|Smith: "Engineers working as we speak."|
Speaking on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s The Late Shift with Buddy Baker and Jim Noble, Smith said feedback from fans has been overwhelmingly in favor of changing the legendary speedway’s layout. “I’d say it’s about 75% from the race fans that they’d like to see us put it back the way it was five years ago,” he said.
Smith said he has already consulted with engineers about making the necessary changes. “It will absolutely still be concrete,” he said, “but we will (redo) the profiling. We have on paper exactly the way the track was before we came in and redid it. We’re going to have all the elevations, the ingress and egress as it was before we completely redid it. We will here again offer race fans (the track) the way it was.
“It’s not a major change that we did,” insisted Smith. “We took up all the old concrete that was breaking up and causing a lot of problems. We completely redid the speedway, and fans got the idea that it’s not the same. I guess it’s not the same, since they told us that, and the race fan is always right. When the race fans speak, you listen. And that’s what we’re doing now.”
The SMI owner said the changes will be made before the Aug. 25 Sprint Cup Series night race. “You have a good contractor, your plans, your blueprints and a million dollars, and you just go ahead and do it. I’ve got engineers working on this as we speak.
“I have not taken this up with NASCAR yet, but that’s what we will do,” Smith said. “Once we’re ready, we’ll do it. There will be a press announcement of exactly what we’re doing. I want it to be exactly correct -- the way these fans perceive it -- and I want to see 165,000 fans scrambling for tickets the way they have in the past.”