Page 1

Your Grilling Headquarters

Six All open until midnight! GUEST locations. Guide • 2013 FORD NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS 2 Bristol

Dear Race Fans: Welcome to Thunder Valley! I’m sure you already know this but you’re in for a heck of a weekend! There’s absolutely no other venue on the circuit like Bristol Dragway, one of the most storied dragstrips in the world. Those of you who have been here before already know what I’m talking about; for those of you for whom this will be your first Thunder Valley experience, well, hang on because you’re in for a wild ride. In all honesty, once you’ve been to Bristol you just can’t get enough of it. When you experience the roar of the engines as they rocket through the valley and hear the most distinctive sound in the sport it’s pretty addictive. You’ll definitely never hear anything like it anywhere but Thunder Valley. The fact that we get to entertain you with such a spectacular drag racing show on Father’s Day also is something that’s pretty special. We know how important family is and you wanting to spend the weekend with us while you celebrate Dad’s big day means a lot to us… and let’s face it, it’s pretty cool to be able to bring your father out to Thunder Valley to see the biggest stars in the sport in action. For all of us at Bristol Dragway, our goal is to make sure you have the absolute best time possible while you’re here. Our hope is that when it’s time to head home you’re still talking about how much fun you had and are already making plans for a return trip to Thunder Valley. In truth, that’s how we measure our success because exceeding your expectations is our number one priority. I know this for certain: we’ve got the best team in the business working for you, committed to making your experience here an unforgettable one. To that end, please don’t hesitate to let me know how your weekend goes and if there’s anything at all we could have done to make it better. You can contact me at jerry@ or any other member of our team. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! And thank you for choosing Bristol; trust me, there’s no other place in the world like it! Sincerely,

Jerry Caldwell, General Manager



ACCESSIBILITY NEEDS Viewing Wheelchair accessible viewing is available in the grandstands across the top rows of sections A-J & BB-GG (see Dragway Seating Map reverse side). Accompanying individuals may purchase reserved seats at designated wheelchair accessible viewing areas. Parking Drivers using state-issued handicap placards or tags should enter the Dragway property from Hwy. 11E, using the North Entrance to the Speedway. Accessible parking is available near the Orange Bridge at the Dragway. Wheelchair guests needing wheelchair and attendant seating and reserved parking near the grandstands should call the BMS Ticket Office at (423) 989-6931


Picture ID is required to purchase alcohol. Persons 21 years of age and older may purchase alcohol. No more than two beers may be sold at one time to an individual guest. Dragway reserves the right to cease alcohol sales at its discretion. No alcohol allowed in Pit area.


ATMs are located at the following locations: Bruton Smith Building Office Lobby; Dragway Campground - Shower House; Dragway Ticket Booth, and spectator grandstand.

AUTOMOTIVE/CYCLE/RV SERVICE O’Reilly Auto Parts - Bristol, TN Bristol Wrecker Service - Bristol, TN Tom Johnson Camping Center - Marion, NC Black Wolf Harley Davidson - Bristol, VA Smith Brothers Harley Davidson - Johnson City, TN

(423) 764-7400 (423) 764-4016 (800) 225-7802 (276) 644-9653 (423) 283-0422


Atop the Thunder Terrace, Bruton’s Suite offers the chance to watch the action from a climate-controlled environment or outside in the suite’s private covered veranda. Either way, it’s a spectacular view of the entire dragway. Enjoy a complimentary buffet filled with the finest cuisine available, free soft drinks and a cash bar. You’ll also have access to private restrooms, closed-circuit TV and preferred parking privileges. To upgrade or get more information, call Lisa Bunn at (423) 989-6946 - email or Joni Cole at (423) 989-6997 - email




Bristol Dragway Campgrounds open at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 13 and remain open 24-hours a day through Monday, June 17 at 10 a.m. Contact Annie Elliott at 423-989-6944 for more information. Golf carts, ATVs, open fires, fireworks, and weapons are STRICTLY PROHIBITED in the campground.


Fourteen (14) inch coolers are permitted, but no glass containers are allowed inside Bristol Dragway gates. Coolers are not allowed in the Thunder Valley Club. NOTE: Alcohol is not permitted in the pit area. Cooler Pit Passes are issued at the gates at the Medallion and Lot L parking areas and are required to transport a cooler containing cans of alcoholic beverages between the Lot L or Medallion parking areas and the grandstands. Coolers with alcoholic beverages must remain closed in the pit area. Failure to do so may result in ejection from the pits and loss of cooler.


If you elect to consume alcoholic beverages, Bristol Dragway and our concessionaire encourage you to drink responsibly and to assign a designated driver.

