Bridgeport - Fan in the stands. New 4/10ths Track - Attended after a friend of The Vault contacted me earlier on Sunday with an extra ticket. Moved some things around and decided to take the drive down to Bridgeport. Glad I did. (Thanks "Tim!")
Outlaw Stocks go three wide through turns 1 & 2.
Likes: Great size track. Great racing in all divisions. Everything is right in front of you.... As a fan, you are engaged with what is happening because everthing is closer...even when cars are on the backstretch under yellow....where in years past, it was easy to tune out. Interesting track (progressive banking) made for drivers to drive turns 1 & 2 differently than 3 & 4... Took some drivers longer to figure this out than others. (Drivers that went in high in one, almost hitting the wall 1/3 of the way through the corner before then diving to the middle/bottom coming through and out of turn 2 looked like they had nitrous and really gave them a big advantage, especially up until the middle of the modified feature. Really cool to watch.) Large turnout of cars in all divisions. Meaningful heats. Meaningful consi's needed for Crates and Modifieds. Announcing team (Jeff Alhum, ? and Bill Sasser) very good, very enjoyable, you could tell they were genuinely excited to be there, but always professional. PA volume fine. Because pits are now located behind 1st turn, drivers are able to make visits to the spectator stands./checking out track conditions which is also of interest for fans to see drivers outside of their cars. Flagger now starts the race (no start/restart zone as most tracks now do) by waving of the green flag/turning on the green light as the lead rows are coming onto the straightaway. It builds anticipation and gets the fans engaged in every race/every restart. Track lighting is excellent. Reasonable intermission (maybe 25 mins?)
Under the lights... The green waves for the start of the modified feature.
Modified feature underway as drivers use multiple grooves to get through turns 1 & 2.
Dislikes: First heat went off 15 minutes late. (It was the first night, so some delays might be expected/accepted, but would hate to see that become the norm.) Didn't seem like anyone was really trying to move things along quickly, (which to me is magnified on a Sunday night show.) Need to tighten up timing between heats/each event to keep the show momentum up (If they do that... they won't even have to advertise.... Folks will want to comeback, and comeback often!) Although mentioned that I like the new starting proceedure (flagger controls the start by waving the green), it had some driver's confused (or maybe they just didn't care /??)...., but as a fan, no announcement was made that those jumping/other were getting warnings or penalized, even when starts were called back. There was a rut/hole? going into turn 3 on the high side that some guys caught just the wrong way in the heats (Billy Jr #15, #TZ?, #3 Lasko, #20 Ryan Simmons, #856 Outlaw Stock, others.) I don't think it was touched during intermission which surprised me, but the word must have went out to to the modified drivers to avoid it as I don't think any did hit it during the modified feature.
Suggestions: Insist on drivers of gray and black cars to make them more visible. Things happen very quickly on the 4/10ths, and there's not as much room to avoid spun cars as in the past, so being able to see a disabled/spun/wrecked car easily seems like it'd be a good idea for all drivers.
Can you see the light colored car spun down in the lower groove in turn 4?
You can probably see him better now. That car is actually white with orange #'s, and is pretty visible....
Question: Did you also see the black car with gray #'s also sitting there the whole time in the same two photos above? (More more importantly, are approaching drivers able to see the other that was also sitting there?)
Car spun was a very good looking car, but it was black with gray #'s.
One more example from a few laps earlier - same black/gray car sitting sideways in the racing groove...
(Hopefully raceteams will take a look at their cars and add some brightness if what you're seeing above applies to them.)
Going back within a month: Yes. Those who have been suggesting that Bridgeport reduce the size of the track, finally got their wish, and it's a winner. Those who were fine with the 5/8th's, and didn't want it to ever change, may be reluctant at first, but if they give it a chance, they will enjoy the new track too.