BRISTOL, Tenn. - The countdown has begun. It's one week until race day at Bristol Motor Speedway; the campgrounds have opened, and campers are moving on in.
Something that divides people on choosing their favorite driver also brings them together in the campgrounds.
Linwood Jones is from Greenville, North Carolina. He said the spring race is almost like a homecoming. "Everybody's almost like family because everybody's been coming so many times. They know everybody. You always camp in the same place. So, it's just like a family get-together," Jones says.
Campgrounds have been preparing for the race weeks ahead of time. Terri McCall with the All-American Campground has been a part of the preparations. "We get in and make sure everything's functional, the water, the power, and the roadways. We make sure there's easy access to get in and get out," McCall says.
McCall says she's expecting a big weekend for the site, which is right next to Bristol Motor Speedway. "We've already reserved between 350 and 400 sites, and we hope to have at least 600 to 700 total come in with unreserved and general camping and tent camping," she said.
McCall says the best part is seeing all of the campers return every race season.
Linwood Jones, Dave Kellam, and Bud Hahn meet every year to watch the Bristol Race. They're all from different states and met when traveling to tracks across the country. "You meet a lot of nice people," Hahn says.
While they say the camping is fun, the track at Bristol adds to the excitement. "Personally, I like the short tracks better. It gives you a better race in my mind," Kellam says.
Hahn added that Bristol Motor Speedway is a unique track. "The high banks on a half-mile. You can't get any better than that," he said.
The All-American Campground even has a restaurant for those settling in. They say they're expanding their menu to include fried items like corn dogs, French fries, and a dish they call 'potato twirlers'.