I am a huge NASCAR fan and last year I got the opportunity to go to the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway. I attended the race with my Dad Fred, my step-Mom Vicki, and one of my best friends Jarvis (his posts about the race here, here and here). I have been trying to get tickets to Bristol for several years now and I have been looking forward to this for over a year. Supposedly tickets at Bristol are extremely difficult to get, second only to the opening ceremonies at the Olympics (I have no reference for this so therefore I have to call it here-say).

In the winter of 06-07 the track went through a re-paving, during that time it switched from a uniform banking of approximately 36 degrees to a variable banking of 30-24 degrees. The first race in the spring of 2007 on the new surface delivered significantly different racing. Gone was only one way around the track, the bottom, existing now multiple grooves of racing. Also new in the spring of 2007 was the Car of Tomorrow or COT, I need to mention this in order to make my opinion here valid as both changes could have changed the racing. During this first race on the new surface the feel of the race was significantly different, while this could be a result of the COT, I think that is highly unlikely and I attribute to the track reconfiguration. The race seemed “easy”, gone was the requirement to be able to hold ones emotions in check because of the aggravating nature of the “old” track, gone was the difficult task of ensuing that your car was perfectly balanced in order to keep it on the bottom.  Now the race exhibited the behaviors of a larger 1.5 mile speedway that are far less line sensitive.

Gone was much of my excitement to attend the race yet I was hopeful that as the track and car aged the old Bristol would return. Well I can say now that after my first in person visit to Bristol this will not be a track that I attend again until the old Bristol returns. This is very disappointing to me as the Bristol facility is one of the nicest and well managed track I have been to.

If anyone at Bristol reads this please return the old track, you have removed one of the most unique and highly desirable tracks to attend. I have heard from many of my fellow race fans that they are disappointed with the new Bristol, it no longer has that draw.