World's fastest half mile returns to old form, welcoming excitement, drama
Call it Bristol if you want. View it as just good old-fashioned 'boys will be boys'. However you choose to classify it, the high-banked, short track which earned the moniker Worlds Fastest Half Mile was on display last weekend and seemed like the track it used to be.
Sunday's Food City 500 marked the second Sprint Cup race since the track underwent changes to the driving surface before last August. The grinding down of the upper groove was intended to return the speedway to its former bump-and-run style of racing that made Bristol one of the most popular tracks among NASCAR fans by making the usable surface area of the track smaller. Ironically enough, the top groove turned out to be the place to run after the changes. The track change along with the new Generation 6 car has brought back some fire to the World's Fastest Half-Mile.
Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin's two-week feud finally boiled over at Bristol, like so many feuds before them. Hamlin claimed he did not intend to wreck Logano, which I don't buy for a second, apparently neither did Logano. Logano retaliated by leaning in the window net of Hamlin's car before being shoved by one of Hamlin's crew members. The ensuing ruckus was reminiscent of Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth after the 2006 Food City 500.
Whether fans like the track or not, Bristol offers some of the most dramatic action, both on and off the track, and that's what sets it apart from the other tracks on the circuit. It offers unscripted raw emotions that epitomize NASCAR and the competitive spirit of sports in general.
As for the Gen 6 car itself, the action matched and eclipsed the action put on by the old Gen 5 cars last fall, even without Tony Stewart's Strasburg-caliber helmet toss. Once again, the car proved wrong the nay-sayers who were questioning the car's ability to pass.
Some fans don't like the fact that the top groove is now the place to pass, but what difference does it make? The purpose of the track modification was to get rid of the multi-lane passing which allowed cars to run side-by-side, sometimes three wide. While it wasn't intended to be the ideal passing lane following its grinding down, the upper-groove still provides an optimal line of racing, and it works well.
The Gen 6 cars are great. Bristol is bad and fast. The drivers are mad. Ah, it's good to be back.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More East Tennessean News Articles
Recent East Tennessean News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR EAST TENNESSEAN NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST EAST TENNESSEAN NEWS
RECENT EAST TENNESSEAN CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- 3 Fishermen Rescued at Sea Thanks to GPS Device
- Mes de la Hispanidad inspira liderazgo, empoderamiento,...
- Majority of Moms and Moms-to-Be Believe in Public...
- Wineries Speak Up About the Benefits of Using Natural Cork
- Taking a Holistic Approach to Fit Living
- Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your...
- Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses...
- Grandparents, Keep Your Meds Up and Away From Young Children
- As Insurers End Coverage for Compounded Drugs, Patients...
- 4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Over 2,000 Groups Prepare to “Hit the Streets” with Volunteers and Celebrities for National Voter Registration Day on September 23, 2014
- Peace Corps Director Calls on College Students to Make a Difference After Graduation Through International Service
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON LAUNCH THE “CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR” COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS TO BRING A USA NETWORK CELEBRITY AND A WORTHY CAUSE TO THEIR CAMPUS
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections