BRISTOL, Tenn. - Bristol Dragway officials announced on Monday that the first 190 feet of the track - or the concrete launching pad - will be replaced before the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, May 18-20.
After extensive asphalt resurfacing and grinding in the offseason, issues arose with the concrete portion of the track during Friday's Test & Tune session for bracket racers. Due to those concerns, all events scheduled for the month of April have been postponed. Action is expected to continue in Thunder Valley on May 3 with a Street Fights event.
Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway president and general manager Jeff Byrd believes postponing events for the next several weeks is essential in continuing efforts to maintain Bristol Dragway's status as one of the premier facilities in the country.
"We had an issue with the surface of the drag strip and, instead of waiting for it to get worse, we decided to be proactive and fix it now," Byrd said. "We have a long drag racing season ahead of us and a national event coming up in mid-May and it was important to correct this now and do it right.
"Sometimes you don't know how a track comes through a winter until you start racing and that's what happened in this case. While it is inconvenient that it happened, it's fortunate that it happened now so that we have a chance to take care of it before we get deep into the season."
Scheduled events postponed by the resurfacing project include the World Footbrake Challenge, the High School Nationals and several Street Fights and Sunoco Thunder Valley Shootouts. Efforts will be made to reschedule the events later in the year.