In 2011, Bristol Motor Speedway celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
Following the March 2012 Food City 500, Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith responded to the increasing fan expression of opinions regarding they style of racing at Bristol Motor Speedway. The main focus of the reaction concentrated specifically on the races since the track resurfacing project in 2007.
After 10 days of listening to fan feeback, Mr. Smith announced changes would be made. April 25, joined by Speedway Motorsports President Marcus Smith, BMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell and all-time Bristol win leader Darrell Waltrip, Mr. Smith announced the banking in the upper groove of the race track would be reduced to the same degree as the middle of the surface. The project was designed to eliminate the third groove as a viable option and create tighter racing.
Construction, or destruction, of the surface took nearly seven weeks. June 12 and 13 Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company engineers conducted a test of the new surface with NASCAR starts Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Tony Stewart, former Bristol winners all.