[media-credit name=”BMS – Shaded red area/yellow lines indicates progressive banking elimination” align=”alignright” width=”258″][/media-credit]BRISTOL, Tenn. (Wednesday, April 25, 2012) – Less than a month after fan feedback convinced him to make changes to the concrete surface at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, today announced his plans for significant modifications to the track.
“I said when this process began last month that I would listen to what the fans said they wanted,” Smith said. “After a week to 10 days, there was no question that the overwhelming majority was asking for alterations to the track.
“Since March 28, when we announced that changes would be made, we have listened to fans, heard from drivers and talked to engineers about what to do and how much time we had to do it. Once we knew the direction, we located the right equipment to make it happen.”
The changes concentrate on the progressive banking applied when the current track surface was put in place in the summer of 2007.
“The majority of fans we heard from said they wanted adjustments made and the bulk of those said the progressive banking was what they didn’t like,” said Smith in explaining the decision-making process. “So, that’s the focus of our efforts. And that is what we are working to change.”
When the deteriorating BMS track surface was replaced in 2007, variable banking was added. Often referred to as “progressive” because the degrees increase from bottom to top, the layout provided multiple lanes of racing on the famed short track.
Smith said the choice to change the track surface did not come easy, but listening to the race fans always has served him well.
“More and more fans kept asking us to do something to the track,” Smith said. “So I put it out there. They spoke and we listened. I want them to be happy; I want them to love their experience in Bristol. This will accomplish that and I know they will be pleased with the result.”
The August race week at BMS kicks off Aug. 22 with a doubleheader, which features the Camping World Truck Series race and the UNHO Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event. On tap Aug. 24 is the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race, followed by the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup event Aug. 25.
Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the following premier facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The Company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiaries; manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars and parts through its U.S. Legend Cars International subsidiary; and produces and broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to radio stations nationwide through its Performance Racing Network subsidiary. The Company also equally-owns Motorsports Authentics, a joint venture formed with International Speedway Corporation to produce, market and sell licensed motorsports merchandise. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.speedwaymotorsports.com.