Bristol going back to the old days?

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Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by BBoy on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:10 pm

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - Bristol Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith is considering about $1 million worth of changes to return his Tennessee track to the way it was before a 2007 reconfiguration.

"We are going to take a very hard look at it this week," Smith told The Associated Press on Monday. "We have everything in our computers that shows us what the track used to be and what it is now, and we started working on that last night. I'll have an answer for you next week on if we'll alter the track."

But Smith insisted it was the rain, not fan apathy over the current style of racing at Bristol, that contributed to Sunday's poor crowd.

"We certainly thought it was going to be better, but the rain got us," Smith said.

The rain began late Saturday night and continued until about two hours before Sunday's scheduled start, which Smith said "killed the walk-up crowd. And that alone accounts for 3,500 to 4,000 tickets."

Bristol once was one of the toughest tickets in all of professional sports, but attendance has waned the past several years and its spring race has particularly suffered.

The speedway says it seats 160,000, and although the grandstands appeared half empty Sunday, NASCAR's listed attendance was 102,000. Smith said 8,120 sold tickets went unused.

"Those were tickets that didn't show, people who elected not to venture out, and that's because of the weather," Smith said.

But he remained adamant the attendance decline has nothing to do with the new racing at Bristol. At the same time, though, Smith said he began talking to his Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials on Sunday evening about changes to the track.

The .533-mile bullring was long one of the most popular venues in NASCAR because of the aggressive style drivers had to adopt to be competitive on the tight track. The August night race is considered a showcase, and the combination of bumping and banging for 500 laps on a hot summer night usually led to an explosion of tempers.

It mellowed a bit after the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship was formed in 2004, and drivers trying to make NASCAR's title-deciding format had to be cautious that late in the season. Then came the 2007 reconfiguration, which added variable banking in the corners and opened lanes for two-and-three wide racing.

With so much room, there's not as much contact between the cars, and fans have complained that Bristol just isn't the same.

Smith said SMI will study fan comments this week.

"I want to be sure that the fans like what they see," he said. "If the fans like three abreast through the turns, we do nothing. If they don't, then we'll alter the track. The fans vote is the most important thing."

If changes are made, they'll be done in time for NASCAR's Aug. 25 return to Bristol.

"If I am going to do anything, I am going to guarantee we are going to do it before August," he said.

As nice as it would be to see the old Bristol again, I see a bunch of problems.

1. The teams can't really afford to fix as many cars as they used to. Going back to the old Bristol wouldn't help that.
2. Drivers love the new Bristol. Fans like the old Bristol. Knowing Mr. Smith, he'll side with the fans.
3. It's Bruton Smith, need I say more?
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Racerfan275 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:17 pm

hmmm interesting, wonder how this will go out

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by RealRacer4 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:24 pm

Bruton Smith has such a big ego. He knows that the poor attendance has to do with how the track is. It's obviously impossible for a track that has a year long waiting list for race tickets and all of the sudden being 60,000-65,000 seats short of filling up the stands. That's all I gotta say.

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Tanrar on Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:57 pm

LOL Bruton Smith.

Honestly, the track was alright. I don't think that reverting Bristol is going to help attendance woes. If anything, it's going to cause problems for the series.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by pennst24 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:33 pm

I have no idea how they would recreate the old Bristol. You couldn't recapture that "magic". Razz

Anyway, car repairs wouldn't cost teams, we still go to Martinsville and look at the number of totaled cars during Speedweeks...
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Mystrsyko on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:43 pm

honestly, i'd like to see the "old" bristol back, if only for competition reasons. It was a true test of a driver's and team's skills. There was only one lane, the bottom, and if you weren't there, you had to beat and bang your way to get down there. You had to push others out of the groove to make any headway. if someone left an opening, you had to pounce on it because the next chance to pass might not come for another two dozen laps.

what i see from the "progressive" banking is that it makes the track easier to drive. it's easy to get along side someone, its easy to drive in the corner and not have to worry about sticking it in a tiny little "sweet spot", it's easy to run around other cars. and that makes it boring. make them fight for it again, and the excitement, and fans, will return.

like i said before, I remember when getting tickets for bristol meant sitting on a 6 year waiting list, which is why I've never been to a race at bristol. for some reason they decided that needed "fixing"
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Cynon on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:45 pm

If NASCAR gave two shits about the repair bills of the teams, then Talladega and Daytona would have both been long gone from the calendar.

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Ceej on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:01 am

Mystrsyko wrote:You had to push others out of the groove to make any headway.
This is precisely why I don't want to see this happen.

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by PYLrulz on Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:41 am

In before people bitch that Bristol will become a single groove race track again
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Tanrar on Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:47 am

At this point, the best thing to do may be to just dump Bristol altogether. But knowing Bruton Smith's massive ego, he won't let Bristol go.

Simply put: people will bitch if it's a multi-groove track, people will bitch if it's a one groove track.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Cynon on Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:44 am

Mystrsyko wrote: You had to push others out of the groove to make any headway. if someone left an opening, you had to pounce on it because the next chance to pass might not come for another two dozen laps.


The really good drivers didn't have to do that. Actually watch an old Bristol race and you'll see that people only do that when they have a case of the Kevin Harvicks (Meaning: They can't pass you and don't care if they piss you off), and really, Earnhardt and the Waltrip brothers are the only regular offenders, or anyone who comes across lapped cars that don't want to get out of the way.

Mystrsyko wrote: for some reason they decided that needed "fixing"

Because the current crop of drivers made the whole series look really amateurish. Anyone remember Brent Sherman? Anyone remember that he is probably the only driver to fall foul of the Cause Five Cautions And You're Done rule?

Anyone else think that if they reconfigure Bristol they'll immediately shatter the old record for most cautions ever in a NASCAR race, if only for the fact that the current field has the least respect for each other out of any time in motorsports?

Remember all the clownish driving in turn 10 at Sonoma last year? Or even at Martinsville? Imagine that but all the time.

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by day500champ1 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:04 pm

Cynon wrote:
Mystrsyko wrote: You had to push others out of the groove to make any headway. if someone left an opening, you had to pounce on it because the next chance to pass might not come for another two dozen laps.


The really good drivers didn't have to do that. Actually watch an old Bristol race and you'll see that people only do that when they have a case of the Kevin Harvicks (Meaning: They can't pass you and don't care if they piss you off), and really, Earnhardt and the Waltrip brothers are the only regular offenders, or anyone who comes across lapped cars that don't want to get out of the way.

Passing a driver without touching them takes more skill and to me shows me they're a better driver than just booting them out of the way. Look at Jeff and Jimmie at Atlanta last September. That is the racing I want to see. Two drivers racing hard but being able to stay off each other. That takes driving skill.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by PKligBKFan on Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:39 pm

I've actually liked the new Bristol. Not just because Brad won but because I love all the side by side racing.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by conrail1990 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:05 pm

Ceej wrote:
Mystrsyko wrote:You had to push others out of the groove to make any headway.
This is precisely why I don't want to see this happen.
During the race, yeah dont go all out and destroy you car, but during the closing laps. I'd rather have somebody show some muscle and attempt to win rather than hang back and wait for the leader to make a mistake. Im not saying go Kyle Busch and dump them into the inside wall. But show me your atleast going to fight for it.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Cynon on Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:37 pm

PKligBKFan wrote:I've actually liked the new Bristol. Not just because Brad won but because I love all the side by side racing.

The current configuration is Dover with shorter straights, and the racing, until Sunday, was not spectacular. The old Bristol, despite races that were complete fail, was pretty memorable because races there were complete fail.

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Chives2112 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:50 pm

I liked the old Bristol and I'm starting to get used to the new Bristol, so I honestly don't care what happens.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Sparkz47 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:41 pm

In my opinion, I'd rather have a race filled with insanity than have a race as underwhelming as the ones we've seen.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Alta on Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:01 pm

>2012
>Not putting a jump on the backstretch
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by pepsibottle1 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:08 pm

Heard on Sirius MRN that Bruton gave the go ahead to return to the old config after 75% fan feedback prefering the old layout. Awesome!
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Rykia on Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:54 pm

Sparkz47 wrote:In my opinion, I'd rather have a race filled with insanity than have a race as underwhelming as the ones we've seen.

