NASCAR: Bristol Motor Speedway Needs To Go Back to the 'Old Style' Racing

Hugo OlguinContributor IIIMarch 23, 2012

BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 18: Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, and A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, lead the field to a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18, 2012 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

After another lackluster race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports Inc. majority owner Bruton Smith is finally looking to make changes.

In an article on, Smith discussed recently issues that have faced the famed half-mile track.

After years of sellout crowds, Bristol was repaved and progressive banking was added to the turns. With the new bankings, there has been less bumping and excitement, and now the racing lane is the top rather than the bottom.

Last Sunday's race was the last straw. The crowd for the race was smaller than ever. The racing did not live up to the hype that Bristol used to bring.

Smith asked the fans to give feedback via email or Twitter and Smith said, "They want the old track. It was 70-some percent the last time I checked. ...I’m almost there in making a decision. We’ve got to be sure that we have appeased these race fans.

"We want to be sure that we are now making a change and giving them what they want.”

Trust me, Bruton, give the fans what they want and fix the track.

The fans have spoken and hopefully Smith does the right thing. Since the track added progressive banking, the attendance has been declining.  

Now, part of it is the economy, but I believe the main reason is the racing is not as good as it use to be. 

I'm not saying Bristol needs to be a "wreckfest," but the tradition of the track is to beat and bang like drivers do at the local short tracks around the country.

Whether people like beating and bumping at Bristol, it is an important tribute to racing history and local racing. That style of racing is how so many drivers learn to race and develop their skills to (hopefully) get far in NASCAR.  

I really hope Bristol Motor Speedway is put back to its original configuration. It was always a great race and I hope it will return to its greatness.

Bruton Smith, please put Bristol to the original configuration. Give the fans what they want.