FanSided’s Adam Weinrib traveled to the legendary Bristol Motor Speedway with the folks from Montucky Cold Snacks (and the beer’s new mascot, Gutz [pronounced “GOOTZ”]) to watch the ARCA and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races from the pit.
Before Bristol’s NASCAR weekend schedule shuffled around this weekend to avoid the weather, the Last Great Colosseum’s Thursday night program went off without a hitch.
Prior to the ARCA race at 6:00 p.m. ET and his NASCAR Truck Series race, the UNOH 200, later on, Spencer Boyd reveled in the immensity of the venue along with the rest of the crowd.
“Man, when you walk through the tunnel here, that feeling never goes away,” Boyd told FanSided. “It’s very ‘colosseum,’ Roman Empire, you win a sword … this place has that nostalgia all the time.
“Whether we come here and it’s covered in dirt, or we come here and it’s normal concrete, 30+ degrees of banking, that feeling never leaves. You’re excited — but you’ve also got to respect this place, because it can jump up and bite you in a hurry.”
The dirt race won’t return in 2024, but the crowd certainly will; a large crew of tailgaters Thursday was poised to swell further for Friday and Saturday’s spectacle. And while the age-old traditions of Bristol — as well as the literal hulking structure nestled in the woods — help define it, Boyd made it clear the rowdy fans play their part in the mythmaking, too.
“You’re gonna hear these folks when you’re climbing in and getting ready, but once you turn on that motor, you don’t hear ’em anymore. But it’s electric.
“When we do driver intros, National Anthem, jump in the truck, get ready to go, hi-five everybody, you can tell these folks are stacked up in the grandstand, super high, really close, like you said; you feel the energy,” Boyd mused. “This place is so surreal. And you’re right up in the Tennessee Mountains like, ‘How is this place … here?’.”
Thrill of a lifetime — for at least one of these men. Spencer Boyd was a great sport. pic.twitter.com/D7IeUXjf6N
— FanSided (@FanSided) September 15, 2023
Spencer Boyd speaks to FanSided ahead of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Bristol
While Boyd has plenty of experience harnessing the power of this stage — he has raced in both the Cup Series and Xfinity Series but now drives the No. 12 Chevrolet Silverado full-time for Young’s Motorsports — Thursday was the first event showcase for Montucky Cold Snacks, the 4% ABV alternative to traditional light lager.
The brand’s ebullient mascot, Gutz, was emblazoned on the side of Boyd’s truck, as well as the company’s logo. Boyd held court with the folks from Montucky for hours preparing for Thursday’s showdown, and he made it clear he felt the partnership served his mission as a marketer.
“Man, to me, doing this marketing thing and getting new brands into the sport … I pride myself in that. I love that,” Boyd confessed. “I’m not the guy who’s getting companies off other peoples’ cars. It’s really finding new people that haven’t been in NASCAR that see it as a great opportunity to get their brand out there, reach some good ol’ folks who love America, very patriotic, love fast cars, burnin’ rubber … you can’t beat it.”