Bristol Motor Speedway has caused dramatic finishes and some horrific incidents during its 53-year career in NASCAR. The short half mile track located in Bristol, Tennessee has lived through some of the worst and best moments in NASCAR history – and this weekend they can only further that resume.
Below, during this weeks edition of ‘Marshall’s Madness’, we relive the premier and most dangerous moments in the ‘The Bullring’s’ history.
7. Mike Harmon’s Horrific Crash
During 2002 NASCAR Nationwide Series practice Mike Harmon smashed the wall exiting turn two and his car was demolished. Luckily, he was uninjured and ended up racing the same day.
6. Ernie Irvin Notches Memorable Victory
Ernie Irvin, after being a seat welder at Charlotte Motor Speedway, entered the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winning the Rookie of The Year honors and scoring his first career victory at Bristol Motor Speedway – pretty impressive for a former seat welder.
5. Michael Waltrip Scary Crash
During the 1990 NSCS season, Michael Waltrip survived a brutal crash during practice at Bristol. After a similar incident to Harmon’s, he walked away not affected at all. Darrell Waltrip, Michael’s brother, was in tears when the incident happened, but was relieved when Michael got up and walked away okay.
4. Darrell Waltrip’s Final Win At Bristol
During the 1989 NSCS season, Darrell Waltrip captured his 12thBristol triumph, and his final NASCAR victory. His victory lane celebration was unlike others, as the 3-time champion was emotional – for the first time since his Daytona 500 win.
3. Terry Labonte-Dale Earnhardt Battle For Bristol Triumph
Bristol, Tennessee witnessed an intense duel between Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt Sr., during the 1995 season. Earnhardt, who was the dominant car of the event, was sent to the rear of the field for an incident with Rusty Wallace. But, everyone expected him to race his way through the field, and he did, quite easily. Once he caught Labonte for the lead they battled back and forth until the white flag when the two machines made contact sending Earnhardt around and Labonte to victory lane.
2. Kyle Busch Sweeps Weekend
During 2011, Kyle Busch shocked the racing world after scoring victories in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series, not that impressive right? Yeah, until you realize he did it all at one track in the same weekend. Oh, and it’s one of the toughest circuits on the schedule, but ‘Rowdy’ Busch handled it with ease after scoring the three victories at Bristol.
1. Alan Kulwicki’s Tragedy
When flying into the racetrack at Bristol, Alan Kulwicki’s airplane crashed due to the pilot’s failure to use the airplane’s anti-ice system to clear ice from the engine inlet system. Kulwicki didn’t survive the incident and was pronounced dead on April 1, 1993 – after winning the Sprint Cup championship the year before. ‘The Victory Polish Lap’ was created in remembrance of Kulwicki.