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Bristol Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith is considering about $1 million worth of changes to return his Tennessee track to the way it was before a 2007 reconfiguration. "We are going to take a very hard look at it this week," Smith told The Associated Press on Monday. "We have everything in our computers that shows us what the track used to be and what it is now, and we started working on that last night. I'll have an answer for you next week on if we'll alter the track." But Smith insisted it was the rain, not fan apathy over the current style of racing at Bristol, that contributed to Sunday's poor crowd. "We certainly thought it was going to be better, but the rain got us," Smith said. Bristol once was one of the toughest tickets in all of professional sports, but attendance has waned the past several years and its spring race has particularly suffered. The speedway says it seats 160,000, and although the grandstands appeared half empty Sunday, NASCAR's listed attendance was 102,000. Smith said 8,120 sold tickets went unused. But he remained adamant the attendance decline has nothing to do with the new racing at Bristol. At the same time, though, Smith said he began talking to his Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials on Sunday evening about changes to the track. Smith said SMI will study fan comments this week. "I want to be sure that the fans like what they see," he said. "If the fans like three abreast through the turns, we do nothing. If they don't, then we'll alter the track. The fans vote is the most important thing." If changes are made, they'll be done in time for NASCAR's Aug. 25 return to Bristol.(more at the Associated Press)(3-20-2012)
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