|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.”
Maybe looking for a tire that gives up before 300 laps might be an option? I guess it's not flashy enough of a solution to sell tickets. Gotta love Bruton!ReplyDelete
I think he's wasting his money, but it's his to waste. I really think the race was fun to watch. If you want to watch crash and burn races then he's right. If you want a challenging race that is exciting side by side racing then your like me and you would like it left as is.ReplyDelete
I agree with you 100000000000% Ed i loved the 3 wide raceing we seen on sunday and yes i like the old track as well but i like the different banking as well... so i say leave it along if other people dont like it then dont go to the race or watch it on t.v.. i happen to love the race track as is....Delete
Whats he going todo when the fans complain after he changes it back and its worse than itis now. The cars were different back then to, maybe we should change the cars too. A big waste of money, i agreeDelete
If nobody watches it at the track or on TV, he moves a date to Las Vegas. That is not an option for fans of Bristol.Delete
I already bought my tickets for the first time in 4 years. It is what it is. Bump and run all the way boys!!! Bring it on, can't wait to get back to real mans racing not the girly racing at Bristol now.Delete
He does put his money where his mouth is. Gotta love it.ReplyDelete
If this type of racing happened on a 1.5 miler, fans would love it. Somehow side-by-side racing on a half miler is unacceptable? Get real. The racing was great. Long green flag runs. Less caution laps. Are people watching for the race, or a demolition derby. Leave it alone Bruton.ReplyDelete
But the problem is, side by side racing can be seen almost everywhere, but the kind of racing that the previous configuration of Bristol produced was unique, and absolutely thrilling.Delete
As for the racing being "great", gimme a break! It's just a bunch of cars that are STUCK side by side, creating the illusion of 'racing'. When cars are side by side, it's not because they're actually racing that hard, it's because the banking on the outside allows ANY car to hold it's ground for a while.
And I will bet a nickel that next spring they still won't sell the place out. What a waste. The crash and burn crazies win again.ReplyDelete
Doug from NJ
i have to agree, i think the tire solutions would be the better fix, do that, try it at the night race, if that doesnt help, then work on the track. always try the simplest thing first.ReplyDelete
Thats stupid. Agree with the tire comment.ReplyDelete
Racing at BMS has been putrid the last 5 years with variable banking. There's side by side, yes. But it's a side by side parade. No passing. It's a 1/2 mile Michigan. The easy spin is to use 'everyone wants a demolition derby.' That's just not the case. The one groove on the concrete from '92-'07 produced some of the best racing in the history of Nascar regardless of cautions and crashes. It's the correct move.ReplyDelete
You do realize they had a different car then right? They were allowed more left side weight in the older car, the older car had softer tire combinations because of this, this isn't caused by the track, it's caused by the COT and nascar, the current car is nearly setup like a road car as is even when they are running on a oval track. So that puts goodyear in a box, they can't build a supper soft Right side tire because then they would blow tires every 30 laps or so and everyone would complain then, so they build bricks for tires, and what do you get, complaining. Nascar created this with the current car the rules on the car need to be changed somehow to allow goodyear some freedom with their tire compounds, if they would get rid of 15" wheels it could help the handling and allow them to build a better tire, if they would allow more left side weight it could also open the box, there are serveral answers but putting the track back to the old is not a 100% promise that the track will be like it was back then, it's not going to be because it's going to be brand new concrete one way or another so in turn it will not be the same track. They need to fix the car or the tire one and try that see if they can help it. In all reality though you aren't gonna see many races sold out like you used to, #1 Dale Sr. isn't racing anymore, and #2 our Economy is in the gutter and Tenn. has one of the higher unemployment rates in the country, that does contribute to alot of these factors. There are many problems but there are also easier answers and probably safer choices than going and doing something that hasn't been tried or true.Delete
This is why i hate Race Fans. The race was great. If you watch NASCAR for the wrecks, then you are not a real fan. If they dont want to show up at the race or watch it, then don't and stop whining about it. There are a million other things to do.ReplyDelete
Does "DFWI" mean anything to Bruton? The racing was great, the economy sucks. That HAS to be a major factor in the attendance decline. We used to go to both Dover weekends, then just the spring 3-day weekend, this year we had to cut back to the spring Dover Cup only but added trucks at Andy's Rockingham track. Biting the bullet on travel costs means more Kraft Dinner at home instead of steak or salmonReplyDelete
