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Thunder Valley Mayhem highlights Bristol Chevy Show

Jeff Birchfield • Sep 27, 2019 at 6:26 PM

Bristol Dragway senior director of events Brandon Cross says there’s something for everybody at this weekend’s Bristol Chevy Show.

For the Chevrolet enthusiast, it features the largest car show in the region. It’s also a place to find those hard-to-find parts through a huge swap meet. The main attraction is the Beef O’Brady’s Thunder Valley Mayhem on Saturday. The event features several exotic machines like fire-breathing Jet Dragsters and ground-pounding Pro Mods.

“As a fan, you can’t miss the Beef O’Brady’s Thunder Valley Mayhem. It’s a great family show we put together as we’re racing in the Bristol Chevy Show,” Cross said. “There are the Nostalgia Funny Cars, the old Funny Cars with huge burnouts. We have the Pro Mods who put on a great show.

“The freestyle motorcycle guys fly across the ramps doing backflips. The kids’ favorites are the jet cars. They put on a huge smoke show with lots of fire, and there are fireworks after that.”

In addition, there is bracket racing going on throughout the weekend. Cross pointed out it’s an opportunity for fans to get a chance to see top local drag racers as well as seeing future stars in the Junior Dragster ranks.

J.R. Ward, a veteran Pro Mod racer from Virginia, was at the drag strip Friday preparing for the weekend of racing. He drives a 1963 split-window Corvette with a 526 cubic-inch blown motor that makes around 3,500 horsepower.

The high-powered machine will run at a speed of 200 miles per hour in an eighth of a mile and 250 in a quarter-mile, providing incredible G-forces for the driver.

“Within 60 feet, it’s running about 100 mph and pulls about three and a half g’s,” Ward said. “It’s like being shot out of a cannon.”

The Bristol Chevy Show opens at 8 a.m. Saturday with racing throughout the day. The Thunder Valley Mayhem Pro Show is at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 8 a.m. Sunday. Time trials start at 9 a.m. and bracket racing eliminations begin at 12:30 p.m.

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