DRAGWAY CONTACT Mailing Address P.O. Box 3966 Bristol, TN 37625

Shipping Address 151 Speedway Blvd. Bristol, TN 37620

Administrative Office 423-989-6933 Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST. Ticket Sales Office Monday - Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

423-989-6900 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. EST. 8:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. EST 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. EST

Available on the



DRAGWAY DIRECTIONS We encourage our guests traveling I-81 from either the North or South to use Hwy. 394 to access FREE public parking at Lot L. This parking area is on the Dragway side of the property and will avoid the congestion of Hwy. 11-E. Guests North of Bristol Motor Speedway on Hwy. 11-E may choose to access FREE parking at Earhart Campground (see map on page 12-13). Guests using I-26 through Johnson City should turn north on Hwy. 11E. The North Entrance and Earhart Campground will be on the right. Or, guests may choose to exit Hwy. 11E at Hwy. 394, turn right and proceed to parking lots located on the left (Dragway side) of Hwy. 394.

EMERGENCY SERVICES & TRACK INFO Police and Fire 911 TN Highway Patrol - Fall Branch (423) 348-6144 Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center (423) 844-1121 Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222 Guest Services Hotline (24 hrs. a day - 8 a.m. 6/13 to 10 a.m. 6/17) (866) 925-9258 Bristol Dragway Information (423) 989-6933 Ticket Sales Office (423) 989-6900 Administration Office (423) 989-6933 Bristol Dragway Web Site

FAN FEST Fan Fest has become a favorite attraction in Thunder Valley, giving race fans even greater access to the biggest names in the sport. Nearly two dozen NHRA competitors sign autographs and meet with fans. Bristol Dragway’s Fan Fest location is in Nitro Alley. The event begins 30 minutes after the final round of Pro Qualifying on Saturday afternoon.


For medical emergencies during NHRA events, registered nurses, paramedics, and emergency technicians are available to help at the Wellmont Fan Care center located next to the shower house on the Pro Pits side.


Lost or Stolen Tickets - The Dragway provides non-refundable replacement tickets for a fee. To obtain non-refundable replacement tickets the account holder must report to any ticket booth with a valid picture ID. Re-Entry to Dragway - Guests requiring exit from and re-entry into the Dragway must have their ticket scanned prior to exiting. Presentation of the guest’s ticket is required for re-entry into the Dragway.




Guests with questions, comments and suggestions regarding the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals may visit Bristol’s Guest Relations, located on the 1st floor of the Bruton Smith Building. Fans also may call or email Gail Hulse, Director of Guest Initiatives at (423) 989-6945 or


To better serve our guests while attending events on our property, Bristol Dragway hosts a 24-hour-a-day, toll-free information hotline. From 8 a.m. Thursday, June 13 through 10 a.m. Monday June 17, guests who need information may call 1-866-925-9258 and we will be happy to assist. This call may be placed from any of the courtesy phone box locations on Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway property or from your cellular phone. Telephones are located at the following locations: Bruton Smith Building (behind Turn 2 of BMS) Office Lobby • Old Ticket Office (by the bridge at the North Entrance of Bristol Motor Speedway) • Shower House - Dragway Campground • Dragway (grandstand side) • BMS side of bridge at All American Campground • South Entrance Gate (across from Wellmont Air Transport Center and Helipad) • Bridge at Harmon Simcox Drive (vehicle traffic crossing) • Bridge at Earhart Parking • Landscape island across from Hospitality Village Entrance in the north/guest/media parking area (see map). If your question or concern is a medical emergency, please dial 911.

HANDICAP NEEDS Please see Accessibility Needs on Page 2

HEARING PROTECTION Hearing protection is recommended during all events at Bristol Dragway.


FREE ACTIVITIES for Children 12 and under Located next to the main ticket booth behind the Thunder Valley tower Hours of Operation Friday, June 15, 2013 9AM-8PM Saturday, June 16, 2013 9AM-5PM Sunday, June 17, 2013 9AM-3PM

LODGING All Journeys Travel - Bristol, TN Race Lodging LLC - Bristol, TN

(423) 764-8785 (423) 764-5454

For other hotel/lodging options, please see For on-site camping information, please see CAMPING, page 3 of this guide.



LOST AND FOUND Lost and found items should be turned in to the Dragway administrative office, (located in the Bruton Smith Building; outside Turn 2 of Bristol Motor Speedway), or to a Guest Services booth, located throughout the facility. For information regarding lost items, call 423-989-6933.

LOST CHILDREN Children separated from their families will be escorted by Bristol Dragway personnel to a Guest Services booth until their families are located. Parents reporting or inquiring about lost children should contact the nearest Event Staff employee or one of the uniformed deputies in their area. Guests with children are encouraged to go to Guest Services booth or the Kids Zone & participate in the Tag-A-Kid Program.

PARKING We encourage our guests to use Hwy. 394 and the free parking opportunities on the Dragway side of the property at Lot L. Also available for FREE car parking is Earhart Campground, just North of Bristol Motor Speedway. Red Key, Gold Key, Tower, Medallion Motorhome, Competitor Motorhome, and Official permits should enter the property from Hwy. 394. G-Suite, T-Suite, State-Issued Placards, Tier, Media, and Gold or Silver Camping should enter at the Speedway’s North Entrance from Hwy. 11E. Note: State and local law enforcement officials require that the person to whom a state-issued handicap permit is issued must be in the car when the permit is used and plan to enforce this law. Anyone using a permit illegally will not be allowed to park in the lots and may lose the permit.


Pets, except service animals assisting the disabled, are prohibited inside Bristol Dragway.

