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A trip to the “madhouse”: Bowman Gray Stadium

Bowman Gray Stadium, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a track where NASCAR legends such as Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Glen Wood, Junior Johnson, David Pearson and Bobby Allison all raced at. The track prides itself on being “NASCAR’s longest-running weekly race track.”

I remember hearing about the history at Bowman Gray Stadium and I always wanted toreceived_2263752673852431 go to a race. I moved to North Carolina in February of 2018 and I’m only an hour-and-a-half from the track. After hearing some of my friends talk about how much fun they had at the track, I figured I would go and see what it was all about.

I pulled up to the stadium and I was so excited to get in. I entered and walked to a seat with a big smile on my face.

I couldn’t help but smile, the atmosphere was just surreal. This was not just my first race at the famed quarter-mile track but it was also my first time going to a race at a local short track. Up until this point, I only attended races at NASCAR’s premier tracks. I fell in love instantly.

The modifieds started qualifying about an hour before the first race. During his qualifying run, the No. 14 modified of Bobby Measmer Jr. slammed the wall coming off Turn 2. That incident set the pace for the rest of the night.

received_2263752590519106I found out quickly why they called it the “madhouse,” as the street stock race was just one big wreck fest. That race was won by Blake Shupe. Grayson Keaton also won his first race of the season in the Stadium Stock while Jason Keaton won the second race.

The Sportsman Series was fairly clean racing. At one point during the first race, the leaders took it three wide going into Turn 1 and almost wrecked. All three drivers saved their cars and continued to race each other for the lead. Those races were won by Dylan Ward and Zack Ore.

The modifieds were the best racing of the night in my opinion. Jonathan Brown and Lee Jeffreys won the two 50-lap races. It was close racing all night. Jonathan Brown came close to sweeping both races but on his run to the front during the second race he got turned around and it cost him some time. The best cars all night were the No. 22 of Jonathan Brown, No. 1 of Burt Myers and the No. 75 of Lee Jeffreys. The trio raced each other all night for position, each challenging one another for the lead.

I fell in love with the track, seeing the passion in the fans and the thrill of some short track Saturday night racing. If you’ve never been to a race at Bowman Gray Stadium I highly recommend you make the trip.

SOURCES
Bowman Gray Stadium

IMAGES
James Jackson/TRE

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