Tony Stewart Brings Sprint Car To Bristol For Speed Record Attempt

by Bobby Kimbrough on March 10, 2011

Bristol Motor Speedway (image credit:

We know that this is not your typical dirt track news story but with familiar dirt track names like Tony Stewart, Bryan Clauson and Sammy Swindell being tossed around, this story is too good to pass up.

In an all out assault on the half-mile closed course record, several drivers are geared up to attack Bristol’s high banks. Among those attempting to break the records is Tony Stewart’s sprint car driver Bryan Clauson in one of the Stewart Team pavement sprint cars.

Bristol Motor Speedway is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary by inviting several motorsports champions to set half-mile closed course records in several classes. Said Bristol Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell, “For the first time in years, fans will witness an all-out attack for speed. This challenge ignites new creativity in the racing world to stretch speed boundaries in the most intense, close-quarters setting in motorsports.”

Called the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials,” the event will take place immediately following the Nationwide Series race on March 19.

Also at stake is Bristol’s 11 year old track record of 138.422 mph set by Sammy Swindell during qualifying for the World of Outlaws winged sprint car event in June of 2000.

Bristol has invited Ford NASCAR drivers in a street-legal Mustang, a Tony Stewart-owned sprint car, two supermodifieds and a world superbike champion to the track for this record setting event. Former Cup driver Brad Noffsinger, Mike Lichty and Bryan Clauson will challenge the track record with Noffsinger and Lichty making their attempts in supermodifieds while Clauson will run one of Stewart’s pavement sprint cars.

Former AMA and World Superbike champion Scott Russell will attempt to set a half-mile closed-course motorcycle speed record riding a Yamaha superbike. Ford Racing is bringing it’s Supercharged 2011 Mustang GT and drivers David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose to drive the Mustang into the record books. The Mustang’s 5.0 liter engine is topped off by Ford Racing’s twin-screw supercharger and cranks out 624 horsepower. To balance all that power with more driver control, the factory suspension comes equipped with a FR3 handling pack and Ford Racing/Brembo big brake kit.

The event will take place following the Scotts EZ Seed 300 Nationwide race and competitors will have one hour to make their attempt at breaking the records. The cable channel Speed will air highlights of the event at a later date.

Earlier this year at Volusia, Kasey Kahne Racing driver Paul McMahan broke a four-year-old track record in qualifying by turning a lap in 12.569 seconds at 143.209 mph. The previous mark was 12.948 seconds. The previous record on a half-mile dirt oval had been Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway, where Craig Dollansky established the record of 12.707 seconds in 2002.

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Tagged with Tony Stewart, Bristol Motor Speedway, Brad Noffsinger, Mike Lichty, Bryan Clauson