Bruton Smith is said to be considering returning Bristol Speedway to original form.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by rbroyles, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    It is being reported on that it is being considered to repaving the Bristol Motor Speedway in an attempt to return the popular facility to it's form previous to the last repaving project. There are many who link the drop off in attendance, particularly for the Spring race to the wider track with progressive banking which allows side by side racing. They say the old track where a single grove forced drivers to utilize a "bump and run" procedure to pass was more exciting to watch. Smith blames the rainy weather for a large part of the unsold tickets, citing that it hurt the race day walk up sales. I would remind him that there used to not be any tickets to sell on race day. The official announced crowd size was 102,000, well short of the 160,000 seat capacity. With recent walk up sales averaging about 5,000 tickets, the math is more than fuzzy when you apply that as a reason for the lack of sales.
  2. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    The 1999 Bristol night race was maybe the greatest sporting event I ever saw live.
  3. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    The first NASCAR race I went to was the spring Bristol race in 1997. It amazed this, at the time, 12 year old.
  4. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    I've been fortunate to see Winston Cup races at Darlington, Rockingham, Dover, and Charlotte but there is nothing -- nothing -- as great as Bristol night racing back in those days.
  5. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    I've been to Atlanta 3 times but only saw one race due to rain, Talladega once and Bristol a handful of times. Bristol was the best of the bunch.

    It is amazing to see how fast those cars are moving at Talladega though.
  6. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    I want to do Talladega eventually. Charlotte is only bearable for the All Star race. Darlington is so weird it makes it enjoyable and Dover is not bad.

    I want to hit off Martinsville and Richmond soon.
  7. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    Sit way up in the grandstands for Talladega. I would love to go to Richmond.

    I've been to the track at Watkins-Glen but I didn't see a race there.
  8. tidwell

    tidwell Chieftain

    The finally turn Bristol into a race track, and not even five years later they want to ruin it again. Sure, makes sense.
  9. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    Now, if NASCAR will show such fortitude to abruptly deviate from their own and innumerous mistakes.

    They have failed to heed the "bird in the hand" advice to such an extent as to lead one to believe that they have never heard of it - for the promise of potential riches, they have sought the mainstream sports fans in newer and larger markets with single minded focus, but did so at the direct detriment of the rabidly loyal Southern fan base which was the single most critical element of their decades-long success and which was pushing the steady, albeit more slowly than they fantasized, advancement of their sport. And to "succeed" in reaching these new markets / fans, they have reduced everything to its lowest common denominator - where even the cars and tracks themselves are little more than cookie-cutter caricatures of their former selves. And such has "succeeded" in introducing NASCAR to both new fans and larger markets, for sure. The problem that they now face is that they've accomplished exactly what they set out to do, but instead of boundless growth and infinite riches, they've discovered that these new "fans" are far more fickle and fading than the rabid base which they have enjoyed for so many years, but worse, the traditional fan has become largely apathetic and inattentive as a result. While they have gained fans, they have not been of either sufficient size or strength as to build the future foundations of the sport, and simultaneously, the base built by their traditional fans has been so eroded as to make it equally impossible to trust and rely upon, going forward. Simply, NASCAR now finds itself without an available means to either advance or retreat - and instead, continues to (foolishly) attempt to please everyone, but which fails to please any one, and which is only further exacerbating the problem. It'd be like the Opry having more pop / rock stars on in an attempt to reach both newer and larger audiences - it wouldn't be "pop" enough to make any inroads into that audience, but certainly enough to piss off all of their country fans, to be sure.

    In fact, while it has undoubtedly caused some suffering - NASCAR must have appreciated (if not loved, instead) this most recent economic downturn, if only because it provided some means of explaining how their plummeting descent had resulted from something other than their own stupidity and gross strategic incompetence. I would equate their efforts over the last decade in terms of monkeys screwing footballs, were I not concerned with offending actual primates who engaged in intercourse with oblong shapes. The economic crisis hasn't helped, for sure, but it has about as much to do with their decline as "rain" served to explain Bristol's 60K+ shortfall last week.

    So, NASCAR should admit (I would say, 'realize"...but they already know that they've put the golden goose on life support) it's errors, and make a marked turn to its former self, and before it's too late, or the situation will only worsen. Here's my entirely ignorant list of "fixes" that should be immediately made:

    1. They should withdraw from any track lying outside of the southeastern U.S. who failed to produce a single sell-out in the 5 previous Sprint Cup races. That would end California, for sure, but what others?