POSTPONEMENT TIME TRIALS There will be no compensation regardless of weather conditions. QUALIFYING (typically run on Friday and Saturday) If Pro Nitro qualifying is rained out, customer will be entitled to 100 percent credit*. Following the completion of one round of Pro Nitro qualifying, no compensation. ELIMINATIONS (typically run on Sunday) A total rain out -- customer is entitled to 100 percent credit*. Following the completion of one round of Pro Nitro eliminations, customer will be entitled to 50 percent credit*. Following the completion of two rounds of Pro Nitro eliminations, no compensation.






All guests of the NHRA Ford Thunder Valley National are asked to retain their tickets to re-enter in the event the date must be rescheduled. If it is not possible for a guest to attend the event on the rescheduled date, he needs to retain the ticket(s) for use toward ticket purchase for next year’s event, minus the difference in any price increases, account fees, etc. for which the guest is responsible. All sales are final so there are no refunds and the NHRA is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets. Credentials for the original event will not be honored and holders must re-apply for the re-scheduled date.

PROHIBITED ITEMS To ensure that all fans have a safe and enjoyable visit to Bristol Dragway, the following items will not be permitted inside the Dragway: • Stadium seats • Open umbrellas in the grandstands • Illegal drugs • ATV-type vehicles or golf carts • Fires, grills, or fireworks • Weapons of any description (regardless of permit) including guns, knives, ice picks, etc. • Folding chairs • Coolers over 14 inches • Glass containers • Alcohol in pit area • Pets - except service animals assisting the disabled • Noisemakers, horns, helium balloons, and beach balls • Bicycles • Strollers in grandstands • Skateboards • Roller Blades • Scaffolds or platforms • Beer balls • Other items that may pose a safety hazard or diminish the enjoyment of an event by other patrons. Prohibited items that are discovered during security inspections at the Dragway entrances must either be returned to the owner’s vehicle or discarded. Unlawful items that are discovered during security inspections are subject to confiscation and the person in possession of those items is subject to arrest. Any prohibited item discovered inside the Dragway is subject to confiscation.

RE-ENTRY POLICY Guests requiring exit from and re-entry into the Dragway must have their ticket scanned prior to exiting. Presentation of the guest’s ticket is required for re-entry into the Dragway.

RESTROOMS The Dragway has restrooms located throughout the property. They are located along the grandstands concourse, in the Pro Pits, and at the shower house.

Official Extraction Tool of



SCHEDULE Friday, June 14, 2013 Spectator Gates Open 9:00 AM Sportsman Qualifying 10:00 AM Pro Mod Qualifying Session 5:00 PM Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Car) 5:30 PM Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Top Fuel Dragster) 6:00 PM Pro Mod Qualifying Session 7:00 PM Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Car) 7:30 PM Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Top Fuel Dragster) 8:00 PM Secure Track 9:30 PM SATURday, June 15, 2013 Spectator Gates Open 7:30 AM Sportsman Eliminations 8:00 AM Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Car) 12:30 PM Nitro Qualifying Session (Top Fuel Dragster / Funny Car) 1:00 PM Pro Mod Qualifying Session 2:00 PM Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Car) 2:30 PM Nitro Qualifying Session (Top Fuel Dragster / Funny Car) 3:00 PM Pro Mod - Round 1 4:00 PM Sportsman Eliminations continue 4:30 PM Secure Track 6:00 PM FAN FEST 30 Minutes After Final Round of Pro Qualifying SUNday, June 16, 2013 Spectator Gates Open 8:30 AM Track Walk 10:45 AM Pre-Race Ceremonies 11:00 AM Final Eliminations 12:00 PM Secure Event 5:30 PM Schedule subject to change

SHOPPING Bristol Mall - Bristol, VA Food City with Pharmacy - Abingdon, VA Food City with Pharmacy - Blountville, TN Food City with Pharmacy - Bristol, TN Food City - Bristol, TN Food City with Pharmacy - Bristol, VA Food City with Pharmacy - Bristol, VA Food City with Pharmacy - Johnson City, TN Food City with Pharmacy - Kingsport, TN Food City - Piney Flats, TN

(276) 466-8331 (276) 628-3654 (423) 323-7983 (423) 968-2828 (423) 968-5524 (276) 669-2009 (276) 466-2330 (423) 928-0236 (423) 239-9629 (423) 538-0174


Smoking is prohibited in all grandstand, suite, tunnel, Kids Zone and restroom areas at Bristol Dragway. Guests are welcome to smoke in our open walkways and pit areas.



