By admin | June 9, 2010
By Richard Allen
Now that many NASCAR fans have watched the ‘Prelude to the Dream’, I wonder what NASCAR fans would think if the Sprint Cup Series used a dirt racing type format? After all, it was pointed out during the pay-per-view airing of the charity race that a number of NASCAR’s top brass were on hand so maybe they saw something they liked.
When I say dirt racing format I mean something like this. Instead of having qualifying and then running a standard 400, 500 or 600 mile or lap distance the races could be set up a bit differently.
Qualifying could still be held, just like in dirt racing. Then the field could be broken into four heat races, which would be run on the scheduled race day. The heat races could be set at 25 miles or laps depending on the track. The heat races would be used to determine the starting lineup and who actually makes the field.
After the running of the four heat races, the field for the ‘feature’ race would be set and within a few minutes of the end of the final heat, the race would start. The distance of the main event could be set at something like 300 miles or laps.
Think of the racing drivers would have to do in the heats to get that good starting spot for a shorter race. And then, drivers would have to go hard for the entire feature due to its shorter duration.
I am not suggesting that NASCAR switch to this type format for every race. It would make little difference at places like Pocono and Michigan. But imagine the night race at Bristol, one of the races at Richmond or a Dover race employing such a format.
In a way this would be somewhat like the way the field is set for the Daytona 500. Except, the heats and the race itself would be contested on the same day. By doing this, fans would still be getting their money’s worth because they would be watching essentially the same racing distance. For that matter, they might be getting more for their money because the racing would be more spirited throughout the day.
As I said, I am not looking to totally turn the way NASCAR racing is done upside down. But such a change of pace could make things more interesting if used two or three times per year. It’s just a thought I came up with while watching the Prelude.
Is the Prelude really a ‘Showcase’ for dirt racing?: http://tennesseeracer.com/?p=815
Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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