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BSNews! · Jeff Meyer · Thursday April 5, 2012
BSNews has learned that Bruton Smith’s plans for ‘restoring Bristol Motor Speedway to it original state’, extends far beyond the racing surface itself.
Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc., the parent company of BMS, has been stung the last few years by declining attendance at the facility which seats 160,000. The latest figures for the spring race have revealed that attendance was down by at least 50,000 fans.
Failing to believe that the economy has anything to do with it, Smith and others have blamed the low figures on the quality of racing on the high banked oval half mile. In years past there has always been only one line of racing around the track and that was firmly on the bottom. Basically, the only way to pass a slower car in front of you was to either rely on their sense of fair play and hope they moved or, the more common and dramatic method of simply bumping them out of the way.
The bump and run caused much excitement, not to mention caution laps, but it became the accepted way…that is until a few years ago. Thinking that the fans would love to see racing instead of carnage, SMI and Smith completely tore up the track and instead of a straight 36 degree banking, used the ever popular ‘progressive banking’. The upshot of all this was, unfortunately, actual racing around the track! Gone were the days of record numbers of cautions. Gone was the excess of twisted steel and sheet metal. Gone too, apparently, were the fans and so here they are, once again, tearing up the track.
“It’s what the fans wanted,” said Smith after a recent hastily conducted poll via the internet that invited fans to share what the problem was.
As it turns out, the fans wanted much much more and Smith is obliged to give it to them no matter the cost.
Smith estimated the cost of reconfiguring the track before the next August race at somewhere around one million dollars but that is just the tip of the iceberg. BSNews has learned that Smith recently met with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and is seeking financial help from the state for renovations that reach far beyond the racing surface and more directly affect the fans themselves on a more personal level.
The plan, according to Smith and BMS executives, will totally revamp every bathroom in the fabled arena in a way that has never been done before. The estimated cost for this total restroom revamp are said to almost equal the cost of retooling the track.
“While we may be taking the progressive banking out of the track, we are adding it to every urinal and toilet in the entire facility,” said Smith.
He went on to explain that one of the major complaints by fans at BMS was not of the race track, but of ‘backsplatter’ that occurred in the restrooms. We all have experienced the phenomenon at one time or another in our lives and most thought nothing could be done about it. As it turns out, SMI has been working for a couple of years with a major urinal and toilet manufacturer to find “that perfect degree of banking” inside the ceramic fixtures that virtually eliminates any and all ‘backsplatter’ no matter at what angle a liquid should contact it.
“Obviously, our facilities here at the speedway get a great deal of use from virtually every size, shape and weight of person imaginable. Backsplatter can not only be embarrassing but highly unsanitary as well,” Smith said. “With this new ‘progressive ceramic banking’ in all of our restrooms, we can be assured that each and every fan enjoys not only a good race, but a fun, pleasant and healthier ‘pit stop’.”
SMI and Smith are so proud of the use of this new technology at BMS that signs will be placed in each restroom reminding the fan of just how much they care and listen. The signs will read; Bruton Smith Aims to Please! You Aim Too, Please!
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Let’s just say I am really pissed!
Another crappy decision! Was Brian involved?
Wow…some people do have more money than brains and can piss it away at the drop of a toilet seat…
I enjoy the BSNews – I get a laugh every time – keep up the funny work.
I’m “pissed” that Bruton has gone to the state of Tennessee asking for money to again renovate Bristol. The speedway is a privately owned company and should not get public tax dollars. I feel the same way about NFL and MLB stadiums too. The state and local gov’t is responsible for the freeways and roads leading to the place, but in no way, shape, or form should the state contribute money towards changing the property itself. THAT is a bunch of BS!
I remember back in the 50’s going to Indy and the crappers had nothing but a pisser made out of guttering hung on the wall and at an angle going to one end and dumping in the shit hole. Good god they aren’t going to the Hilton.
If Bruton changes the track, he’s a bloody fool. Most of those that voted in his straw poll aren’t racing fans, they’re demo-derby fans and don’t really understand oval racing.
Give the track a couple of years to season and for cars and crews to adapt to the surface again, and they’ll be bangin’ it just like before. Right now, a few have got the right set-up, and many don’t. Later, the have-nots will figger out what the haves have and the race’ll look just like it did.
Maybe even the economy will straighten up, or Bruton’s (and the whole rip-off-the-tourist industry) will get their prices down to actual workin’ man’s wages and the track will fill again.
But, with spendin’ money on whims as the SOP, I’ll not be affordin’ a ticket anytime soon.
Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:
Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?
Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.