Bruton Smith Officially Announces Repaving Plans for Bristol Motor Speedway

Hugo OlguinContributor IIIApril 25, 2012

CONCORD, NC - JANUARY 25: Speedway Motorsports Inc. Owner/CEO Bruton Smith, speaks to the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Charlotte Motor Speedway on January 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

It's official. Bristol Motor Speedway is getting a makeover before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the track this fall.

According to the Bristol Motor Speedway's website, SMI owner Bruton Smith announced plans to remove the progressive banking from the track's surface. 

After a poor turnout for the race and a drop in ratings due to the lack of bumping, passing and close racing, Smith asked the fans, drivers and teams what changes should be made to the track.  

The week following the Food City 500, the fans spoke loud and clear via social media to get rid of the progressive banking and return the track to its original configuration.  

Smith said, “Since March 28, when we announced that changes would be made, we have listened to fans, heard from drivers and talked to engineers about what to do and how much time we had to do it. Once we knew the direction, we located the right equipment to make it happen.”

The SAFER barriers around the track have already been removed in preparation for the changes that will be made.

“The majority of fans we heard from said they wanted adjustments made and the bulk of those said the progressive banking was what they didn’t like,” said Smith. “So, that’s the focus of our efforts. And that is what we are working to change.”

After investing millions of dollars into repaving the track in 2007, Smith will once again make changes to the track in order to win back the fans and get a sellout crowd for the Saturday night Sprint Cup race in August.  

This is big news for the NASCAR world.  It really shows how people in the sport are willing to listen to the fans and take action.  I commend Bruton Smith's swift actions to make these changes.  He did the right thing to talk with drivers and teams to get their input as well.  

This should hopefully make the fall race at Bristol one of the best races of the year, like it use to be.