SOUVENIRS Make your trip complete to Bristol Dragway by stopping at one of our Dragway souvenir stands or trailers for the latest in merchandise. The BMS/BD Souvenir Store in the Bruton Smith building is open yearround, Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. For mail orders or to receive more information call 423-989-6960 or visit us on the web at Store hours are adjusted during the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals. Mon-Thur        9:00am – 5:00pm Friday              9:00am – 6:00pm Saturday          8:00am – 5:00pm Sunday            9:00am – 5:00pm


A suite ticket holder may enter through any gate at Bristol Dragway. After gaining admittance, suite guests should proceed to the Suite Registration booth nearest their suite.  Suite Registration will stub the suite ticket and issue a suite wristand.  A suite wristband must be worn at all times and must be accompanied by a suite ticket. An adult must accompany minors at all times on suite level.  Everyone, including infants and children, must have a suite ticket to access suite level. Suite Dress Code No tank tops, halter-tops, swimsuits or athletic shorts are allowed.  Shirts and shoes must be worn at all times.  This policy will be enforced by suite security. No coolers, outside food or beverages may be brought to suite level. Suites 214 – 417 – Use Tower Elevator Suites 511 – 521 – Use Grandstand Suite Elevator

TEXTING Have a question? Need an answer? We can help! Text “Bristol” then your question to 69050.

THUNDER VALLEY CLUB Enjoy benefits like premium pit side seating at the starting line, a private trackside patio, food and non-alcoholic beverages in a spacious covered dining area, cash bar, private restrooms and preferred parking. You’ll also pick up a Thunder Valley Club Gift Pack and have the chance to meet NHRA drag racers during special driver appearances. No coolers allowed. To upgrade or get more information, contact Lisa Bunn at (423) 989-6946 or lisa@bristolmotorspeedway. com.



TICKETS All seats reserved Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Junior pricing good for children 12-years-old and under. To purchase tickets now, call (423) 989-6900 or visit (Following pricing increases $5 after 5PM on June 9.) Friday, June 14, 2013 Sections A - D    Sections E - U     Thunder Terrace           

$30 Adult            $10 Junior $35 Adult            $10 Junior $35 Adult            $10 Junior

Saturday, June 15, 2013 Sections A - D    $45 Adult            $15 Junior Sections E - U     $55 Adult            $25 Junior Thunder Terrace          $55 Adult            $25 Junior Sunday, June 16, 2013 Sections A - B / Q - U     Sections C - D     Sections E - P     Thunder Terrace             

$20 Adult           Free Junior $45 Adult            Free Junior $55 Adult            Free Junior $55 Adult            Free Junior

(Tickets purchased through Ticketmaster may only be picked up at the main ticket booth located below the dragway tower.) Weekend Combo Sections A - B     Sections C - D / Q - U      Sections E - P     Thunder Terrace             

$79 Adult            $25 Junior $95 Adult            $25 Junior $120 Adult          $35 Junior $120 Adult          $35 Junior

Thunder Valley Club      

$315 Adult          $100 Junior

Bruton’s Suite  

$475 Adult

TRANSPORTATION/TRAVEL Elite Taxi - Bristol, TN Greyhound Bus Lines - Bristol, TN McGhee Tyson Airport - Knoxville, TN Tri-Cities Regional Airport - Blountville, TN Virginia Highlands Airport -Abingdon, VA Volunteer Cab - Bristol, TN

(423) 340-2082 (423) 764-6161 (865) 342-3000 (423) 325-6000 (276) 628-6030 (423) 968-7300



1,000 ft


WILL CALL Tickets being held at Will Call for the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals can be picked up at any open ticket booth or the main ticket office. Pre-printed tickets may be picked up only at the main dragway ticket booth at the bottom of the hill behind the Thunder Valley Tower. Tickets can be picked up by the account holder only. A valid picture ID is required.







Thunder Valley 101 Glossary Backpedal: When a driver releases the throttle to regain traction or to avoid tire shake. Burn-down: An intense, psychological battle at the starting line between drivers when each refuses to fully stage. The objective is to break an opponent’s concentration, overheat his or her engine or cool the opponent’s tires. Burnout: Spinning the rear tires in water before a race to heat and clean them in order to put rubber on the track and increase traction. Chutes: Cars release parachutes in order to slow down after crossing the finish line. Deep Stage: To roll a few inches further into the staging beam turning off the pre-stage bulbs. In this position, a driver is closer to the finish line, but also closer to a foul start. Dropped Cylinder: When a spark plug fails to ignite decreasing total power output by the engine. Dropped cylinders often are accompanied by raw fuel being released from an exhaust header. Elapsed Time (ET): The time it takes a vehicle to move from the starting line to the finish line. This calculation is merely a measure of performance and does not necessarily determine a winner. Eliminations: The portion of an event where a winner is crowned. For Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock, eliminations take place on Sunday. Drivers qualify for spots on a bracket and are eliminated in a series of four rounds that determine a winner. Groove: A path of traction laid down by previous drivers. Holeshot Win: A quicker elapsed time does not always determine the winner. A holeshot will occur when a driver with a slower ET wins a round of eliminations because he or she had a better reaction time at the starting line. Interval Times: In addition to clocking the elapsed time, computers also track interval times as racers progress towards the finish line. These are documented at 60, 330, 660 and 1,000 feet.


Loose: When a car gets out of the groove and loses traction. Nitromethane: Commonly referred to as “nitro” by NHRA fans. It is the result of a chemical reaction between nitric acid and propane. Nitromethane is used to fuel Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars. Oildown: When a car deposits oil on the racing surface causing a delay. On the Trailer: A term that refers to losing a round of eliminations in which a driver packs up and puts the car back “on the trailer.” Rail: Another term used to refer to a dragster. Sand Trap: Located at the very end of the racetrack is a sand pit used to help stop runaway vehicles. Shutdown Area: The area beyond the finish line where race vehicles come to a stop and pit crews pick up racers. Sixty-Foot Time: The most critical calculation for determining the elapsed time because it is the first measure of speed and time passed since the vehicle left the starting line. Slick: Racing tires that do not have tread. Smoke the Tires: When a car loses traction, also referred to as “blowing the tires off.” Speed Trap: Speed is calculated in the final 66 feet before the finish line. Stripe: Term referring to the finish line. The Wally: The most coveted and sought after trophy in drag racing. Modeled in the likeness of NHRA’s founder, Wally Parks, the prestigious trophy is awarded to national event winners. Time Slip: After each pass is complete, drivers receive a time slip detailing the reaction times, interval times, speed and elapsed times of both drivers. This information is used in making mechanical adjustments between rounds. Tire Shake: A severe vibration that can occur upon launch and is the result of losing traction.



The Christmas Tree The Christmas Tree is the electronic device positioned between racing lanes. The lights on it reflect the actions of the racers in their respective lanes. Infrared beams at ground level read the position of the tires as racers pre-stage and stage. These beams also calculate the driver’s reaction time. When both drivers are completely staged the race may begin at any time as indicated by the three amber bulbs followed by the green bulb. Drivers will begin their approach to the starting line by performing a burnout. They will drive through the “waterbox,” a small area with very little water, hit the throttle and move forward to clean and heat the tires. After final adjustments by the crew drivers will move towards the starting line to pre-stage. Elapsed Time (ET): The time it takes a vehicle to move from the starting line to the finish line. This calculation is merely a measure of performance and does not necessarily determine a winner. Foul Start: Commonly known as a “red-light” among fans and drivers, this occurs when a racer leaves the starting line before the green bulb is lit. The red bulb, positioned at the bottom of the Christmas Tree, will flash instead of the green indicating the foul start. This action results in immediate disqualification unless his/her opponent commits a more serious infraction, leaving the line even earlier or crossing the centerline into the opponent’s lane. Full Tree: Seen in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman for which a handicap starting system is used. The three amber bulbs flash consecutively .5 seconds apart followed by the green bulb. Pre-Staged: When a racer is approximately seven inches behind the starting line and the top half of the blue LED lights are illuminated, this is the first of two stages in preparing for the race.


Pro-Tree: Seen in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Pro Mod. These classes race “heads-up” and leave the starting line at the same time. The three amber bulbs flash simultaneously followed in .4 seconds by the green bulb. Reaction Time: The time it takes for a vehicle’s front tires to clear the staging beam after the green light comes on, measured in fractions of a second. A perfect reaction time is .000. Staged: When a driver rolls through pre-stage and places the front wheel or wheels on the starting line. Once both racers are completely staged, the amber countdown to the green bulb can begin at any time. Treed: A racer who has a significantly slower reaction than his or her opponent on the starting line is said to have been “treed.”

Index and Handicap Racing The ultimate goal of handicap and index racing is to run as close to your dial-in or index as possible without being quicker. Handicap racers predict their elapsed time prior to their run based on track and weather conditions. Once they choose a dial-in, the driver is committed to running that exact time and absolutely no quicker. Index racing involves a standardized elapsed time pre-determined by NHRA. Breakout: Used only in handicap racing in the sportsman classes. A breakout occurs when a vehicle runs quicker than the racer has “dialed,” or predicted. The racer who breaks out loses unless his opponent breaks out by more or commits a more serious foul, such as crossing the centerline or leaving the starting line too early. Dial-Under: Used in Super Stock and Stock, when a driver chooses to select a predicted elapsed time quicker than the standard index. Drivers predict these elapsed times based on the performance of their cars in previous rounds. Handicap: The head start given to the slower car in a race between two cars of varying dial-ins. This is most often seen in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman. Heads-Up: Heads-Up racing occurs when both drivers predict the exact same elapsed time. Index racing is also known as heads-up because both drivers run as close to the standard index as possible. Index: An elapsed time assigned by NHRA as a standard predictor of performance for vehicles competing in specific classes.



Qualifying Bump: The lowest position in the qualifying field is known as the “bump spot.” Bumped: When more cars are qualifying than the field allows, drivers compete to “bump” each other down or out of the bracket. This occurs when a driver loses his or her qualifying position because another driver, later in the qualifying session, has a quicker elapsed time. Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock classes will qualify for a 16-car field. Cars with the quickest elapsed times will make the ladder and compete in eliminations. As the ladder advances, racers with the quickest elapsed times from each round will have lane choice. Racers tend to favor certain lanes due to traction and grooves laid in the racing surface.