This. I'm not a Boozooka who loves to see cars wrecks, but really. 200 Laps without a caution? At BRISTOL? It was so boring that Fox ran out of things to talk about.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Alta on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:50 pm

pepsibottle1 wrote:Heard on Sirius MRN that Bruton gave the go ahead to return to the old config after 75% fan feedback prefering the old layout. Awesome!
Oh dear.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by day500champ1 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:05 pm

Alta wrote:
pepsibottle1 wrote:Heard on Sirius MRN that Bruton gave the go ahead to return to the old config after 75% fan feedback prefering the old layout. Awesome!
Oh dear.

I can guarantee that after they do it and run one race someone will find something to b*tch and moan about.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Cynon on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:17 pm

day500champ1 wrote:
Alta wrote:
pepsibottle1 wrote:Heard on Sirius MRN that Bruton gave the go ahead to return to the old config after 75% fan feedback prefering the old layout. Awesome!
Oh dear.

I can guarantee that after they do it and run one race someone will find something to b*tch and moan about.

It depends if it's a legitimate complaint or not, really. If you change something and then find out after the fact that it was a terrible idea... then what?

But I think you mean if someone's bitching for the sake of bitching. I admit I raged really really hard when they reconfigured Bristol and (before Sunday) would have told you that going back would be the best thing possible. However, Sunday's race was probably one of the best NASCAR races I can recall, because it was a good race from start-to-finish. I think the fact that it was at Bristol and not at a clone of Bristol probably tainted that race in a lot of people's eyes, because that wasn't really the kind of Bristol race they're familiar with.

Honestly, I think I would keep the new Bristol in some way, and by that, I mean creating it in an already existing market with a terrible track to represent it or new market altogether. Therefore, nobody really loses. Like, let's say in California, or building it near the Chicagoland Speedway (and then sell Chicagoland to IndyCar)?

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Chives2112 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:44 pm

Cynon wrote:
day500champ1 wrote:
Alta wrote:
pepsibottle1 wrote:Heard on Sirius MRN that Bruton gave the go ahead to return to the old config after 75% fan feedback prefering the old layout. Awesome!
Oh dear.

I can guarantee that after they do it and run one race someone will find something to b*tch and moan about.

It depends if it's a legitimate complaint or not, really. If you change something and then find out after the fact that it was a terrible idea... then what?

But I think you mean if someone's bitching for the sake of bitching. I admit I raged really really hard when they reconfigured Bristol and (before Sunday) would have told you that going back would be the best thing possible. However, Sunday's race was probably one of the best NASCAR races I can recall, because it was a good race from start-to-finish. I think the fact that it was at Bristol and not at a clone of Bristol probably tainted that race in a lot of people's eyes, because that wasn't really the kind of Bristol race they're familiar with.

Honestly, I think I would keep the new Bristol in some way, and by that, I mean creating it in an already existing market with a terrible track to represent it or new market altogether. Therefore, nobody really loses. Like, let's say in California, or building it near the Chicagoland Speedway (and then sell Chicagoland to IndyCar)?
Did the Chicago Motor Speedway have any good racing before they shut it down?
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by pennst24 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:39 pm

Chives2112 wrote:
Cynon wrote:
day500champ1 wrote:
Alta wrote:
pepsibottle1 wrote:Heard on Sirius MRN that Bruton gave the go ahead to return to the old config after 75% fan feedback prefering the old layout. Awesome!
Oh dear.

I can guarantee that after they do it and run one race someone will find something to b*tch and moan about.

It depends if it's a legitimate complaint or not, really. If you change something and then find out after the fact that it was a terrible idea... then what?

But I think you mean if someone's bitching for the sake of bitching. I admit I raged really really hard when they reconfigured Bristol and (before Sunday) would have told you that going back would be the best thing possible. However, Sunday's race was probably one of the best NASCAR races I can recall, because it was a good race from start-to-finish. I think the fact that it was at Bristol and not at a clone of Bristol probably tainted that race in a lot of people's eyes, because that wasn't really the kind of Bristol race they're familiar with.