    2. History will judge "New Coke" in a far more favorable light than the Car of Tomorrow. It should be shit-canned, post haste, and toot sweet. No, I do not care what reasoning you might provide for its existence, whatsoever. It is an abomination to the sport, and must be destroyed. They must return to manufacturer-based models - including body styles, engines, etc. Then, they need to ensure that all cars meet a set of minimum specifications, but otherwise, let them race. If Ford's figure out a way to get 3mph more than Chevy's, well, then Ford is going to beat Chevy's brains out until they figure out a way to make up that speed, somewhere else. Even before the COT, NASCAR's constant interventions to balance the respective cars of each manufacturer was contrived, at best, and simply created an atmosphere of pseudo-competition. Let the cars and drivers settle it on the track. And if the Toyota Corolla is faster than the Fusion or the Monte Carlo, even decidedly so, well tough shit, Ford and Chevy. I guess you need to figure out how more comparably compete.

    So, get back to more racing in the southeastern U.S. (continue to welcome those successful and additional tracks outside of the S.E., for sure - but cull the rest) and do away with the COT - and all will be well, again. Maybe.

    I welcome the comment and debate of others, and do so with the understanding that my argument won't likely survive even the faintest hint of scrutiny, and from any number of people here, all knowing infinitely more than I (and I mean that sincerely, as I know jack [penis] about NASCAR - these are just my unsubstantiated opinions on the matters at hand).
  10. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    I'll get back to you a little later, some good points, some not so.
  11. DownNDirty

    DownNDirty Contributor

    Speedway Motorsports, Inc., CEO Bruton Smith said yesterday that he is moving ahead with plans to return Bristol Motor Speedway to its previous configuration. 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."
  12. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    I didn't miss a race on TV for probably 5 years. I was a latecomer to the sport (didn't start watching until high school) but grew to love it quite a bit. I agree with the gist of Tenny's post. I wouldn't go to the Phoenix or Texas race if it were in my backyard. Bring back North Wilkesboro? Now we are talking. I mean, you take a race away from Darlington -- the FIRST superspeedway? I understand attendance dwindled and it's impossible to get there, but still.

    For me, there are three things that turned me from a fan to a casual observer. 1) I can't get behind any of the personalities outside of Kyle Busch or Tony Stewart, and occasionally Dale Jr. It's just a boring bunch of folks. I just can't get fired up about Casey Kahne or Clint Bowyer. Give me Geoff Bodine in the Levi Garrett car and Harry Gant cruising around in the Skoal machine. I want to see Dave Marcis' wingtips, Terry Labonte's mustache, and Dale's sweet shades. 2) I absolutely despise the rebranding that did away with the Winston Cup and Busch sponsorships. I knew then something was rotten in Denmark when that began to happen. 3) I absolutely hate all the pre-game junk surrounding the sport. Start the race at 12. Say a prayer, sing a national anthem and start those engines. I don't go to Talladega to hear the Black Eyed Peas or Lenny Kravitz. I don't need endless demonstrations of how the car works from Larry McReynolds. Good grief. Just race already. And that's really the basic problem with NASCAR. They over-thought the whole thing and just ruined it. It's pretty simple and local race tracks all throughout the country get it right every Friday night and then these PR slicks get involved and just destroy it.

    Off my soap box.
  13. Beechervol

    Beechervol Super Moderator

    My first race was a Talladega fall race (JR win). Me and a buddy went to the UT game on Sat. night (Arky 6 OT game). Got back home, slept about 45 mins. and drove to Talladega. We sat 6 rows from the track in the dog leg. When they went by you couldn't make out a car it was just a blur of colors. We were close enough that you had to take your hat off or lose it.

    Been to a few Bristol night races, (before they screwed the track up IMO) similar to watching a football game because you could see everything.
  14. Beechervol

    Beechervol Super Moderator

    As to the Bristol track. I remember when I went is was packed to brim, and people standing outside trying to find tickets. The economy and boring races have hurt their attendance.
  15. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    1. I cannot agree, expanding the venue locations has had to have added to the fanbase. I do agree certain tracks do not deserve two dates causing Darlington to lose one and Rockingham to close. North Wilkesboro was not worth saving. I would like to see another short track on the schedule, but it isn't going to happen. There is no doubt the newer, current fans are more fickle, less loyal and are quick to jump to another sport, but isn't that true of all sports today? To concentrate the racing back to the South East would make NASCAR revert back to being a primarily regional sport.

    2. Amen! Put cars on the tracks that look like what is driven on the highways. I put the cookie cutter car as the second most reason for fan apathy. Number one is lack of personality in the drivers, and the efforts to subdue those who show some spark of exhibiting one.

