By admin | August 28, 2012
By Richard Allen
After having had a couple of days now to gain some perspective, I think the time has come to ask the most important question of all regarding this past weekend’s racing at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Whether or not the racing was improved or whether or not fans enjoyed what they saw this time around on the high banked track are not nearly as important to consider as is the question of whether or not fans will buy tickets for the races to be held there next season.
When the track once considered by many to be the most popular on the NASCAR circuit was resurfaced and reconfigured in 2007, attendance declined year after year. With this past March’s Sprint Cup event contested in front of a grandstand that was only half full at best, track ownership had had enough and decided to make changes.
A vote was held on the speedway’s website and 40% of respondents insisted they wanted changes to be made. As a result, track parent company Speedway Motorsports, Inc. set forth with a project to grind down the upper lane of the high banks. That would, it was thought, narrow the racing groove and intensify the competition.
In my opinion, the racing was not that much different from what it had been in recent years. As the race wore on, cars drifted into the high lane that was supposed to have been eliminated. And once drivers found more grip up high, those who attempted to run the bottom took on the look of a car that had pulled out of the draft by itself at Talladega.
What did change this time around was that drivers became more animated and displayed some emotions. Tony Stewart flung a helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car after the two took each other out while racing for the lead. Danica Patrick shook a finger of disapproval at Regan Smith after she was eliminated by a late race crash.
Those type of incidents had been missing from the track and fans had voiced their grievances with the ‘new’ Bristol by not purchasing tickets. But was what occurred this past weekend enough to inspire those who matter most?
So, will you buy tickets for the races at Bristol in 2013?
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