Bristol Giveth, Bristol Taketh Away

Remember a few years ago when Bristol Motor Speedway resurfaced its track?

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The drivers raved about it. Showered it with praise.

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You would have thought Bristol had just increased the purse to a billion dollars or something.

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Well, the changes didn't work out so well for the fans. Yes, the drivers had more room to race (four more feet, to be exact); but that's not why fans flocked to the Colosseum-like track in the Tennessee mountains.

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Fans want to see cars bump and bang at Bristol; they want to see wrecks and tempers.

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Today, Bristol announced a change that may help that: An increase in the size of the SAFER barriers there has shrunk the racing groove in two of the turns by three feet, altering the transitions of the corners.

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No one knows yet exactly how that will impact the racing, but less room at Bristol should be bad for the drivers and good for the fans.

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Check out what Bristol track president Jeff Byrd said about the changes today in a press release:

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"Without question, this extra four feet added room and aided in creating three and, at times, even four-wide racing," Byrd said. "However, while it is breathtaking, many of our fans have responded that we went too far, in actuality, giving too much racing room to the greatest drivers in the world."

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Three feet is a lot; is it enough to restore Bristol to its old ways? The Food City 500 on March 21 should provide that answer.

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