So I want to make this edition of That’s Just Bristol blog relevant and timely.  What I keep coming back to is the word and concept of "change." Definitely relevant.  Definitely timely in the world of Bristol.

Our fans have asked for changed.  And we’ve listened.

I have done a little background work on “change” and it has only confirmed my beliefs.  I’m one of those folks that believes change is a way of life. Am I always happy about that?  No.  Is it true?  Absolutely.  Dig deep and ask yourself…Does anything not change?

"The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself."

Bristol was built in 1961. Here is what our venue looked like then.  You think we’ve changed since then.  Uh, yes we have.  While we’ve changed our physical facilities, we have continued to strive to serve our fans and Exceed Fan Expectations.

"From Catepillar to Butterfly.  All things change; nothing perishes.  That is the Metamophoses of Life."

When I moved to Bristol in 1996 shortly after SMI purchased the track, this is what The World’s Fastest Half Mile looked like. SMI Chairman of the Board Bruton Smith knew when he purchased the track there would be changes to make this the type of place fans wanted to visit year after year.

"Everything changes, nothing remains without change."

Ten short years later in 2006, the Bristol collessum had grown to over 150,000 seats.  NASCAR, Bristol and the economy were at their peak, and Bristol looked like this.  Sell out crowds, lotteries for tickets and waiting lists were the norm for us then.

"All things must change to something new, to something different."

Since then quite a few things have changed.  We’re still attracting more fans than any other race track, but we haven’t sold out in a couple years (though last August was close!) Our track deteriorated and had to be changed.  The Car of Tomorrow was introduced to the sport.  NASCAR suggested “boys have at it” to encourage more aggressive driving.  The economy took a beating everyone cut back.  Goodyear makes such a good tire, you don’t see many tire problems.   The population base, who loyally followed NASCAR got older (I’m 62, so I know).  TV coverage of racing is superb.

"Change is a way of life."

April 25th our Chairman of the Board has (or had, depending on when you’re reading this) an announcement about Bristol track changes.  So, we’re about to embark on another major change in the life of Bristol.  And this segment of change will be completed before August this year!

"The art of progress is to preserve order amid change."

We’re about to enter another important time of change for Bristol.  This decision to change is based upon what the fans have asked for and we’re not taking it lightly.   Mr. Smith and all the employees at Bristol Motor Speedway are taking bold action to make changes.   We’ve listened and we’ll continue to listen. 

In 1962, a year after our track opened, a song adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes was released and later covered by The Byrds.  It is all about change.  I’m not totally sure of the relevance, but I love the song. 

"To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.  A time to be born, a time to die; A time to plant, a time to reap;  A time to laugh, a time to weep; A time to kill, a time to heal; To every thing, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to build up, a time to break down; A time to dance, a time to mourn; A time to cast away stones A time to gather stones together; To every thing and  a time for every purpose under heaven there is a season.  A time of war, a time of peace; A time of love, a time of hate; A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing. There is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.  To every thing a time to gain, a time to lose; A time to rend, a time to sew; A time to love, a time to hate; A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!"

We understand things change and they’re not always under our control.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing some of you in about 100 days for our August race week.  If you want to comment on this blog, agree or disagree, I want to listen.  My direct email is  I hope to hear from you.