Competing Classes at Thunder Valley Top Fuel These 8,000 horsepower machines are often referred to as the, “kings of the sport.” They cover the 1,000 foot racing surface in less than 3.8 seconds and at more than 325 mph. Top Fuel Dragsters can burn up to 15 gallons of nitromethane fuel during a single run. They measure 25 feet long and weigh 2,320 pounds in race-ready trim. Thunder Valley Top Fuel Records (1000 Feet) E.T. – 3.796 seconds (Shawn Langdon, June 2012) MPH – 324.98 mph (Spencer Massey, June 2012)

Funny Car

These vehicles mirror their Top Fuel counterparts in many ways mechanically, but have a shorter wheelbase and resemble a production-based automobile. These machines are capable of reaching the finish line in 4.0 seconds and in excess of 315 mph. Thunder Valley Funny Car Records (1000 Feet) E.T. – 4.047 seconds (Robert Hight, June 2011) MPH – 316.45 mph (Hight, June 2011)

Pro Stock

Known as one of the most competitive classes on the circuit, Pro Stock cars are some of the most technologically advanced machines in drag racing. Often called, “factory hot rods” because of their resemblance to production-based automobiles, cars must conform to precise measurements and weigh no less than 2,350 pounds. Pro Stock drivers master these instruments from start to finish in 6.6 seconds at more than 210 mph. Thunder Valley Pro Stock Records E.T. - 6.633 seconds (Mike Edwards, May 2009) MPH - 207.94 mph (Greg Anderson, May 2009)




Competing Classes at Thunder Valley Super Gas

Super Gas entries, which run on a 9.90 index, are primarily full-bodied cars and street roadsters, but encompass a wide variety of bodies and builds. Rules regarding engine and chassis modifications are extremely liberal, though the use of exotic fuels is prohibited. The minimum weight for Super Gas is 2,100 pounds except for four-cylinder powered cars, which may weigh a minimum of 1,200 pounds. Competitors use electronic timers and throttle stops to run as close to the class index without running quicker.

Super Comp

The quickest of the heads-up Super classes run on an 8.90 index. Super Comp is composed primarily of dragsters while engine, chassis, and body modifications are virtually unlimited. These four or six-cylinder entries may have a minimum weight of 1,000 pounds; all others cannot weigh less than 1,350 pounds. Most of these vehicles are capable of running quicker the index, but use electronic aids to run as close as possible without breaking out.

Super Stock

These cars may appear to be ordinary passenger vehicles, but they are highly modified racecars. The category features primarily late-model sedan and vintage muscle cars. Entries are classified using a system that divides factory-shipping weight by NHRA-factored horsepower. The vehicle must contain the original engine blocks, cylinder heads and carburetors although significant modifications are permitted. Cars are handicapped running an index system, and the breakout rule is enforced.


Competing Classes at Thunder Valley Stock Eliminator

Rules for Stock Eliminator are much stricter than its brother, Super Stock. Virtually any car is eligible as long as bodies are unaltered and retain full factory interior. Tires are limited to a maximum 9-inch-wide rear slick and engines must be for the correct make and model vehicle. Modifications are limited to a basic balancing and rebuild with only a few performance enhancements.

Pro Mod

There are few more exciting shows than what you’ll see during the Pro Mod session in Thunder Valley. These cars vary in shape, size, model and make and have a diverse mix of superchargers, turbochargers or nitrous-oxide injections. Drivers maneuver these machines to the finish line in 5.0 seconds at speeds faster than 250 mph.

Top Dragster

A scaled down version of the nitro-powered Top Fuel cars, these vehicles run on a handicap. Drivers may choose their own dial-in during eliminations, as long as it is quicker than 7.99 seconds. The breakout rule is enforced for Top Dragster entries and cars may run faster than 200 mph reaching the finish line in 6.0 seconds.



Safety Safari presented by The Safety Safari team is responsible for transporting equipment from race to race, preparing and maintaining the racing surface and providing support in an emergency. The Safety Safari team is comprised of a fleet of trucks that pull trailers to all NHRA Events covering approximately 32,000 miles every year. They haul timing devices, radios, computerized weather stations, firefighting apparatuses and a track dryer built from a jet engine.

Track Preparation and Maintenance: The full-time, nine-man crew arrives at the facility at the beginning of race week, sets up timing systems, performs vehicle maintenance and inspects the track surface. The crew works diligently all week to prepare the racing surface and the facility. They use hand scrapers, blowtorches, a tractor mounted sweeper, and a large vacuum sweeper to remove excess rubber and perfect the surface for the world’s fastest show. The final step in track preparation involves spraying a glue-like compound that allows tires to gain traction and stick to the surface. Every morning they will perform the procedure again in order to ensure the track is in the best possible condition. On-Track: The Safety Safari crew also responds to on-track emergencies. They clean oil and debris from the track after incidents and quickly spread an oil-absorbing compound and dry with the jet engine to remove moisture or oil. They will re-spray traction compound before racing resumes. The team of highly trained officials also rescues drivers in the event on an emergency. Driver Safety: Drivers wear fireproof racing suits to protect them from flames and heat. They also sport HANS (Head and Neck Safety) devices to support their heads and necks in case of an accident.


Who to Watch in Thunder Valley

Drag Racing takes intricate attention to detail, quick impulses and skill for maneuvering machines at high speeds. While every driver is talented and skilled in his or her own right, there are a few who have dominated the sport.

