STATESVILLE, N.C. (August 20, 2013) – Carson-Newman University is ready to make some noise this semester — at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with an 850-horsepower Sprint Cup car. The Jefferson City, Tenn., school will make its NASCAR debut on the No. 35 Ford of Josh Wise at the half-mile oval in Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race.
The Front Row car will also highlight area C-N supporters Ted Russell Automotive Group, Premier Building Maintenance Corporation and Aramark.
To kick off the Bristol race week, the university will play host to a NASCAR celebrity roast benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley. The Tuesday night event will feature a panel consisting of NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and current drivers David Ragan, David Gilliland, Wise and Michael McDowell. Tickets can be purchased at http://ow.ly/nL4Yf.
Wise will appear at the speedway’s Welcome Village stage on race day at 3:45 p.m. Carson-Newman students attending the race are encouraged to stop by to see the driver representing the Eagles in Saturday night’s must-see race, which will air live on ABC at 7:30 p.m.
Comments from Carson-Newman University team driver Josh Wise heading to Bristol:
“It’s cool that Carson-Newman University is going to be on our car. A local school, and not a real big school, to be getting involved in NASCAR is great. We’re going to be having some of the students there at the track. We’re actually going there the week of the race to do an event there and spend some time at the school. It’s pretty exciting. It’s nice just to have a good local sponsor on the car and hopefully we’ll do well for them.
“Bristol Motor Speedway now is definitely closer to ‘old Bristol’ now. I never went to ‘old Bristol,’ but I’ve watched a lot of races there. When they repaved it, you had that line that developed right on the fence on the outside of the track where you could really get a big run. And it made it kind of hard to pass because it made it hard to clear guys when you’d get on the bottom of the track.
“Now since they’ve ground that top portion of the banking there, it’s made it a little more challenging to get as high as you could before. I feel like it’s probably made the track a little more racy because not everyone’s stuck in that high line running for momentum.
“The first race at Bristol this year was really my first race there. I just learned a lot about what I felt I needed the car to do. You don’t really know beforehand. You learn a ton through the race. And you always feel after the race, especially your first one there, that you could go back and do a lot better job dialing the car in during practice. So I have a better idea of what I’m looking for as far as how the car drives in practice and I think we’ve got some good ideas for things to try set-up wise, so I’m excited.”