Can you ever really "go home again"? I'm one of the New Bristol Naysayers, but I have to wonder if it can ever be exactly like it was. I'm afraid it may end up even worse. They should have patched the old concrete and left it alone. There was a reason why it was the most popular track on the circuit - and "good side-by-side racing" had nothing to do with it - in fact lack of "good side by side racing" was why Bristol was so unique and popular. We fans are not really blood thirsty - I think it's more wanting a few races where the best drivers may not always come out on top (even though, as I'm sure you will say, why shouldn't they? - they are the best prepared and that's why they're the best). I spent many, many years as a die-hard Kyle Petty fan (now there's a character-builder...right?) He had a chance at Bristol -- maybe it was simply a chance not to wreck when everybody else did - but it was exciting and anything could happen at Bristol - and usually did.ReplyDelete
Yea, I agree Ed....I won't be watching anymore.....you think you had alot of caution laps before....wait til they go back to the way it was....too bad, I like seeing them race....and not crash!!!ReplyDelete
Your driver can now race for the win instead of being booted or crashed do to someone else's wreck. BMS is now racing-not wrecking. Leave itReplyDelete
May i ask who doesn't enjoy a couple crash and burn races a year??? Isn't that what Nascar built upon moving people out of the way and flaming tempers at the end of the night?? It is awesome bristol.is back and will.be there to watch.ReplyDelete
Yu want crash and burn, watch the WWE, they crashed and burned when Vince McMahon took over. I don't enjoy crashes, most sane fans don't, just like most people like RACING not crashing. You want crashing, there's hundreds of little 1/4-1/2 mile bull rings all over the country you can watch people crash into each other on a Saturday night.Delete
Doug from NJ
Here is where Bruton made his mistake, and no one is talking about it -- he built way too many seats, did it too quickly and destroyed the demand.ReplyDelete
When he bought it in Jan. 1996, Bristol held 71,000 and he had more than doubled that by March 2000, to 147,000 and moved on to 160,000+ by 2002. It is a hard place to get to and a very expensive trip, so for a lot of race fans, it is a once in a lifetime deal. I had tickets there for four years and I was the first of my friends to travel there from the Midwest for a race. After the 2002 expansion, all of my race fan friends have been there. It is pretty unlikely any of us will ever go again -- we are traveling to other Nascar tracks. Everyone who really wanted to go to Bristol has already been there.
Bruton may get a bump in attendance this fall and for a year or so after he changes it back, but, my guess is it will never be consistently in the 160,000+ range again.
Oh Great....single file racing, with 100 caution laps... Ya, thats always prefered over green flag 2 and 3 wide racing.. ??? When you finish remaking the track..rename the race toReplyDelete
"The Demolition 500"
The fact is most fans like to see the wrecks and that is what been missing since they changed it maybe this will bring the 1 grove track back and it will be like it used to be.I applaud him for this!ReplyDelete
Yuk don't touch it. The track has good racing and passing now. The old track was a joke but it worked for the wreak monger fans that filled the place. Unfortently fans of good clean racing lose out to those who wants to see a demo derby. Its a shame people think the old Bristol was racing when actually it was just a step about WWEReplyDelete
Short track racing is supposed to be tight, fender to fender battling, not 3 wide with little risk. For many of us it's not about the wrecks, but rather good close racing as we are used to seeing at our own hometown short tracks.ReplyDelete
Bring back the excitement!
I think if it wasn't for the economy and HIGH TICKET prices the 160k seat would fill just fine...forget redoing the track - I like the track - just lower ticket prices for a few yearsReplyDelete
Make turns 1 and 2 the way they used to be. Leave turns 3 and 4 alone. That way if you get tired of trying (or are running out of laps) to pass cleanly you can use the chrome horn to nudge them out of the groove in 1 and 2. Can you imagine a last lap battle where someone gets the bump and run opportunity or the clean pass, depending on where they can make their move or where their car is handling best or who's driving style suits which corner, etc. etc.? So many options and possibilities for exciting racing that pleases both sides of the argument. Plus it makes one of the most unique tracks in the world, let alone NASCAR, even more unique. I like this idea so much that I can't allow myself to think rationally about what any drawbacks are. Someone please tell me why this isn't a good idea.ReplyDelete
It's not crash and burn. It's not demolition derby. It's one-groove, short-track racing. One groove on a mile and a halfer sucks, but on a short track, it makes for great racing by good drivers! It's not just a matter of lining up double file and running around in circles for a hundred laps. If you need around someone, you either a) stay on them and stay perfect until they make a mistake or b) move them. You don't have to crash them to move them.ReplyDelete
If you like perfect shiny cars running in circles for 4 hours we have Michigan, and California for that. I don't want a demolition derby, but I want a little grit in my NASCAR.