Honestly, I think I would keep the new Bristol in some way, and by that, I mean creating it in an already existing market with a terrible track to represent it or new market altogether. Therefore, nobody really loses. Like, let's say in California, or building it near the Chicagoland Speedway (and then sell Chicagoland to IndyCar)?
Did the Chicago Motor Speedway have any good racing before they shut it down?

It was basically Homestead before they rebanked that track. I found it somewhat of a bore for the Trucks, OK for CART.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by AntmanB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:48 pm

Tires -- not reinventing speedway -- might be Bristol's answer: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had some advice for Bruton Smith: talk to the drivers before firming up plans to reinvent Bristol Motor Speedway. It might be a good idea for Smith to talk to Goodyear, too, given that changing the tires at Bristol might be a far less expensive alternative to changing the racetrack. Track owner Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., said he was embarrassed by the turnout for last Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the .533-mile track. Consensus was that the grandstands, which can seat 160,000 fans, were roughly half-full. Possible solutions could a include to a return to the one-groove racetrack that disappeared with a 2007 reconfiguration that added graduated banking and opened the outside lane. Side-by-side green-flag racing replaced the typical Bristol bump-and-run, which inevitably led to a rash of caution flags. Tires with more grip and faster degradation might change the complexion of racing at Bristol, if cars with new tires become significantly faster than those on old rubber. "I think if we show up at Bristol with a tire that lays rubber down and is really soft, and it wears out& we need to get it back to where tires mean something," said Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. "Nobody really ever comes in and takes four tires and blows the field anymore." The bottom line is that, if tires degrade rapidly, you'll have cars running radically different speeds on the racetrack, and the mixture of speed and strategy should improve the action.(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-25-2012)
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Sparkz47 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:06 pm

Well, it's official.

Bruton Smith says changes will be made at Bristol: After more than a week of studying requested fan input, Burton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, announced he has ordered the go-ahead to make changes to the track surface at Bristol Motor Speedway. "The race fans have spoken," Smith said. "We had input that included a wide range of opinions. But the majority we heard from said they wanted to see changes made. As a result, I have ordered the equipment and work will begin within the next two weeks to allow time to have everything ready for August." Smith said an announcement regarding the scope of the work will be made soon. "The question we wanted to answer as quickly as possible was 'Is something going to be done?' Smith said. "The answer to that is 'yes.' We will have the details in two weeks as to what that 'something' is.


Last edited by Sparkz47 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Alta on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:23 pm

Honestly hoping for rage from the driver's end. Razz
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by f1fan12 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:47 pm

Oh dear Fail Fail Fail
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Cynon on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:04 pm

Anyone know what the record for most cautions in a NASCAR race is? Because we're about to shatter it!

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by BurningThunder on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:43 pm

Cynon wrote:Anyone know what the record for most cautions in a NASCAR race is? Because we're about to shatter it!

Wasn't it 22, at the 2005 Coke 600? At least that's the most I remember.

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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by flyingturns89 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:42 pm

BurningThunder wrote:
Cynon wrote:Anyone know what the record for most cautions in a NASCAR race is? Because we're about to shatter it!

Wasn't it 22, at the 2005 Coke 600? At least that's the most I remember.

Yes it was, 22 cautions for 103 laps, over a quarter of the race. There were only seven runs of 10 or more green flag laps in a row, the longest was 79. Twenty cars survived to finish on the lead lap, and they included Ken Schrader, Kevin Lepage, Mike Wallace, and Bill Elliott.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by PKligBKFan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:33 pm

Wish Bruton Smith were smart enough to realize all you need is a new damn tire. He always chooses to do the most time consuming, stupid and expensive things!
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by AntmanB on Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:32 pm

that's the CUP Record. the nationwide record in 26.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

Post by Tanrar on Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:08 pm

Will we hit 30 cautions at Bristol this September? Quite possibly.
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Re: Bristol going back to the old days?

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