With support from ASP, college and university construction programs literally “Race to Build” homes for three veteran families in East Tennessee during the Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
Race to Build is an annual event in April where the Appalachia Service Project partners with Bristol Motor Speedway during the Food City 500 NASCAR race. Three teams of university construction management students come together and compete to build 3 homes as fast as they can, for 3 families in the Tri-Cities region. You don’t want to miss this!
The families that receive these homes are residents of the Tri-Cities area in Northeast Tennessee. The participants are college students who are studying construction management or building technology. The sponsors and partners are groups, companies, or individuals who want to get involved and have their time and/or dollars lift the mission of ASP. The volunteers are those who serve after the event who help get families into their homes as fast as possible. There are a many moving parts, and there’s a place for you to get involved!
Bristol Motor Speedway, 151 Speedway Boulevard, Bristol, TN. ASP’s event is set up between the Orange and the Purple bridges. Come visit!
2021 Dates TBA. The event begins on Friday morning at 8:00am. The teams build for 10 hours on Friday and Saturday, and construction is halted on Sunday they’ll be stopped at 12:00pm before the Food City 500 race begins. If you can’t make it to watch any of the building, come watch the Closing Ceremony at 12:30pm on Sunday!
How can I get involved?
- Bring a group
- Serve for a day
- Compete to build a house as a student
- Volunteer after the event
- Be an ASP Ambassador at the event
- Sponsor the cost of one or more homes
- Provide an in-kind donation of materials
- Sponsor a family in some way (homeowner’s insurance, groceries, electric bills, etc.)
- Pray for the families, the participants, the event, and ASP
- Supply refreshments for ASP volunteers and staff
About Race to Build
Race to Build began in 2015 as a wacky idea from our CEO, Walter Crouch. “What if,” he thought, “we built a home at the Bristol Motor Speedway before the Spring Race, in order to draw attention to critical housing needs in our area?” Well, he shared this thought over breakfast one morning with the EVP and General Manager of the Bristol Motor Speedway, Jerry Caldwell…. and little did Walter know, Jerry dreams just as big as he does! What happened next surprised us all–the week leading up to the Food City 500 in 2016, ASP built one home as fast as we could for a local veteran family. The response to this event was amazing, plus it was a LOT of fun and we got a well-deserving family into a new home!
In the following years to come, the event morphed into a collegiate competition. When the teams arrive, they have a floor system pre-built on a pair of I-beams waiting for them. They build for two and a half 10 hour days, making sure they keep safety, stewardship, teamwork, and accuracy to the house plans in mind.
On Sunday before the Food City 500, ASP’s official judges critically look over each home and give them a score based on the aforementioned categories. The team with the highest score is awarded a $5,000 scholarship, and the second and third place schools are given a $2,500 scholarships to go towards their programs. While scholarships are a nice perk, these students leave with a great experience and pride in building a family a new home. Finally, at the Closing Ceremony, ASP honors the recipients of the homes with all of the volunteers, staff, and partners in the event around. It is a special, high energy moment that everybody should experience!
After the Food City 500, a home-moving company works to lift the homes onto a truck bed and deliver them to their permanent addresses. Volunteers and contractors work together to get the home move-in ready, and the families are given their keys. While Race to Build is a blast, this is an interactive and educational event at its core. The whole purpose is to show the public that the critical housing needs of our region, especially affordable housing for veterans, needs more attention and funding.
Three veteran families living in the Tri-Cities region will be receiving new homes as a result of Race to Build. They will be receiving these homes completely mortgage-free, giving them the gift of equity and a fresh start. If you are a resident in the Tri-Cities region with substandard housing, and are interested in applying for a new home, you can find our application here: asphome.org/apply
The Competing Universities
2021 competing universities will be announced at a later date.