We didn't learn our lesson from the 1.5 mile "cookie cutter" debacle of the 1990's. Everyone was quick to jump on the trend only to find out too late that when every track is the same, then we lose something about each race. Yeah, each track has its particular nuances and peculiarities - but by and large, we see the mile and a half tri-oval race FAR too often. It's made the season bland. You don't have a tire-eating monster track like Rockingham.
And I understand that ticket sales forced those tracks out...I'm not blind. And I'm also not trying to speak for every NASCAR fan or say that "everyone I talk to says"...just speaking for me. Somewhere along the way, the races became monotonous. And through it all, we had 2 Bristol races (and on some level the 2 road courses) every year to get back to the old way of dirtying up the cars and real drivers having to work for the wins. Probably why the road course races have gained in popularity in recent years. And now the Bristol race has become another "variable banking" parade track. The phrase "the racing was better" is a vague, non-descript phrase. But as a personal preference, I like the old Bristol configuration better. Because every now and then someone would get a roughed-up bumper. Why? Because Matt Kenseth was running first, but Tony Stewart was faster. But to get around you either had to be patient and work him and work him and work him. Or just tap him to get him loose. It's personal preference. And for me, I prefer the old style. But in today's ever-changing NASCAR where "new fans" are the preferred commodity, and "old fans" are under-appreciated and taken for granted as expected to sit back and just "be ok with it", some of us "old fans" are tired of seeing our "old NASCAR" go away little by little.
And nowhere does the "old NASCAR" going away stick out more obviously than it does at Bristol. ALLL of this is just my two cents and in the grand scheme of things isn't worth the time it took to read it or probably type it.
Very well put.Delete
I believe the new track would be fine, if the new cars weren't so closely matched. Bristol pretty much has a standard set up, and horsepower won't win the race alone, and with the confines of the COT, you can't add downforce where you could on the old car. I think the two wide racing would be ok, if one car could actually get around another.
I am a lifelong Bristol fan and NASCAR fan. I personally enjoy seeing drivers have to use more than variable banking to pass another car. It takes tons of skill to set another driver up to pass him/her at their weaker point on the track. I DO NOT advocate a wreck fest or tons of caution laps, but I strongly advocate an entertaining and exciting race. NASCAR has too many cookie-cutter speedways & too many multiple groove tracks that all produce nearly the same product week after week. If you want to see a race then please let the drivers race on a track with character. If you want to see a parade, then wait until the 4th of July or Thanksgiving.
Because of high ticket and exorbitant hotel room pricing, the best place to watch racing is in my living room on my 55" LED TV, regardless of the track configuration. Short run, containing room and ticket prices would have a more positive affect on attendance than changing the track back to its old configuration. Just sayin'...ReplyDelete
Is this 75% related to the 80% that wanted to see Daytona and Talladega changed? Can't imagine it is actually this high. As Pete said, it is typically only the ones who don't like it that become vocal about it.ReplyDelete
My god leave the track alone. There is not one thing wrong with it. Great racing passingReplyDelete
If people want to watch a demolition. Derby go to the fair
I really believe it is a tire issue. Is it a possibility to have a couple of different tire options available? Im not talking "tire war" type stuff just maybe a softer tire for grip but falls off and maybe a harder tire that will allow the full fuel run? The field is so even that a 10th seperates PP from 12. Maybe this will bring more strategy to racing then fuel conservation. I have been going to Martinsville for years and enjoy short track racing but you cant win with a torn up car at BMS like you can MV. So leave the track and change the tire!ReplyDelete
All I know is the best racing at Bristol was in the early 90's... anyone remember Earnhardt coming from 4 or 5 laps down to win the damn thing, man what a race that was. Would never happen today and the reason is simple, all the cars are way to similar to have any one car dominate. With a remake of the track back to the 90's it will be a wreck fest. Goodyear needs to produce a tire that gives up after 60 laps, back in the day you had to pit for tires WAY before you had to pit for gas, that was good racing then.ReplyDelete
Let's just hope that if Burton returns the track to "the Bristol of old" that nobody gets hurts. The racing has been awesome the past few years with side-by-side racing plus passing on a half-mile track! Maybe Burton needs to also give some money to each car owner as this will be expensive for them too all in the name of "wreckfests." I thought Jeff Burton, Regan Smith and Brad K. put it best yesterday on Sirius but they must be wrong too!ReplyDelete
Hey Bruton, how about you come up to Long Island (NY) and spread some of that race track money around by building a track at the old Grumman facility in Calverton? Long Island race fans are screaming for a larger race track (besides the 1/4 mile track in Riverhead).ReplyDelete
so everyone wants 30 cars tore up, 4 cars on the lead lap and 100 laps of caution? is that what makes Bristol great???ReplyDelete
u people need to stop living in the past, this is 2012, get over it, it's not 1996 and Dale Earnhardt isn't coming back!!!!
