Christensen and PINKS All Out Heads To Bristol Dragway Oct. 1-2
This weekend (Oct. 1-2), Rich Christensen brings his PINKS All Out television show to Thunder Valley. With its drag racing heritage and dedicated fan base, Christensen feels Bristol Dragway is the perfect setting for the show.
Christensen originally visited Bristol in 2006 as his PINKS concept was beginning to gain momentum. He revisited Thunder Valley in 2007 with an amazing PINKS All Out event which hosted 400 racers and a grandstand packed with spectators.
“There is such a strong support for PINKS in Bristol,” he explained. “That’s why we are coming back. We love the ownership, but the reason I want to come back, personally, is, when we were nothing, we had support in Bristol. If those fans are willing to come out, I’m going to put on a hell of a show for them. I can’t wait to show the people who have supported me for so long how PINKS has evolved. I’m going to give them a heck of a day for their money.
“I don’t care if there are 300, 3,000 or 30,000, whoever shows up is going to get 100% of what I’ve got. They deserve it. They weren’t the Johnny come lately in Bristol. They were there in the beginning.”
Christensen’s shows, PINKS and PINKS All Out, have gained a vast amount of popularity since their inceptions. Both air on SPEED. He says the reason why is simple. The shows feature a great deal of entertainment while maintaining a focus on grassroots racers.
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“I think that a lot of people have seen it and it is almost like a Broadway show,” he said. “A lot of people see the show and they see what we do, and they want to see it at home. I want people to have that first initial great experience. I want the people who have never seen it to be entertained and educated on drag racing. We want to break it down and give them terms and explain what I do.
“I don’t think the professionals need any more help getting showcased,” he continued. “My opinion is that some of the pros, especially NASCAR, are overexposed. I want them to be showcased the day they are racing. With the grassroots guys, I really want to focus on them. You should be rooting for someone like your friend or neighbor. It truly is 9-5ers who are racers on the weekend. You really are watching your friends and neighbors.”
PINKS has changed dramatically over the last couple of years.. Christensen and crew understand the broad appeal of the show and know many fans may be visiting the track for the first time when they come to a PINKS event. Major changes have been made to ensure everyone, even the drag racing novice, knows what is happening.
“I announce the whole thing now,” Christensen said. “I have a microphone and I’m talking, so they can get the feel of what is going on. Let’s say you have someone that has never been to a drag race. I don’t want them to have a bad experience because they don’t know what is going on because they don’t know how the tree works. I explain all of that. I ask the crowd what they want.
“I give the crowd detailed information. If there is an oil down, I tell them how long we will be down. I tell them it would be a good time to take a bathroom break. I want them to feel informed, appreciated, and of course, entertained.”
Christensen noted that even he does not know how long the PINKS craze will last. He reminded fans to visit Thunder Valley to take in the excitement while they can.
“PINKS is a TV show,” he said. “A lot of shows have about a five year life. It may be here for a few more years, it may be gone tomorrow. It is a network decision…If it goes on for several years or if this is the last year, I tell people to get out there because you never know.”
Each PINKS event combines a large-scale television production with the sights, sounds and atmosphere of a live drag racing experience. Saturday includes two time trial sessions, a final 16-car shootout and a full roster of drag racing exhibitions.
Exhibition racing currently on tap includes Pro Mods, Nostalgia Funny Cars and jet cars among others. A wheelie competition and a Quick-8 drag race also will highlight the exhibition action.
Fridays of event weekend are reserved for racer registration and a pre-event test and tune session. Gates open at 8 a.m. Friday, with a test and tune session scheduled from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. This session will give racers a chance to tune their cars for Saturday’s main event.
Gates open at 7 a.m. Saturday. The first round of time trials is at 9 a.m. A second round of time trials will take place in the afternoon. Christensen and PINKS All Out officials will use time trial results to determine which 16 racers will return to compete for the $10,000 prize.
General admission tickets are $15 on Friday and $25 on Saturday. A weekend pass also is available for $35. Children 12 and under are admitted free. There is no charge for parking.
Anyone interested in camping reservations or information should contact Annie Lavinder-Elliott via phone at (423) 989-6944 or send her an e-mail.