Wallace Rates Bristol's Concrete a "10"

Staff | September 28, 2010
Baker Concrete Construction, Monroe, Ohio, paves the .533-mile, high-banked oval racetrack at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Former NASCAR Nextel Cup champion, Rusty Wallace, borrows the Bristol Motor Speedway pace car to be the first to run some hot laps on the new surface.

Late one July afternoon, Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) president Jeff Byrd received a surprise call from Rusty Wallace. The nine-time winner at the World's Fastest Half-Mile was in the neighborhood and stopped by to take a spin on the new concrete surface. Wallace, a former NASCAR Nextel Cup champion, ripped off lap after lap in the BMS pace car at speeds around 95 mph.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, what do I think? It's a 10," Wallace said.

"I love the transition. The straightaways are so smooth. It's a little bumpy in the corners but it's got character and you've got to have character. It's going to be faster, yeah. And there's going to be side-by-side racing. If at some point you don't see 'em three wide . . . I'll be really surprised.

"I was a little worried about how this was going to turn out but I tell you, these guys did an unbelievable job."

"I've been through a lot of these (resurfacing) at different places," Wallace said. "This ranks right up there at the top. I don't know how these (Nextel Cup) guys can't love this. It's so, so much better. Man, it's really good."