What a waste of a good track. The configuration of the track has nothing to do with the lack of attendance. The reason people are staying home is lack of $. If he really wants to give away a million bucks then lower the ticket prices and quit making people buy combination tickets to all the races on race weekends. I live 15 minutes from Bristol and this is the first year since 1992 that I missed going to the races there and it didn't have anything to do with the layout of the racing surface. It is an economic hardship keeping me @ home. Wake up and look around, all tracks are suffering from lack of attendance! Come on guys do your research!!!ReplyDelete
The State of Tennessee needs to investigate the hotel price gouging. Whoever thought that was a good idea to gouge for race weekend needs to think about it: would yo rather sell 200 rooms at $150 or 75 rooms at $300? Kind of a no-brainer hotel manager idiots. You are still heating and/or cooling all those empty rooms, making nothing in return. All Bristol area hotel managers should be FIRED.ReplyDelete
Racing was just ok, kind of boring, never really thought that of Bristol. Night race is always better. Moving spring race to May, maybe Memorial Day weekend for a huge campout, and having it at night would help also I think.
I am a former season ticket holder for Bristol, and you know what? I like both old and new! The reason I am former is 100% the economy... I just cant take 2 13 hour (each way) drives per year. Tickets are expensive, gas is creeping up on $4/gallon, area hotels jack their prices up, and there arent others close by to keep their prices down. Even camping is pricy, and its a pain to get to. The weather in March is suspect at best. Changing the track isnt going to change any of that.ReplyDelete
That being said, Dave, here is a question nobody has mentioned - the track was changed right about the time the new car came out. How much of the new Bristol is car related versus track related, and will bringing back the old track (if thats indeed possible) change anything with the new car?
I'm not saying its the car... just wondering peoples thoughts on it?
Has nobody thought of the compromise situation... less banking. Don't go back to the way it was but don't overdo it where you can only run the high line. Drop the highline down a degree or two and you've got the best of both worlds. I think Burton "over" corrected and now everyone wants the "old" Bristol. How 'bout a better Bristol than both, just meet in the middle, sit back and enjoy some really close side by side action where both lines have a chance.ReplyDelete
Brad I agree with you 110%. BMS has a campaign to email Bruton and voice your concerns. I basically voiced what you said. I alos think the old single file racing was great before The Chase. Once that happened, nobody raced anyone in August. They all tried to not get a DNF and move on to the next week. If Bruton changes the track back, they need to move the night race into one of the Chase races or guys will just not bother to race. They won't want to get caught up in anything and get knocked out of the top 12 in points.Delete
If Smith wants to blow up that track, just tone it down a bit and make it a 1-1/2 to 2 groove track. The guys with the great setups will get around on the outside. The guys with the not so great setups will bump and run.
I have an old T-Shirt from when I went to Bristol in the early '90s. It said "Rubbin' is Racin'. That was Bristol's reputation and made it "THE PLACE" to watch short track racing. We need a little more rubbin' and cage rattling.
Ugh!!!! Bruton, what are you thinking? Bristol is now a race track, not a wreck track. I darn near broke my neck last August trying to keep track of all the action happening on the track. How can you improve on the racing at a half mile track when the two wide racing is happening all the way around the track, and three wide racing is frequently breaking out, wherever they can stack'em three deep?ReplyDelete
I'd like to add I am not a johnny-come-lately fan. I started attending races in the '60s with my Dad at the local quarter mile asphalt short track. In the '70s I could hardly wait for the little snippets of NASCAR race video, from the race that happened last week, on Wide World of Sports. Bristol is the way short track racing should be. If you want to see racers that have no choice but to punt somebody because of lack of skill or equipment, go watch races at your local track. Heck, go there and watch'em anyway, they could use your support.
