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NASCAR Cup: Bristol Motor Speedway disputes drivers’ grinding claims

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – AUGUST 16: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 16, 2019 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway officials differ on changes made to the Tennessee short track. According to some drivers, the upper groove of the Bristol racing surface has been ground since the series last raced there in early April and attribute the hesitancy to race in the upper groove to that grinding. The Cup Series will run the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol on Saturday night.

“NASCAR didn’t know that Bristol Motor Speedway was going to grind the race track,” Kurt Busch said. “The theory is that the track was trying to eliminate the grip level that the drivers have been able to find up there and put it back down on the bottom.”

NASCAR was not notified of any grinding of the Bristol racing surface. According to track officials, the only change other than the known application of traction compound was the removal of tire rubber build-up by scraping it.

“Actually we just cleaned off the upper groove. No grinding and no changing,” Speedway Motorsports Inc. President and CEO Marcus Smith (@MarcusSMI) tweeted in response to a Denny Hamlin tweet of grinding accusations.

Still, drivers commented on track grinding during their respective media availabilities.

“I feel like right now, and, or just the difference of what they did to it, what the treatment was that they did to it, it’s pretty white, so it looks like it was kind of re-ground or whatever, re-polished, that it’s just different,” Kyle Busch said. “Guys are a little bit more timid going up there because whenever you go up there, there’s dust coming out from underneath the back of the car, so it’s definitely dirty up there.”

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Posted by on August 16, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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