BRISTOL, Tenn. –
For the second year in a row, the ETSU baseball team and nearby Bristol Motor Speedway partnered together as the Bucs performed workout drills on the racetrack Wednesday afternoon.
Last year, the baseball team split into four groups as part of the two-week “Buc Challenge,” where each group would compete in drills in a point-based competition. Four of the drills took place at BMS.
This fall, ETSU head coach Joe Pennucci re-implemented the Buc Challenge after a successful first year. Instead of a two-week challenge, the offseason program started in September and will cultivate over two months. Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the final checkpoints.
“We love coming to Bristol Motor Speedway,” Pennucci said. “We can’t thank the people here enough for us to be able to come out here — especially for me to cruise around here in the pace car and for the guys to push it, slinging some tires around and having a good time.
“It’s also great to see our guys compete at a different venue. And who knows — maybe we can play some baseball in here one day.”
The four teams began the first competition by pushing the pace car down pit road, seeing which group could record the fastest time. The team also competed in a communication drill with blindfolds, avoiding an obstacle of tires while distributing baseballs into buckets.
“The guys are really excited about the Buc Challenge, and coming to Bristol is something that many of the guys haven’t experienced until today,” said redshirt senior pitcher Daniel Sweeney, a Johnson City native. “Getting to be close up and on the track, pushing cars and being with our teammates is really fun.”