While the signs at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday blared “FANS SPOKE … WE LISTENED,” many fans and drivers asked track officials not to make any changes to the racing surface.
So while track officials might have listened, they ultimately decided to make changes to the track even though 60 percent of the fans it surveyed asked them not to change it.
Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., the track’s parent company, announced Wednesday that the top groove in the turns of the 0.533-mile track will undergo grinding to take away some of the banking, making it more difficult to race in the top groove.
The changes were approved after the 158,000-seat stadium was only half-full for the March 18 Cup race.
In the days following that event, 70 percent of fans surveyed told SMI to change the track, Smith said. And then as the weeks went along, Smith said he started to hear from more fans who didn’t want it changed. He said those fans opposed to any change eventually became the majority.
Smith, though, said he never thought about not changing the track before the Sprint Cup Series returns Aug. 25.
“I knew that we needed to do something,” he said. “I just didn’t want to go completely crazy over the thing. … We had an awful lot of ‘don’t touch it.’” Sporting News
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