John Force John Force is practically a household name. Fans everywhere recognize his voice and his driving. He has won 15 world championships, the most of any driver in the history of NHRA. He also boasts 13 event wins in 1996, 65 round wins in 1996, 61 round wins in 1999 and 58 round wins in 2000. He is one of the most accomplished drivers and arguably one of the greatest in the sport. Force has taken home the Wally 132 times in 213 final round appearances. He isn’t just a driver either, Force has 17 World Championships to his name as driver AND car owner. He currently owns three competing Funny Cars piloted by Robert Hight and Courtney Force as well as Force himself. In addition, John’s youngest daughter, Brittany, drives a Top Fuel Dragster. A family man and champion, John Force is certainly one to watch in Thunder Valley.



Who to Watch in Thunder Valley

Tony Schumacher Tony Schumacher, also known as “the Sarge,” may be one of the most popular drivers on the circuit. He has earned 7 Top Fuel World Championships. His accomplishments also include: 76 round wins in 2008, 60 round wins in 2004 and 15 event wins in 2008, as well as 10 event wins in 2004. Drag Racing has been in Tony’s blood from the beginning, as he grew up with a legendary drag racing father, Don Schumacher. He is most notably known for his connection with the United States Army. On April 15, 2012, Schumacher became the first Top Fuel driver to surpass 330 mph in 1,000 feet. Don’t take your eyes off “the Sarge,” who took the Wally home from Thunder Valley in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010.


Who to Watch in Thunder Valley

Greg Anderson Greg Anderson pilots the Summit Racing Pro Stock machine and is one of the most successful drivers in NHRA history. He has 4 Pro Stock World Championships, in addition to 67 round wins in 2003 and 76 round wins and 15 event wins in 2004 alone. Greg Anderson’s first national event win came at Bristol. In 108 final rounds, Anderson has taken the event win 73 times. In fact, Anderson has won at every facility on the NHRA circuit. He served as crew chief for Warren Johnson prior to his driving career and tuned him to four World Championships. Greg Anderson is definitely one to keep an eye on during the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals.



The National Hot Rod Association

Wally Parks, in an effort to take drag racing off the streets and into a safe and secure facility, formed the National Hot Rod Association in 1951. NHRA offices are currently located in Glendora, Calif. Tom Compton serves as President for the sanctioning body. NHRA is home to over 35,000 licensed drivers competing at 140 member tracks across North America. Tracks are located in one of seven geographic divisions, each with their own officiating offices. Thunder Valley is located in NHRA’s Division 2. Division 2 is headquartered in Gainesville, Fla. and is directed by Rich Schaefer. NHRA offers opportunities for drivers as young as eight years old in the Jr. Drag Racing League to the professionals competing in The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will make 24 stops in 22 cities during the 2012 Season extending over nine months, February to November. NHRA supports 20 categories including Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycles. “Street Legal Style” presented by AAA offers the opportunity to compete in grudge-match drag racing. Facilities across the country, including Thunder Valley, offer a street-legal program for local drivers to participate in. NHRA is a unique league that is committed to an open-pit policy that allows fans to check out the cars, watch teams work between rounds and meet drivers. Every ticket for the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals is a pit-pass to get up-close-and-personal with the world’s fastest sport.


THUNDER VALLEY History & Facts

Bristol International Dragway opened in 1965 under Larry Carrier, Carl Moore and Hal Hamrick for $1 million and seated 15,000 fans. The 1967 Spring Nationals was the first major NHRA event held east of the Mississippi River and was broadcast live on the radio in Johnson City, Tennessee. The name “Thunder Valley” hails from the positioning of the dragstrip itself, between two mountains. The acoustics make a “thundering” noise as cars race down the track. Bristol International Dragway did not host another NHRA national event until Bruton Smith purchased the track in 1996 renaming it “Bristol Dragway.” Doug Herbert claimed the first 300 mph pass at Bristol Dragway at the Spring Nationals in 1997. In that same round, Shirley Muldowney, the first woman of drag racing, set the record at 302 miles per hour. Following the 1997 season, Bristol Dragway closed its gates for an $18 million renovation. Bristol Dragway can now accommodate more than 100 cars and transporters on the pit side and up to 500 cars in the sportsman lot with plenty of room for our 25,000 fans. Action returned to Bristol Dragway with the NHRA’s inaugural Winston Showdown in 1999, where John Force became the first ever to win the event in which Funny Cars competed against Top Fuel Dragsters. After two Winston Showdowns in 1999 and 2000, Bristol Dragway played host to the first NHRA points race since 1967, the 2001 O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

FAST FACTS ON THUNDER VALLEY Length: 3,800 feet (700 feet of concrete) Shutdown Length: 2,375 feet Width Of Dragway: 60 feet Elevation: 1,475 feet above sea level Seating Capacity: approximately 25,000 Dragway Acreage: 65 Acres Direction Of Dragway: Southwest to Northeast




MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS STREET FIGHTS Presented by ZRock 99.3 & GLOBAL RALLYCROSS dOUBLEHEADER Thursdays & Saturdays Street Fights presented by ZRock 99.3 gives anyone a chance to tackle the strip in legendary Thunder Valley. All street-legal vehicles, from muscle cars to minivans and motorcycles, are welcome to compete at Street Fights. The majority of events take place on Thursday evenings, with selected Saturday events in 2013. Fans at Street Fights will see some of the fastest street cars around go head-to-head during Power Hour to see who is the quickest of the quick. Street Fights is not just about the quickest and the fastest, however, as anyone can bring their own car to challenge the legendary track in Thunder Valley.

