BRISTOL, TN (AP) Resurfacing of the half-mile track at Bristol Motor Speedway will be put off until 2007 so that engineers and contractors have enough time to do it right, speedway officials said.
Officials considered resurfacing this summer, trying to squeeze the project between the Nextel Cup Food City 500 scheduled for March 26 and the Sharpie 500 on Aug. 26.
Bristol’s owner, Speedway Motorsports, also owns Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both of which will be resurfaced in 2006.
The company decided to postpone the Bristol project so that the company’s preferred contractors and engineers could focus on the other two tracks, said Wayne Estes, vice president of communications and events of Bristol.
“We wanted to be sure that they were going to have our undivided attention here,” Estes said. “It reached a critical point where we had to say go or don’t go.
“We all felt like we’d be a whole lot more comfortable if when they tamper with the most popular racing surface in all of NASCAR that they get it right the first time.”
The current surface was poured in 1992.
“It’s reaching the end of its term, and I don’t think anybody really wants to do this, but it’s not a matter of what we want but what we must do,” Estes said.
Estes said the track would be resurfaced, but there will be as few changes to the track’s contours as possible.
Other planned improvements will be redesigning the cramped infield to allow more room for haulers to maneuver and park.
The infield media center, currently facing the front stretch grandstands, is expected to be torn down and replaced with a technologically up-to-date building at one end of the infield.