Although the actual attendance statistics from last weekend's Irwin Tools Night Race were very hard to obtain, the general consensus is a "big thumbs up." According to an Aug. 27 conversation with Lisa Gamble from Bristol Motor Speedway, the actual numbers are not yet available, but from all appearances, the attendance was very positive. (NASCAR no longer gives out attendance reports; it is now up to the individual tracks whether to release the information or not.)
Gamble echoed what many people in Bristol have been saying: the attendance at the August race had improved. Without any numbers to back it up, it seemed that more local folks are attending the NASCAR events than there used to be. When asked about the still-missing RV traffic that Bristol experienced in years gone, she explained that the campgrounds at the track were booked full. There have been some changes due to the economy and gas prices: some were staying in tents on site, and many of the campers didn't roll in as early in the week as before. Local motels in the Tri-Cities were full, she had been told.
After a few "bleh" years at Bristol Motor Speedway, it seems that things are percolating again. It also seems that the community appreciates the racetrack more than they have in past years. That's good for the entire Tri-Cities, too.
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