NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ it Short – The Fans Have Spoken, Now They Have to Back it Up

Ten years ago a ticket to Bristol Motor Speedway Cup races was the stuff of legend, and season tickets at Bristol were responsible for heated battles during divorce proceedings. They were even passed on in wills from generation to generation. And if you didn’t already have tickets, the waiting list was longer than the list for Denver Broncos season tickets. Now you can find Bristol Cup tickets online the weekend of the races for a song and a bowl of soup.

In an effort to find out why the fans were staying away from the famed half-mile track in Western Tennessee, track owner Bruton Smith asked for feedback from the fans. The overwhelming response was that the place wasn’t the same since the addition of the progressive banking during the repave in 2007. Fans want the single file parade where drivers have to forcibly move competitors out of the way in order to advance their position. Smith has listened and the banking will be removed, turning the corners back into a single rate of banking from top to bottom. Now it is up to the fans to return to the track to reward Speedway Motorsports, Incorporated’s moves to appease their demands.

Whether purists and drivers will be pleased or not doesn’t matter when profits are on the line. SMI had to make the changes to the track because there were as many empty seats at Bristol this Spring as there were occupied seats. When the facility has 165,000 seats, it costs money to have them sit empty on race weekends. While it will remain to be seen if the racing will return to the old style crash and burn or if the cars will still be able to run side-by-side, but SMI is doing whatever they can to attempt to make it happen for the fans.

Fans often claim that they do not attend races to see wrecks, but there is no doubt that, at least in the case of Bristol, fans want to see cars tangled together and sheet metal destroyed. The allure of the night race at Bristol has always been the flying sparks and heightened tempers that lead to on and off track altercations. If that style of racing returns then it is up to the fans to return as well.

The tire compound that is ultimately provided by Goodyear will most certainly have an impact on the racing as well, and if they make a tire that can allow the cars to run around above the preferred bottom groove, then this entire exercise will be for naught. The fans have spoken and the management of the track has listened. Now it will be a test to determine if a glorified demolition derby is really what the fans of NASCAR want to see.

