NASCAR onto something by taking page out of NHRA book
At the time of the publishing of this blog post, the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway continued to be delayed by rain for a second day. When the race is resumed, hopefully by sometime Sunday night, I’m not sure if it would be fair to assess the successfulness of the work done by track personnel in an attempt to improve the racing product at the facility. After all, that sticky substance added to the bottom of the racing surface can wash off, and if there’s one thing we’ve seen at Bristol the last couple of days, it’s rain, rain and more rain. That is why the Sprint Cup race has only gone 49 laps, so far, for crying out loud.
Judging by what I’ve witnessed from the racing we have seen, though, including Wednesday night’s Camping World Truck Series race and Friday night’s Xfinity Series race, NASCAR, Bristol track officials, and from what I’ve heard, the Drivers’ Council, look to have been on to something with the addition of that sticky substance to the lower groove.
Really, I guess the NHRA and the rest of the drag racing community deserve credit. That is, after all, where the idea came from to put the sticky stuff on the bottom of the track to entice drivers to go down there. Well, looks like it’s worked, so far.
Fans haven’t been as enthusiastic about racing at Bristol the last several years; that’s no secret. With drivers making laps around the top, fans have missed the Bristol of old — back when cars rooted and gouged around the bottom.
The sticky stuff was added at one of the track for the Truck Series race, and racing was a little better. If a little sticky is an improvement, a lot of sticky has to be an even bigger improvement, right? Well, the substance was put down at both ends of the track before the Xfinity race and the product was even better. So, after the Xfinity race, the substance was replenished for the Cup race. Boy, we’re in for a treat is what I thought when I heard about that. Of course, with rain continuing to delay this race, at this point, I think I’d just be happy to get it over with. I guess I’m just tired of waiting.
That being said, I think introducing this drag racing miracle substance to NASCAR was a brilliant idea. From what we’ve seen so far, especially in the Xfinity race, I wouldn’t say the old Bristol is back. Instead, I would say we may have an even better Bristol on our hands. Instead of having to choose bottom-feeding at Bristol or rim-riding at Bristol, it looks like we have the best of both. And if it weren’t for Mother Nature, I couldn’t be happier.