BMS GM Jerry Caldwell comments on fan feedback and Bruton's decision to alter track surface
Bristol Motor Speedway Executive VP and General Manager Jerry Caldwell has spent the last several days answering what questions he can, and reminding people last week’s announcement by Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith was just the first of two.
“March 19, the day after the Food City 500, Bruton said he was going to take fan feedback, collect opinions and make a decision on what to do, if anything, to the race track,” Caldwell said. “He said he would know within a week or so. Last Wednesday’s announcement was just that, the answer to the question if anything would be done. After weighing the fan feedback, the answer is ‘yes.’
“That was the first announcement, that something will be done. The second announcement will be in roughly ten to 14 days. Overwhelmingly, the race fans have asked for change. And that’s what going to happen.”
Caldwell said Bruton has not been starved for opinions … from fans, drivers, just about anyone.
“As you would imagine, Bruton has put all of his engineers on this project. They’ve jumped on it with all hands on deck and are developing a solid plan. We’re still nailing down the details and timeline because there are some contractors and other individuals we have to put in place.”
Any changes will be made in advance of the Aug. 25 IRWIN Tools Night Race.
“I think it’s great racing now, and there’s a following for what we have on the track,” Caldwell said. “But anytime there’s something different from what people are used to, or have set in their mind, they are going to harken back to the good old days.
“When Bruton sees something that is not the way he wants it, he’s willing to undertake bold action to make the changes. That’s why you have to respect the way he operates. What other person in his position would care as much about what the race fans are saying and be willing to respond. [Smith] is one of the most progressive thinkers you will ever meet, especially in sports.”