As you drive down Volunteer Parkway, you may notice a few new residents across the street from the Bristol Motor Speedway. Some race fans are already out getting their campsites ready for race weekend that starts in just ten days.
"I've been here since Sunday morning at 6 a.m.," said Jim “Fuzzy” Holden.
Many others have done the same.
"The Bristol experience goes way beyond the 3 and a half hours of the race. It is the three and a half days, or in this case 3 and a half weeks leading into our race weekends. It's a pilgrimage for some," said Kevin Triplett, vice president of Public Affairs at BMS.
These kinds of events means lots of fans, and lots of fans means you need lots of places for them to stay. Unfortunately, Bristol cannot accommodate the number of people the speedway can hold. "Some of the other markets have tens of thousands of hotel rooms. We have 7,000 in our area," said Triplett.
This poses a problem for many fans who want to come. We checked with many hotels in the area and many are already full, forcing loyal fans to bring in campers instead. We learned that if you bring a camper, you have to prepare to get in line a few days early to get a good parking spot.
Fans will line up days before for the perfect parking spots. But for fans like Fuzzy, he is here for completely different reasons. Fuzzy told us he is a part of a group that receives reserved spacing, meaning he does not have to line up his camper with everyone else but he does not seem to mind.
"I just wanted to get down here and visit with people. I've got a lot of friends down in this area and I just like to come out and visit," said Fuzzy.
Fuzzy is from Iowa and has attended every Bristol race for the past 16 years. He tells us that he finds it so much cheaper to bring a camper. "We start in on the campground on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and that's for the whole week for $200," he explained.
BMS also offers camp spaces for $50 and RV space for $99 a week. Not to mention an RV and home rental program for up to $350 for a week, compared to an average of nearly $250 a night for a nearby hotel. "We wanted to make a few different options for people who are still trying to figure out how they're going to make it to the race," said Triplett.
If you are interested in renting an RV or if you have one you want to rent for race weekend then you can contact the Race Lodging at (423) 764-5454.