Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Bruton Smith is weighing whether to change the track configuration at Bristol Motor Speedway following Sunday's poorly attended Food City 500.
The stands were half-full in the 160,000-seat stadium, giving Bristol its smallest crowd since NASCAR began estimating attendance in 2003. Some fans have been upset since Bristol reconfigured its surface in 2007 to allow more side-by-side racing – and thus tamed the once-wild action.
Smith told "Fast Talk" on the SMI-owned Performance Racing Network that he and his engineers began discussing changes at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, just hours after the race ended.
"We're getting a lot of feedback from fans, and we're going to listen to them, too," Smith told PRN. "A lot of them say, ‘Well, we like the old track the way it was.' We're going to concentrate on that, and whatever the fans want, we're going to do it."
Smith said he expected to make an announcement about SMI's decision as soon as Friday.
"We are indebted to the fans; the fans make it possible," he said. "And I'm not going to forget about that. If the fans want us to do things, when I hear from enough of them, we're going to respond and go that route because they're the ones that pay the bills."
The builder of tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway said his team has the old configuration on its computers and is looking hard at potential alterations.
"These engineers I have are very competent," he said. "We're going to study this thing until we make this decision. "(The fans) have been responding all day, and I'll tell you, they're moving the needle."