Change, Part II - Tire Test Indicates Groove Is Tighter
By LOGAN McCABE
Just about two months ago, in my last crack at the Bristol Blog, I wrote about change. We were coming off the March 2012 Food City 500, and our Chairman issued the directive to ask fans to weigh in on the track and on the racing here at Bristol.
If you’d like read that blog, you can check it out here.
In continuing the theme, I’d like to share the news that some of that change we talked about fully became a reality last week.
Goodyear rolled into town with some tires and a variety of rubber compounds to try out on Bristol’s revamped surface. Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer came too. They drove their cars around the Bristol half-mile oval for two days, logging hundreds of laps.
Not too many of those laps were in the top groove of the turns. In fact, best we could tell, you could count the high-groove laps ran on one hand. From what we saw and from what we heard from the participating drivers, it seems that portion of the track is not the preferred, or quickest way around the track.
So… What really are the results? Well I guess that depends to whom you talked to talked to after the test. But pretty much everyone agreed the Bristol oval is tighter in the turns compared to laps run since the 2007 resurfacing project.
Three months ago we asked fans, “What would you do to the Bristol racing surface?” Our goal was to hear what you, the fans, wanted at Bristol. We heard from thousands of fans and got lots of different ideas and direction.
Go back to the old track. Don’t change a thing. Change the banking. Narrow the track. Don’t give out points. Make it a road course (yeah, really?). The most consistent and deepest want was for the Bristol track to produce action, excitement and fun short-track racing.
About a month after we asked and analyzed all the input, our chairman announced the specifics of our track change…
- Take out the progressive banking in the top groove of the turns.
- Excavate a bunch of concrete.
- Test tires.
- Produce a product that allows drivers to race, but also tightens the groove.