Bruton Smith’s knee jerk reaction with changes at Bristol could backfire

Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18, 2012 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18, 2012 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Speedway Motorsports Incorporated chairman Burton Smith announced Wednesday that he will make changes at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the August NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

The controversy started after the Food City 500 on March 18th. Grandstands that seat upwards of 160,000 fans appeared to be barely half full. After the race cries began that the reason the stands were empty at a track that is normally busting at the seams was the racing. In 2007 the track was repaved and progressive banking was added. This allowed for multiple lanes of racing and the single line bumping and banging seen in the past was gone.

Four years after the fact, Smith now says he will make changes to the track prior to the August 25th event.

“The race fans have spoken,” Smith said. “We had input that included a wide range of opinions. But the majority we heard from said they wanted to see changes made. As a result, I have ordered the equipment and work will begin within the next two weeks to allow time to have everything ready for August.”

Smith didn’t say what those changes would be exactly.MORE>>>

 Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18, 2012 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18, 2012 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.