This Weekend’s Racing Schedule

Thu 4/26 – Richmond Int Raceway ; Richmond : VA – NASCAR K&N Pro East Series
Thu 4/26 – Rice Lake Speedway ; Rice Lake : WI – USMTS Modifieds
Fri 4/27 – Firebird Int Raceway (main) ; Chandler : AZ – ASA / Truck Series
Fri 4/27 – Phillips County Raceway ; Holyoke : CO – BST Modifieds
Fri 4/27 – Bubba Raceway Park ; Ocala : FL – United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series
Fri 4/27 – Jacksonville Speedway ; Jacksonville : IL – POWRI Midgets
Fri 4/27 – Jacksonville Speedway ; Jacksonville : IL – POWRI Micro-Sprints
Fri 4/27 – Great American Dirt Track ; Jetmore : KS – MARS DIRTcar Series
Fri 4/27 – Great American Dirt Track ; Jetmore : KS – Championship Late Model Association
Fri 4/27 – Humboldt Speedway ; Humboldt : KS – Midwest Lightning Sprints
Fri 4/27 – Salina Speedway ; Salina : KS – Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series
Fri 4/27 – Eagle Raceway ; Eagle : NE – WoO Sprint Cars
Fri 4/27 – River Cities Speedway ; Grand Forks : ND – Northern Outlaw Sprint Association
Fri 4/27 – Attica Raceway Park ; Attica : OH – American Late Model Series
Fri 4/27 – Dog Hollow Speedway ; Strongstown : PA- Fastrak Late Model Series
Fri 4/27 – Lindas Speedway ; Jonestown : PA- Keystone Legend Car Tour
Fri 4/27 – Path Valley Speedway ; Spring Run : PA- Sidewinder Sprints
Fri 4/27 – Williams Grove Speedway ; Mechanicsburg : PA- All Star Sprint Cars
Fri 4/27 – Williams Grove Speedway ; Mechanicsburg : PA- ARDC Midgets
Fri 4/27 – El Paso Speedway Park ; El Paso : TX – Renegade Sprint Car Series
Fri 4/27 – Mississippi Thunder Speedway ; Fountain City : WI – USMTS Modifieds
Sat 4/28 – Castrol Raceway ; Edmonton : Alberta – Northern Provincial Pipeline Late Models
Sat 4/28 – Riverside Speedway ; West Memphis : AR – Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series
Sat 4/28 – Perris Auto Speedway ; Perris : CA – California Lightning Sprints
Sat 4/28 – Perris Auto Speedway ; Perris : CA – USAC/CRA 410
Sat 4/28 – Petaluma Speedway ; Petaluma : CA – California Sprint Car Civil War Series
Sat 4/28 – Placerville Speedway ; Placerville : CA – King Of The West
Sat 4/28 – Waterford Speedbowl ; Waterford : CT – New England Truck Series
Sat 4/28 – Delaware Int Speedway ; Delmar : DE – United Racing Company
Sat 4/28 – Bubba Raceway Park ; Ocala : FL – Florida Mini-Sprint Association
Sat 4/28 – Bubba Raceway Park ; Ocala : FL – United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series
Sat 4/28 – Lincoln Park Speedway ; Putnamville : IL – USAC National Sprint Cars
Sat 4/28 – Macomb Speedway ; Macomb : IL – IMRA TQ Series
Sat 4/28 – Macon Speedway ; Macon : IL – POWRI Midgets
Sat 4/28 – Macon Speedway ; Macon : IL – POWRI Micro-Sprints
Sat 4/28 – Brownstown Speedway ; Brownstown : IN – Midwest Mini-Sprint Association
Sat 4/28 – Knoxville Raceway ; Knoxville : IA – WoO Sprint Cars
Sat 4/28 – Great American Dirt Track ; Jetmore : KS – MARS DIRTcar Series
Sat 4/28 – Great American Dirt Track ; Jetmore : KS – Championship Late Model Association
Sat 4/28 – Boothill Speedway ; Shreveport : LA – Ark-La-Tex Winged Modifieds
Sat 4/28 – Deer Creek Speedway ; Spring Valley : MN – USMTS Modifieds
Sat 4/28 – Lucas Oil Speedway ; Wheatland : MO – United Late Model Association
Sat 4/28 – 311 Motor Speedway ; Madison : NC – Ultimate Super Late Model Series
Sat 4/28 – Big Diamond Raceway ; Minersville : PA- ARDC Midgets
Sat 4/28 – Port Royal Speedway ; Port Royal : PA- Sidewinder Sprints
Sat 4/28 – Port Royal Speedway ; Port Royal : PA- All Star Sprint Cars
Sat 4/28 – Williams Grove Speedway ; Mechanicsburg : PA- Super Sportsmen
Sat 4/28 – Tazewell Speedway ; Tazewell : TN – WoO Late Model Series
Sat 4/28 – Texas World Speedway ; Bryan : TX – National Auto Sport Association
Sat 4/28 – Beaver Dam Raceway ; Beaver Dam : WI – Midwest Sprintcar Association
Sat 4/28 – Beaver Dam Raceway ; Beaver Dam : WI – Interstate Racing Association
Sun 4/29 – I-76 Speedway ; Fort Morgan : CO – Rocky Mountain Lightning Sprints
Sun 4/29 – Stafford Motor Speedway ; Stafford Springs : CT – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Sun 4/29 – Salem Speedway ; Salem : IN – ARCA Late Models
Sun 4/29 – Rockingham Raceway Park – 1/2 mile ; Rockingham : NC – Allison Legacy Race Series
Sun 4/29 – Toledo Speedway ; Toledo : OH – CRA Super Series
Sun 4/29 – Beaver County Raceway ; Beaver : OK – Championship Late Model Association
Sun 4/29 – Beaver County Raceway ; Beaver : OK – MARS DIRTcar Series
Sun 4/29 – Clinton County Raceway ; Lock Haven : PA- PA Sprint Series
Sun 4/29 – Clinton County Raceway ; Lock Haven : PA- All Star Sprint Cars
Sun 4/29 – Grandview Speedway ; Bechtelsville : PA- North East Enduro Tour Series
Sun 4/29 – Mountain Speedway ; Saint Johns : PA- ATQMRA TQ Midgets
Sun 4/29 – Texas World Speedway ; Bryan : TX – National Auto Sport Association
Sun 4/29 – Thunder Road Int Speedbowl ; Barrie : VT – ACT US Tour
Sun 4/29 – Manitowoc Expo Raceway ; Manitowoc : WI – Midwest Sprintcar Association

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