It’s Bristol but it’s not Bristol… know?

When they repaved Daytona it was welcomed by the fans. The track surface was beaten and even pulled up during The Great American Race in 2010. When they repaved Bristol they angered the fans. Too many places to drive, not enough beating and banging that had been the staple of watching the country’s fastest 1/2 track.

Making any change to a track is a tough predicament. Doing so to a track beloved as much as Daytona or Bristol is a high stakes gamble.

When it comes to Bristol the hand was lost initially. The event earlier this year was uneventful, tame, and for lack of other words boring. Of course that’s the fans take on the track. Most of the drivers on the circuit have supported the changes to Bristol.

“Bristol is a lot different than it used to be,” Kevin Harvick said. “You are going to have a lot of green-flag runs. It’s a much easier race track to drive on now.” (comment courtesy of ESPN article)

The turns seem wider, the top features more banking, and of course it’s smoother all the way around but it’s not Bristol. It’s not what it once was. It’s like visiting the favorite vacation spot you saw as a child and seeing all new builders and attractions.

For what it’s worth the racing is being built of this weekend. With three races left until the Sprint Cup Chase starts drivers are fighting to break into or stay in the top-10 in points. The wild card issue is still within reach for Paul Menard as he chases Denny Hamlin and of course a win by Clint Bowyer or Greg Biffle could spice things up there still.

Is it Bristol the way we remember? No. Are we still going to watch? Yes.