Wreckin' ain't racin'
It's not the lack of money, I couldn't GIVE a pair of tickets away. Bristol used to be a track you'd miss your wife's funeral to be at. Now it is boring. I don't even think half the people stood for the green flag. The guy in front of me took a nap. People used to save up all year to make the trip if they had to. Who wants to pay for a nap fest. Anyone who says it's the economy obviously hasn't looked at the attendance numbers. The economy has been improving but the ticket sales are still going down. Also, I had friends that PAID for their tickets and decided to stay home, and money was NOT the issue. The racing is that boring that they don't even care if they go after they spent the money. Someone needs to look at the number of tickets that went unused.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean. I watched races there before track was redone,and went there after it was redone didn;t like it and have not been back since.Would'nt go even if had free tickets.But if its fixed back bet your ass i will be back there.Even watchin it on tv the old way you can't stop watchin because something happening the whole race Exitement that is what the old track gives you!!!Delete
MR Smith Cares little About RACING..... he only cares about BUTTS in the seats ..... that's all that matters to him ,..ReplyDelete
I have been to all of the Bristol races for the last 15 year. The type of racing that we are seeing now is fine for a superspeedway but not for a short track. I don't go to see the wrecks. I go to see good close short track racing. Some of the best finishes at Bristol have been the Bump & Run. A bump and run now means that the car getting bumped will be in the wall. Have you ever noticed that most of the video Promos for the track are of the old configuration?ReplyDelete
Progressive banking as whole needs to go. The point was to automatically create a two groove race track and not have to wait for it to happen naturally. What happens down the road when the surface becomes aged, everyone goes for the high lane because its banked more?ReplyDelete
It was the BEST racing and you had to be skilled to do it prior to this change. I love the old way and glad it's coming back! Like someone said above, side by side on this track didn't lead to more passing just kept 2 cars side by side. A 1/2 mile Daytona!ReplyDelete
Kudos to listening to the fans!
The change back will be a good start but, have both races at night, you got the lights then use them , theres not a track out there that isn`t better at night..ReplyDelete
Bruton rocks! This is going to be great!ReplyDelete
oh boy we are going back to a parade of 43 cars running in a long line waiting for somebody to get inpatient and ram the car in front of him causing wrecked cars and caution laps. oh boy can't wait.ReplyDelete
Anyone that wants to sit there and say the new Bristol is better than the old because the racing needs to go watch a race at California or michigan. Those are racing tracks. Bristol was made on 20 cautions a race and having to shove someone out of the way to get a position. If you were moved out of the bottom line you'd be passed until you fell in line. At the new Bristol, you can't pass at all unless you run the wall. Yeah some people may like to see "racing" but thats not Bristol. And you can blame it on the economy all you want, which I'm sure effects some fans, but that's not why attendence was half down. It's because nobody wants to come and see a boring race, at least compared to '07. If the track was never changed, the stands would still be sold out or damn near close, like many other tracks on the surface. BrutonReplyDelete
Congratulations Bruton! It's about time. Bristol used to be one of the most exciting races you could attend and you had to just about shoot someone to get a ticket. Now you look around and the stands are half full. I think others share my thoughts on this. I'm so glad to see you doing it and kuddos to you. It's been so bad I watch GOLF instead of Bristol!ReplyDelete
Thanks again from a LONG time fan!
Bristol WAS the essence of high-banked short track racing before it was made into what he have today. Martinsville, while being a flat short track, is all we have left of regional "roots racing" that gave us our Earnhardts, Pettys, even Tony Stewarts for that matter. The short track is returning, which requires talent, skill, and courage far beyond the cutter tracks of today. The "new" fans are the only one's Ive heard proclaim that the new stuff at BMS is good racing. Now us long-timers are reaping our rewards for our loyalty.ReplyDelete
If i wanted to spend my money on good, side by side racing then I spend it and purchase a ticket to one of the 1 1/2 tracks. I want to see some rubbin and bumping. If you had a good car you just bumped and run, the car in your way couldn't catch you. That was fun exciting racing. KILL PROCGRESSIVE BANKING. Lets See the old Bristol back, & I'll be the first in line to try to get my season tickets back that I had for 15 years in a row.... we did not renew in 2011, it just wasn't fun to watch cars running in a circle with no excitement.ReplyDelete
Hats off to you Bruton if you put you $$$$$ out and put it back to the way it was.
There is a difference between racing and being stuck side by side like they are now. I didn't like the wrecking on the old config but I liked that the drivers had to be aggressive. If you could just take the lower tier drivers out of the equation the old Bristol config would be great.ReplyDelete
The Race was horrible I had peole next to me during both races falling asleep, so how can all these people on here say its better when you have a less than half fun stands @ bristol where tix at one point were being sold for 200 a piece if you could even find out and people actually at the bristol race falling asleep.... GET REAL AND REDO IT OR JUST SHUT THE TRACK COMPLETLY DOWN!! PS I live 10 mminutes from the trackReplyDelete
I HAD been going to Bristol since before the swapped the back and front stretch. I did not go back after the first year of the redo. BORING!!!! I live 90 miles from Chicagoland and had founders pass tickets there. I gave them up.While the economy did keep some at home it didn't keep that many home.It was barely half full at best.You people that say you love the side beside stuff have a whole list of tracks to go to.If they go back to old school "The Blender" racing I will go back as well as many people I know.Frankly they should shorten all races at every track by 25%.ReplyDelete