Kasey Kahne became the first, and thus far only, NASCAR driver to support the upcoming changes to Bristol Motor Speedway. Kahne tweeted the following on his Twitter account in response to the plans laid out by track owner Bruton Smith:
@kaseykahne : “@jeff_gluck: Bruton: “We think we will win all the race fans over on this.”” Sounds great to me. I like what Bruton is doing to Bristol
Smith who is also the head of Speedway Motorsports Inc had asked the fans what should be done to the 1/2 mile track after years of falling attendance. Smith said that 40% of the responses urged him to take some sort of action. Action which would eliminate the “freight-train racing of the past” as track GM Jerry Caldwell put it.
Even though there has been outcry to bring back the old Bristol the initial reaction from fans and race team members is one of surprise. With the exception of Kahne few, with exception of Darrel Waltrip, have embraced yet another change to the track which was reconfigured in 2007.
While promoting change to the track, Waltrip also took a shot at those who criticized the move on twitter. As Jeff Gluck tweeted the following:
@jeff_gluck: DW says the ones who usually criticize and complain the most on Twitter are the ones with the fewest followers.
Those comments were eerie familiar to ones made by Florida Panthers COO Michael Yorkmark who told a fan of the New Jersey Devil’s “you have 70 followers. No one cares what you think.”
For those wondering, the plan is to remove the progressive banking which had made running around the top of Bristol the place to be. Ideally this and a softer tire will return Bristol to the days when cars rode around the bottom of the track.