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Bristol Motor Speedway busy getting ready for race weekend

By Kyle Benjamin, kbenjamin@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 13 2013 06:07:05 PM CDT
BMS PREPS
BRISTOL, Tn. -

In just a few days, the cars and stars of NASCAR's top divisions take to the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway.

But before the green flag flies, work is being done all over the Speedway property to get ready.

Speedway shuttles, traffic cones, and directional signage were all being deployed Wednesday morning.

"We're getting our golf carts ready, our radios, we're going to be setting up our cones for transportation in and out," says Steve Jackson, Event staff supervisor at BMS. "We gotta get the parking lots ready, roping off where people aren't supposed to park too."

Steve tells me that the track has been going seven days a week for the last three weeks with a staff of nearly 80 workers.

"On my team alone, some of our guys on a weekend can work 60 hours in two or three days,"says Jackson.

Workers braved strong winds, cold temps,and even a few snow flurries Wednesday morning.

"It takes a lot," says Jackson. " It's a lot of little things that people never really realize that go into getting  this track ready for each race."

Things like staking down hospitality tents in the parking lots with help from a jackhammer and tying Ford signage to fencing around the property.

Others were busy getting ready for the racers' arrival.

" Just 24 hours ago, I was in Las Vegas, Nevada," says John Chambers.  "I left Las Vegas and drove to Fontana."  Chambers is a motorcoach driver for JTG Daughtery Racing.

Chambers flew from Fontana to Charlotte, picked up another motorcoach from the JTG shop and drove to Bristol.  Chambers does a bit of everything at the track, to make the team's home away from home more comfortable.

"I do all of our dry cleaning, laundry, whether our driver needs a suit cleaned or anything like that," says Chambers. "I fold an iron sheets and pillowcases. You name it, we do it."

Chambers also does the grocery shopping and cooking. He says he probably cooked for 850 people during last race season. John says he wouldn't do anything else, but the job takes its toll.

"I left home this year January 1st, and I'll get off the week before thanksgiving, "says Chambers.

There was even activity inside the track. Goodyear was laying out tires for the Sprint cup series. One tire tech tells News 5 WCYB that between the Nationwide, Sprint Cup and K&N East series, they will go through nearly six thousand Racing Eagles this weekend.