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Double-file restarts will have biggest impact in Bristol

By admin | August 21, 2009

By Richard Allen

There is no doubt double-file restarts added to the races in Pocono, Watkins Glen and other tracks. However, no matter how much the new restart technique has helped racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this weekend’s race in Bristol will almost certainly create the most excitement to date.

Since being resurfaced in the middle of the 2007 season, the Bristol Motor Speedway has not been its old self. The ‘Bristol Bump’ has been taken out, and thus, the rough and tumble racing that made the track one of the most popular in NASCAR and gave rise to the phase ‘Racing the way it oughta be’ has changed. With that said, the facility is still a half-mile, high banked bull ring of a track that has the potential for extreme action.

BMS used to have cautions that numbered in the mid to high teens prior to being resurfaced. Since, the number of yellow flags have numbered in the high single digits. While that means more racing under green than riding under caution, it also means less sparks and fireworks.

The track has become somewhat like the much despised ‘cookie cutters’ which feature in-line racing with little excitement. Hopefully, double-file restarts will help return Bristol to its old self.

The number of caution flags has dropped off considerably since that resurfacing. However, with the advent of the double-file restart on this track the phrase ‘Cautions begat more cautions’ will likely ring true.

More important than creating more cautions, hopefully, the new procedure will create better competition and once again the track can be known for ‘Racing the way it oughta be’.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

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