NHRA Drag racing fans get only one opportunity each year to visit unique Thunder Valley, and judging by brisk ticket sales, they are more than a little excited about seeing this year’s edition of the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by the Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers.

Bolstered by the upcoming Father’s Day weekend and a multitude of special events surrounding the event, the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals is tracking toward a very successful weekend.

“Our ticket sales for this weekend’s Ford Thunder Valley Nationals are extremely strong,” said Jerry Caldwell, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway.  “A couple of years ago, we sold out on Friday and our sales are trending in that direction now for both qualifying days, in particular. Sunday is looking great as well. If fans are making the trip to Bristol Dragway, we recommend that they go ahead and purchase their tickets now to make sure they have a seat when they arrive.”

Bruton’s Suite, a plush luxury box with catered meals and driver appearances located high above the action in Thunder Valley, is sold out for this weekend’s event, but tickets remain for the Thunder Valley Club. Those, however, are moving quickly as well. The TVC tent is located just feet from the starting line, and features a full buffet, air-conditioning and appearances from several drivers, including John Force, Robert Hight, Larry Dixon, Del Worsham, Melanie Troxel and Greg Anderson.

“We have the ultimate Father’s Day gift, and as our ticket sales show, the race fans recognize that,” Caldwell continued. “With night qualifying Friday, our Fan Fest autograph session Saturday and the special track walk Sunday morning, the weekend is packed with exciting things for fans to do while here in Thunder Valley.

“There is no better place to catch an NHRA event and no better way to celebrate Father’s Day than by coming out to Bristol. If someone plans to get dad tickets for his Father’s Day gift, they need to go ahead and get them now instead of waiting.”

Every ticket is a pit pass, giving fans amazing access to the teams as they thrash to prepare their cars for the next round of competition. Fans also can meet the fearless men and women who pilot these extreme machines and feel the unique experience that is the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

If a trip to an NHRA event is new for dear old dad, the hospitable staff in Thunder Valley will ensure his first time to the track is a memorable one. Thunder Valley 101, complete with its own play-by-play radio station, will explain drag racing so every novice fan can get “up to speed” quickly.

Prime camping spaces still are available for the event in the Medallion Camping area overlooking the pit area in Thunder Valley. Each paved site is 20’ x 50’ and includes electric, water and sewer hookups. The cost is $350 for the event (Thursday-Monday).

Gates open at 9 a.m. Friday, June 17 with the first round of Pro Qualifying slated for 5 p.m.  The pro cars will return at 7:30 p.m. for the exciting night qualifying round. Gates open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 18 with Pro Qualifying set for 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Fan Fest autograph session takes place 30 minutes following the conclusion of Nitro qualifying. Sunday’s action kicks off when gates open at 8:30 a.m. A special track walk in honor of Jeff Byrd, which features legend Kenny Bernstein and several of today’s stars, begins at 10:30 a.m. Final Eliminations begin at 12:00 noon.

Ticket prices are as follows: Friday -- Sections A - D $30 Adult / $10 Junior; Sections E - U $35 Adult / $10 Junior; Thunder Terrace $35 Adult / $10 Junior, Saturday -- Sections A - D $45 Adult / $15 Junior; Sections E - U $55 Adult / $25 Junior; Thunder Terrace $55 Adult / $25 Junior, Sunday -- Sections A- B $20 Adult / $10 Junior, Sections C - D $45 Adult / $15 Junior, Section E – P $55 Adult/ $25 Junior, Section Q – U $20 Adult/$10 Junior, Thunder Terrace $55 Adult / $25 Junior. Weekend combos are: Sections A - B $79 Adult / $30 Junior, Section C – D $95 Adult/$30 Junior, Sections E - P $120 Adult / $50 Junior, Sections Q – U $95 Adult/$30 Junior and Thunder Terrace $120 Adult / $50 Junior. Thunder Valley Club admission for three days is $300 for adults and $100 for juniors. Three-day Bruton’s Suite admission is sold out for the event.

To purchase tickets, please call the Bristol ticket office at 423-BRISTOL or visit www.thundervalleytix.com.