    The racing itself to me is about as competitive as it ever has been, except for back a few years when there were more top level teams. The growth to three and four car teams has whittled down the number of consistently winning team owners to just seven, with about three more with the potential to win. While the number of drivers with the ability to win is relatively high at around twenty-two, the gap to the have nots is ever growing larger.

    People talk about how racing used to be better, but they are looking through that strange trait in human memory cells I call "good ole days distortion". There are on average way more cars still running on the lead lap than there were before, and qualifying times are much closer as well as the race lap times. If you utilize the live leaderboard on, you will see little drop off in the lap times from the leader to the last cars on the lead lap.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  16. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    I disagree that it is all "good ole days distortion" but since [MENTION=20]rbroyles[/MENTION] has forgotten more about NASCAR than I will ever know I won't "rattle his cage" too much.

    Let me pose this to rb and the board: How big was Earnhardt's death to the sport? It seems to me to be a pivotal event that the sport never quite recovered from. He was the most interesting guy to ever race imo. And he put butts in seats. Is the Earnhardt effect the most simple explanation to some of NASCAR's woes?
  17. The Dooz

    The Dooz Super Moderator

    Dale Sr.'s death wasn't near the blow to the sport that his son's inability to live up to the unfair expectations heaped upon him by his fans was. i would consider his decline (last win was almost 4 years ago) to go hand in hand with the decline of the sport.

    as for the cars, the Busch Series has it right.

    as for Bristol, i've paid as much as 175.00 for a ticket, as little as 40.00 last Sunday, and everywhere in between. i must say, i will welcome the 40.00 end of the spectrum every time. how soon people forget watching Matt Kenseth lead 400+ laps on the old configuration in one of the biggest snoozefests of my life. just because somebody gets into it with a fellow driver after the race doesn't mean it has to happen every. single. time. for the race to be a success.

    as for the tracks, RB is right. everybody always looks to North Wilksboro as their example, but that place was ill-equipped to handle NASCAR well before they left in 96. i shudder to think about the shit show that would ensue if NASCAR ever brought the circus back there. perhaps the fans who want Rockingham back should have shown their support when the track was in jeopardy. i'd like to see a Pocono date pulled and give back to the Rock, but that's simply wishful thinking. Darlington was a tragedy but the true Southern 500 isn't coming back. California is an abomination and giving them that date was stupid.

    i need to go to Darlington, Martinsville, Richmond and Dover. i've been everywhere else worth going.
  18. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    There is little doubt in my mind that Earnhardt's death cost the sport some fans, and so many did desperately jump on Junior's bandwagon, and as Dooz says tried to make him the second coming of his father. His failure to win at Hendrick has been a definite downer for the sport. His winning a race would fill many seats.
  19. rbroyles

    rbroyles Chieftain

    1. I agree

    2. They are headed in the right direction, but I want factory silhouettes

    3. yes you do, specially Darlington, my favorite. I don't care for Martinsville, would like to see Richmond.
  20. DownNDirty

    DownNDirty Contributor

    Three of the biggest problems with NASCAR now is:

    1. Tires. Maybe it's not Goodyear's fault as they are going towards the wishes of that braniac France and his cronies. Why they'd want Goodyear to make a tire that is so hard that it barely drops off at any track no matter how long the run should tell you something. My God, a couple of weeks ago they were changing LEFT side tires some instead of rights for two tire changes. Goodyear has figured out how to make a very durable tire. The problem is that very durable tire can take all the abuse thrown at it (as long as an adequate setup is under the cars) and not fall off very much at all. If they'd make the tires soft enough where by the end of a full fuel run they have fallen off to the point that a blowout is a possibility if it's pushed too hard that would help racing tremendously. You'd see much more passing in the field because there'd be comers and goers once again. You'd actually see smarter drivers that save tires come through the pack during longer runs. When there is a caution halfway through a run then there would be strategy again and some people will change 2 tires and others will change 4 and pandemonium will reign supreme.

    2. Cars are too fast: Slow them down so they can race side by side again. Who cares if they haul ass 210 MPH into the turn at Texas when they can't run side by side? I'd rather see them going 180 and able to race each other.

    3. The car needs to be overhauled. The current COT is the drizzling shits. That's what happens when you let one of the least successful drivers in the history of NASCAR Cup racing, Brett Bodine, design the damn thing. I could write a novel to the effect of War and Peace saying all the things wrong with the car but that's the other major culprit. If they could fix those three things it would improve the series about 8000%. JMO

Share This Page