So a couple of weeks ago I made the short trip to Bristol(pictures here) with my neighbor Glen and my son Andrew. We had a spectacular time watching the cars go around in circles at the World’s Fastest Half Mile known as Bristol Motor Speedway. Before I go into Bruton Smith and what is happening at Bristol, I will say that I would agree with Brad Keselowski’s take that it was a great race on the configuration.After the dismal showing of fan attendance at one of the greatest sporting venues in the world, Bruton put it to the fans to ask what they wanted to bring the greatness back to Bristol. The fans responded, me included, and overwhelmingly we voiced our opinion that we want the old Bristol back without the progressive banking. Voices were heard, and the track is going to be ground to put it back to its original configuration prior to the repaving project of 2007. As a historical note, my first Bristol race was the last race on the old configuration, and the first race run with the COT. The fixing of the track is expected to be complete prior to the Irwin Tools Night Race in August.
Here is what irritates me with the decision to put the track back to its original configuration. Bruton has come out swinging at his own company saying he had no idea that when the track was going to be repaved that it was going to be progressive banking. I say bullshit. It is not often that I use that type of word in one of my posts, but I feel it is warranted in this situation. Bruton is blowing smoke that he never knew that was the plan for the track. I bet if you pulled audio from that Spring race in 2007 from Fox that DW would be talking about it being progressive banking. I knew that before the project started. They even brought DW out to the track after the race to be the first to use a jackhammer on the old pavement.
Here is why it is ludicrous to think that Bruton did not know. He runs a multimillion dollar company that is extremely successful that is publicly traded. The decision to make a huge alteration to the most successful track that he owns would not be made without his knowledge. The decision to completely change the banking would have to have been run past him. If he was not checked with first, then I would really wonder about the business he is running. I am not sure if he is trying to save face with investors, or thinks his investors and the race fans are really that stupid. Maybe now he is simply trying to keep the investors from jumping ship. Only Bruton can truly give us that answer.
In the end, the right decision has been made to put the track back to the way it was. As far as some articles on fans buying tickets, we will see. I can say as a fan I already have tickets to both Cup races and only look forward to expanding the number of seats that I have in my possession at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Martinsville looms for us this weekend. Here are some real quick ideas on what I see happening this weekend. Bumping and banging will be the order of the day. Something we hope is returning to Bristol. I use to think that Martinsville was kind of a boring race, but it has grown a lot on me. I enjoy it now and cannot wait for the race on Sunday.
First, Jeff Gordon needs a top three finish. If Gordon runs into trouble again this week, you can just about kiss goodbye any hopes of making the Chase. Now he could with wins as the wild card. He has been shoved into a hole that is still going to be steep to climb out of. It will actually be fun to watch what he does this weekend, and nail biting for us Gordon fans.
Can Tony Stewart continue to the hot streak? I do not see any reason why not. He is simply on fire from the end of last season coming into this season. His season amazes me since he has a new crew chief.
Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin are other drivers we look to run up front at Martinsville. They will be there somewhere close.
We are going to have a competitive beat and bang race on Sunday to the checkers. Who takes home the Martinsville Grandfather Clock in the end? I put my fantasy pick this week on Jeff Gordon. I really think they get it turned around and the bad luck is gone for this week. They need a strong showing from that team and they get it done.
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