CUP: Bristol Transformation Begins

Work on transforming the racing surface at Bristol Motor Speedway has begun.

Crew are removing the SAFER barriers at the half-mile track in preparation for revamping the surface.

The speedway announced Wednesday that Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith and track president Jerry Caldwell will detail the planned changes in a news conference at the track April 25.

Smith recently confirmed that work crews will reconstruct the racing surface in response to fans’ complaints about recent racing at the facility. The 160,000-seat track was less than half full for its Sprint Cup race last month, a circumstance that led Smith to conduct a fan survey and to announce that, if fans wanted change, he would change the track.

Many fans consider racing at Bristol less exciting since the racing surface was widened slightly in 2007. Smith has said he will attempt to return the track to its status before the 2007 changes.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.