Larry Carrier, nest known for his building of the Bristol International Raceway, has made his life as sports entrepreneur very successful for himself, his patrons and the entire Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia region.
"We've put back what we've gotten out of racing." Larry Carrier's personal philosophy of "putting back" has made a significant difference in the quality of life in the Tri Cities Tennessee/Virginia region. Carrier's keen sense of business and his deep-rooted Christian family values have resulted in phenomenal success in a variety of business ventures.
Born and raised in Bristol, Carrier graduated from Tennessee High School and attended King College. As a successful contractor in the 1950's and 1960's, Carrier built several subdivisions and commercial properties, and was chosen "Builder of the South" by the Southern Pine Bureau. But the best was yet to come.
Carrier with partners Carl Moore and the late R.G. Pope, Built Bristol International (BIR) in 1960. With the first NASCAR-sanctioned race held in 1961, their vision became reality. The track was sold and when Carrier re-purchased the facility, major improvements were made with a customer focus toward the entire family. BIR, one of the most popular attractions on the Winston Cup circuit, brings crowds of over 75,000 to the Tri Cities Tennessee/Virginia for the Food City 500 and the Goody's 500. The estimated economic impact of BIR on the region is $80 million annually. The Bristol International Raceway has four times earned designation as ESPN's "Track of the Year".
Carrier was also the founder of the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and the World Boxing Federation (WBF). The WBF was conceived "on a napkin at Hardee's," and began operation in 1989. Last year the WBF held sanctioned events in 29 states and 17 foreign countries. WBF events receive ESPN, CBS and international television coverage that often recounts the quality of life in Tri Cities Tennessee/Virginia.
In addition to his many business achievements, Carrier has a strong commitment to the community and its young people. He organized the boy's boxing clubs in the region with a program creed of "Winning in Life—Not Just The Ring". Carrier sponsors a Race Track Club at Blountville Middle School targeted to "at risk" middle schoolers. The program focus is to encourage staying in school and working to one's personal best. The after school program has grown from 9 to over 45 participants. Carrier was one of the original founders of the Bristol Rescue Mission for the homeless. Carrier says of his entrepreneurial accomplishments, "A big part of being a success is showing genuine concern for the needs of those you serve."
Carrier lives with his spouse Shirley at the homestead and is the proud father of four children, including Mark, an accomplished boxer, Andy, a national horse show champion, and two children from a previous marriage, Larry Jr., an Atlanta business person, and Carolyn, public relation director for Bobby Allison Racing.