Race Notes: Tickets Go Unused
By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
Bristol, Tenn. – It wasn’t a good day to be a ticket scalper outside of Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Folks hoping to peddle grandstand tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Jeff Byrd 500 were spotted up to 10 miles from the .533-mile oval less than an hour before the start of the event.
But many of those tickets became expensive souvenirs when the green flag waved shortly after 1 p.m.
Sunday’s announced attendance was 120,000 at an arena that can accommodate just over 156,000 spectators.
Aside from some fans being unable to afford tickets following a deep recession, the empty seats might also be the result of the facility’s reconfiguration in 2007 which turned the oval into a two-groove track.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t see a very packed house today and I hate that,” race winner Kyle Busch said. “The old Bristol is the old Bristol. And we don’t have that anymore.
“It made for some interesting moments with guys that would beat and bang a little bit more and rough each other up a little bit more.
“But with the new Bristol, it’s really cool for all the drivers because we have a race track that we can race on. We don’t have to get into each other to pass each other.
“So I guess there’s less drama.”
Second-place finisher Carl Edwards grabbed the lead on lap 474 before watching Busch reassume
the lead and pull away for the victory.
Edwards, who is still upset with Busch following an on-track altercation at Phoenix last month, said he considered roughing up the driver of the No. 18 Toyota late in the event.
But he wound up racing Busch clean during the final 30 laps of the race.
“I told (Busch) after Phoenix that I still owe him one, but I’ll save it up,” Edwards said. “We were running so hard at that point in the run, I don’t know that you could really bump a guy and just move him.
“You might cause a big wreck, you might wreck yourself. Jimmie (Johnson) was right behind us. I thought maybe it would give him the win, so I figured we’d let it calm down and we’d just race.
Busch had little reaction afterwards when told that Edwards may still be plotting a payback from the Phoenix incident.
“Carl says what Carl says,” Busch said. “Apparently, I have one coming. And when and where it comes, I do not know.”
Kurt Busch failed to lead a lap on Sunday but he did convert a seventh-place finish into the outright lead in the championship standings four races into the season.
“We were in good position early on, riding around in third and could see the leaders,” Kurt Busch said. “We pushed our car hard on some of the restarts trying to get up there and lead a lap.
“It just didn’t seem we had the mojo to compete. Those guys were pretty tough today. Overall, we had a solid day. We couldn’t adjust on the car as the race got past halfway. That seems to be our struggle.
“We had another top 10 which is great. We’ll take that. It’s a point-leader type effort. We just want to get up there and try to win one of these things. We’ll keep pushing hard.”
– Jeff Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments