Staff report Sporting News
Three drivers will get the first look at the revamped Bristol Motor Speedway as part of a Goodyear tire test scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The grinding of the upper groove was completed on the 0.533-mile concrete oval last week. The changes are designed to diminish the upper lane and create only two racing grooves.
Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer are scheduled to test Tuesday and Wednesday but rain is in the forecast for Tuesday. The test is closed to the public and media.
The track was resurfaced and reconfigured in 2007 to include progressive banking. The move changed the layout from a one-groove track where contact often was required to pass to a track with two or more racing grooves, which spread out the field and created more side-by-side racing.
The track was banked 28 degrees in the turns on the upper groove and closer to 24 degrees in the lower groove. Track workers did the grinding about 12-15 feet from the outside wall to decrease the banking.
The changes are designed to encourage more rough racing, a staple of former Bristol races. The track seats 158,000 but only approximately 80,000 attended the race in March, sparking track owner Bruton Smith to order the changes.
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