BRISTOL, Tenn. — Bruton Smith didn’t ask Kyle Busch for his opinion when he decided to grind away two degrees of banking from the top groove at Bristol Motor Speedway.
In fact, Smith didn’t ask for any driver input before embarking on the project designed to correct a perceived lack of action at the .533-mile track.
Asked for his opinion of the changes after finishing third in Friday night’s Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Busch replied with characteristic frankness.
“It’s definitely hard to pass out there,” he said. “I think we all see it on the restarts that everybody is fighting for the top, just trying to root everybody out of the way to get up there and get in a single-file line. It’s frustrating. It’s certainly not what we all want to see around here.
I felt like before there was a bottom and there was a (third lane up top), and you could even use the middle and you could work a lot around through there. Right now, they brought the top closer to the bottom so it actually hurts the bottom worse, because you don’t have room to move up off the corners and get into the corners and all that stuff. You’re actually to the mercy of the guy on your outside.”
Busch couldn’t resist closing with some vintage sarcasm.
“I’m glad they conferred with all the drivers,” he said.