Racing Fanaticism Raids East Tennessee

By: Wes Boling Email
By: Wes Boling Email

(WVLT) - The fans are flocking, the restaurants are rocking, and the towns in Northeast Tennessee are teeming with NASCAR fans.

It's Bristol week, and along with the racing enthusiasts making the trip to the Sharpie 500 comes a slew of events designed to capture their attention.

Sevierville's NASCAR Speedpark played host Wednesday to the Food City Family Fun Night. Several drivers were in attendance, including Chase shoe-in Carl Edwards, 1983 Winston Cup champion Bobby Allison, and racing consultant Kerry Earnhardt, who is the half-brother of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Fans were able to meet the drivers, realize their own racing fantasies -- albeit on go-carts -- and participate in several racing-related games and prize drawings.

Earnhardt spoke about Dale, Jr.'s upcoming shift from Dale Earnhardt Enterprises (DEI) to Hendrick Motorsports.

"It would have been the best scenario to be at DEI," Earnhardt said, "but through the differences they had it's probably in his best interest to move to Hendrick and better his career. I think it's the best opportunity he would have. They've really got their stuff together right now."

MORRISTOWN - Another significant racing development unfolded in East Tennessee Wednesday. Rusty Wallace announced Wednesday afternoon that he has selected Morristown as the site of his racing hall of fame. The two-million-dollar, ten-thousand square foot facility will be located north of the I-81/US 25-East interchange in south Hamblen County.

BRISTOL - A middle Tennessean will make an appearance in Bristol this weekend. Columbia native Sterling Marlin will try to quality in the No. 78 Chevrolet owned by Barney Visser. Marlin has not run a race since being ousted by Ginn Racing in July.


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