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Bruton Smith: challenging NASCAR's status quo, says the sport's finale shouldn't be in Homestead, Fla.

   By Mike Mulhern

   Bruton Smith, the second most powerful man in NASCAR, says he'd like to step up the ladder and buy the sport's long-time sanctioning body, if it were for sale.
   And Smith says NASCAR executives should move the Sprint Cup tour's season finale from Homestead, Fla., to a bigger market, suggesting his own Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
   Smith, who owns and promotes NASCAR tracks in Charlotte, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Bristol, Tn., Loudon, N.H., and Fort Worth, Tx., spent more than an hour Friday afternoon discussing his ideas for bettering the sport.
   And he offered criticism of things he feels need to be changed. For one, he says NASCAR execs should trim their staff. For another, he says NASCAR should put on more exciting racing.


Bruton Smith (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


You can count on one thing -

You can count on one thing - BSmith is always looking out for himself first, last, and always. Like when he suggested blocking out TV coverage of a race in the surrounding area if it does not sell out.

Well, to be fair, the TV

Well, to be fair, the TV blackout gambit would be to pressure TV into 'buying' enough tickets to ensure so blackout -- TV wants big market ratings, and it wouldn't suffer any blackout.

Bruton has zero sense. His

Bruton has zero sense.

His entire career has been looking out for himself, from bankrupting Charlotte Motor Speedway and leaving Curtis Turner holding the bag to poaching it out from Richard Howard when Howard built it back from bankrupcy to buying speedways galore to building condos while his speedway surfaces deteriorate, the grooves either never develop or become narrower, and stiffing drivers in purse payments - "Pay a better damned purse!" Dave Marcis would always tell Bruton and his patsies.

Here is what typifies Bruton Smith racetracks - he ruins them by trying to "improve" them (turning Atlanta into a quad-oval; building Texas; The Chute at Sears Point; banking up Vegas; I half-expect him to blow up the road course hills at Loudon and building a 1.5-mile quad-oval out of it any time now); the surfaces are invariably lousy and the raceable grooves narrow (they'll hype that Texas and Atlanta etc. have multiple grooves and produce side by side racing but the reality is they don't); the races always produce a pile of yellows that hide the lack of passing.

Bruton Smith needs to shut up and listen for a change.

There's nothing wrong with

There's nothing wrong with Bruton's tracks. Racing at all the tracks stinks. NASCAR refuses to make the COT raceable. Widen the tires, lower the center of gravity, allow more front-end travel: Any one of these will make the cars handle better, reduce cautions and provide better racing.

Bruton's strength is his ability to promote races. The fan experience at his tracks is second to none. His idea to move the finale to Vegas is great. The hype would be extraordinary. Networks love promoting the glitz and glamor of Vegas. The stands are consistently packed. All we need is NASCAR to make the right changes to put on a good show.

All excellent points. It

All excellent points. It would be a perfect time for NASCAR to relax its COT rules, change the front end drastically, as you recommend, let Goodyear bring wider tires. This isn't rocket science: give drivers cars they can handle, and let them race their hearts out. NASCAR has lost sight of the big picture. So I wonder what the sport might look like if Bruton Smith were to buy NASCAR....

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