Modifieds, VORES Compact Touring Series and CRA Street Stocks have come together for a one-of-a-kind event at one of racing’s most historic tracks.
With one practice round in the books, 287 cars recorded laps.
The entry list is strong and includes current Southern Super Series points leader Stephen Nasse, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Noah Gragson and NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Bubba Wallace, Jr.
Alongside Nasse, Gragson and Wallace will be a host of others including two-time Snowball Derby winner Augie Grill and former XFINITY Series driver Steve Wallace.
The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour saw 47 Pro Late Models practice during the opening session including 2016 Winchester 400 winner Travis Braden driving the No. 26 car. Also joining the party was 2016 JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour Rookie of the Year Jack Dossey III, Florida PLM standout Carter Stokes, 2016 Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville champion Cole Williams and former All American 400 winner Dillon Oliver.
Thirty-two CARS Late Model Stock Cars made laps around Bristol during the opening round of practice including 2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion Matt Bowling in his Hopkins Lumber No. 83.
The most recent winner on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour, JR Motorsports driver Anthony Alfredo, who swept both races at the most recent stop for the series, Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) on May 6, are among those chasing victory in the inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals.
CRA Street Stocks brought a plethora of cars out to Bristol including Chuck Barnes, already a two-time winner in the series this season with wins at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) and Shady Bowl Speedway (OH). Along with Barnes, the current CRA Street Stock points leader Colby Lane will join the field hoping to score a big win amongst a rather large field. Fifty-seven cars made the call for the first practice.
The National Short Track Alliance Top Speed Modifieds bring a strong field into the weekend, with Travis Eddy among the 50 cars who participated in the first practice. Eddy is a six-time winner in the series, and reigning World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Modified Champion. Eddy will be joined by Brian Nester, Kyle Purvis, Doug Moff and a host of other strong Modified competitors from around the country.
The Vores Compact Touring Series saw 62 cars make laps around Bristol during the first practice with Chris Jennings leading the way. Jennings holds the most wins in series history with eight championships and two series titles.
Race fans can watch all the action Saturday and Sunday from the historic half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway live on Speed51.com’s pay-per-view broadcast. Early bird video tickets are available until midnight on Friday with a savings of $9.99. Click here to purchase live video tickets.
Speed51.com is also live with coverage of Friday’s practice day on Trackside Now.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent – Twitter: @RNoblesSpeed51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos