Mike Neff started his Ford Thunder Valley Nationals weekend on a high note—taking the first trophy in Bristol by posting the low score in the Eighth Annual Bristol Dragway Celebrity Golf Benefit presented by Alpha Natural Resources Thursday at the Country Club of Bristol.

Neff and his team posted a 52 to win the tournament, which raised more than $28,000 to benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

Eighteen NHRA celebrities took part in the tournament and enjoyed an amazing afternoon of beautiful weather one day before the opening round of qualifying for the Thunder Valley Nationals.

Among the drivers taking part were Neff, Brandon Bernstein, Del Worsham, Mike Neff, Bob Tasca, Erica Enders, Melanie Troxel, Allen Johnson, Jason Line and Greg Anderson.

NHRA fans know the drivers are some of the most accessible in sports, and the Celebrity Golf Benefit is just another example of that.

At the race, every ticket is a pit pass, giving fans amazing access to meet the fearless men and women who pilot these extreme machines. Fans also can watch the teams as they thrash to prepare their cars for the next round of competition, 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.

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.