At the far southwestern end of Interstate 81's path down the Great Appalachian Valley, Bristol is closer to the capitals of six other states than it is to Richmond (West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia). It's known as the birthplace of country music for the Carter Family and other artists who came out of the mountains to make historic recordings there in the 1920s. Both Bristols may be small - population about 17,000 in Virginia, about 27,000 in Tennessee - but the local NASCAR speedway seats nearly twice as many people as FedEx Field.
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