Speedway Motorsports' Bristol Motor Speedway Breaks Attendance Record
26 August 1997Speedway Motorsports' Bristol Motor Speedway Breaks Attendance Record
CONCORD, N.C. Aug. 26 -- Speedway Motorsports' Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) broke all attendance records for half-mile speedways this past weekend. An enormous crowd of more than 184,000 witnessed the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series race and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race held at BMS August 22 and 23, representing a 65.8% increase over 1996. The third largest crowd in the history of the Busch Grand National Series attended Friday night's Moore's Snack Food 250 won by Jimmy Spencer, and the largest crowd in the history of Bristol Motor Speedway attended Saturday night's Goody's Headache Powder 500 won by Dale Jarrett. The Coca-Cola 300 held April 5, 1997 at Speedway Motorsports' Texas Motor Speedway recorded the largest crowd in the history of the Busch Series with the Gargoyles 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 15, 1997 recording the second largest. Speedway Motorsports purchased BMS in January 1996 for approximately $27 million. SMI immediately implemented an aggressive expansion plan adding approximately 45,000 seats. This current expansion plan will result in more than 130,000 permanent seats by March 1998. "To date this has been a record breaking year for our company. Not only have our Busch and Winston Cup races set records, our Indy Racing League (IRL) events at Texas and Charlotte were also more profitable than we anticipated," stated Bruton Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports. "Currently, we are on target for record crowds at the remaining major events in 1997 and have scheduled an IRL race at Atlanta on Aug. 29, 1998." During 1997 SMI will add approximately 236,000 seats to Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedways, increasing the total permanent seating capacity of the company to 525,000. Speedway Motorsports, Inc. , the owner and operator of Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte & Texas Motor Speedways and 600 Racing, Inc. and the operator of Sears Point Raceway, is a leading promoter and marketer of motorsports entertainment in the United States. SOURCE Speedway Motorsports, Inc.