July 20

Monster trucks at Bristol Motor Speedway have been an unqualified success the last several summers… so what happens when you pair that spectacular show with Global RallyCross? You’ve got a mega event with twice the thrills and action. This must-see doubleheader pairs Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness with the Global Rallycross Championship – taking place at BMS for the first time – at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile all for just $20 (advance) for adults and $5 for kids 10 and under. Two very different events that are equally exciting… no way you’re going to want to miss this!

Street Fights brings a lot more than just street legal racing to the table. Yes, you can race your buddy, or try to top your last run down Thunder Valley’s quarter-mile, but there’s much, much more. Each event night serves up fun and exciting promotions, many of which let racers and spectators take home valuable prizes. Come out and join the fun! It is only $5 to watch and just $10 to race your car.





MOPAR THUNDER/ FUN FORD WEEKEND Presented by Frito-Lay August 30-31

Thunder Valley gives fans of every manufacturer the opportunity to see their favorite classics in action. To Aspiring drag racers, ages 8-18, give fans and competitors added from across the country will come value, Fun Ford Weekend and Mopar to Thunder Valley hoping to hone Thunder combine for a doubleheader their skills for the next stage of their event on Aug. 30-31. The new format career. features the same elements that A future NHRA World Champion may made each event popular, but puts them together to give fans even more get his or her start at this season’s event. Add the July 20-21 Huddleston bang for their buck. Performance Jr. Dragster Nationals presented by Mike Bos Chassis Craft During the course of the weekend, competitors have the opportunity to and various fun races occurring face off against other racers of the during the days leading in to the same make, as well as opponents Eastern Conference Finals and this from the rival manufacturer. Great becomes one of the greatest weeks racing action from the Blue Oval of Jr. Dragster racing anywhere. bunch and the rumble of Mopar muscle greet fans during this exciting The event is expected to attract event. racers from across the East Coast.

July 22 - 27

Race champions in 2012 represented Louisiana, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Indiana. One of Bristol Dragway’s regular competitors, Carson Brown, claimed the 11-yearold category. Competitors race for individual and team honors at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals. The event awards a Wally and $2,500 to the winner in each of the eight age categories — 8-9, 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16-17 — and a Wally to each member of the winning team.




SUPER CHEVY SHOW September 27 – 29 For more than 30 years, the Super Chevy Show has been known for some of the most exciting bracket and exhibition racing in the country and this year is no different. Add the Thunder Valley Mayhem on Saturday night, September 28 and this show is a can’t-miss event. At Thunder Valley Mayhem, fans should prepare themselves for the ultimate evening of entertainment, including fast machines, extreme thrills and edge-of-your-seat excitement. Details on exhibition acts will be released as soon as they become available.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s THUNDER VALLEY MAYHEM Presented by Thompson Metal Services September 28 Super Chevy Show treats fans to the action of Thunder Valley Mayhem on Saturday evening. Explosive Pro Mods and lightning-quick jet cars begin the show with outrageously quick passes down Bristol Dragway.

Team FMX brings their electrifying motocross stunt show to Thunder Valley Mayhem and put on a performance like no other. Add crowd-favorite Megasaurus, who will tear trashed cars to shreds, and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza and Beef O’ Brady’s Thunder Valley Those in attendance will have plenty Mayhem presented by Thompson of activities to keep them busy all Metal Services is the perfect nightcap weekend. Bracket racers will flock to for Saturday’s activities at the Super Thunder Valley to take part in exciting Chevy Show. racing action in Bracket 1 (Super Pro), Bracket 2 (Pro), DOT and True Street. All of Thunder Valley Mayhem’s professional drivers and exhibition Fans also will get to see a spectacular acts are available to meet fans in the selection of some of the region’s best pit area during the event. classic and modern Chevys. Chevy die-hards will be impressed with the Thunder Valley Mayhem exhibition attention to detail given to these show runs take place at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 machines. The Super Chevy car show p.m. on Saturday, with the Pro Mods is one of the biggest and best Chevy and jet dragsters returning on Sunday car shows around. Bowtie fans will at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. not want to miss it. For extreme excitement and Anyone interested in locating new entertainment, the Super Chevy Show products for their restoration project and Beef O’ Brady’s Thunder Valley will want to visit the Performance Mayhem are just the ticket. & Restoration Marketplace. If that hard-to-find used part is nowhere to be found, the car corral and used parts swap meet is definitely the place to go. For extreme excitement and entertainment, the Super Chevy Show and Thunder Valley Mayhem is the place to go.




Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals | Guest Guide  
Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals | Guest Guide  

All the information you need to know about the 2013 Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway June 14-16.