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After this weekend, would you like to see more NASCAR road races?

By admin | June 26, 2011

By Richard Allen


Often times after a race held on the so-called ‘cookie cutter’ tracks words such as boring and parade are used by fans and media alike to describe the action. After NASCAR staged events for both its Sprint Cup and Nationwide divisions on road courses over this past weekend, those words of monotony were definitely not needed.

Just hours after the Sprint Cup race in Sonoma ended on Sunday I posed the question of whether there should be more road course events slated in the future for NASCAR’s highest profile series. The overwhelming response was that there should be more.

During or after both Saturday’s Nationwide race at Road America and Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway there was no talk of aerodynamics or “racing the air”. Instead, there was talk of moves made on the track, of rivalries and of intense racing action. Those are the things that get fans excited and things too rarely mentioned after most racing weekends.

Even though Kurt Busch thoroughly dominated the Sprint Cup race, it was still entertaining to watch. Granted, the racing may not have been as ‘pure’ as true road racing enthusiasts might like. But I ask you, which was more enjoyable, NASCAR on the road course or a typical Formula 1 race?

As the Sprint Cup race unfolded, it became apparent that there were not enough pit reporters, cameras and microphones available to cover all of the stories that were sure to be discussed at the end of the event. Virtually everyone had some sort of beef with virtually everyone else. And a multitude of strategies and hard racing moves played out. That’s quite a departure from the times in which reporters seem to be trying to invent topics for discussion during post race interviews.

And all that has been written above has not mentioned the wild finish in the Nationwide race on Saturday which saw its share of rough and tumble action as well as a controversial finish.

All in all, I would say this may very well have been NASCAR’s most entertaining weekend of the season, perhaps aside from Daytona.

Had I been in charge of NASCAR scheduling five years ago one of my first acts would have been to dump all road course races. More recently, however, I have very much changed my mind. What was seen this weekend may not have been pretty or textbook, but it was entertaining. And, it provided topics other than “racing the air” to discuss in the coming days.

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8 Responses to “After this weekend, would you like to see more NASCAR road races?”

  1. Charles Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I still dont like road racing for Nascar! I admit there are to many 1.5 milers though!

    What I had much rather see is a race at Rockingham or North Wilkesboro than another road race!

    I seen nothing sunday that changed it, infact I watched the Barrett Jackson auction then rotated back to the race! its hard to follow, but if you are in to wrecking or paybacks its seems to be a great show!

    I do think road courses are a good venue for Trans AM, Indy Car, Lemans Series etc

  2. Ricky Whittenburg Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    NASCAR absolutely needs more road course races. Road courses in 2011, like it or not, are the equivalent to Rockingham and Wilkesboro in 1985. Beating, banging, smoke flying off cars, tempers flairing, paybacks, aggressive racing - what’s not to like.

    I say drop one of the two Pocono races and a race from Michigan and add Road America and Montreal. If NASCAR truly wants to reach a worldwide audience adding more road courses is needed. I’m not saying to go crazy but 2 more road races and somehow getting Iowa a Cup race in the next few years would make an ideal schedule. Oh, and put the Southern 500 back to Labor Day.

    In 2011 road racing is inherently more exciting than 90% of the other races on the schedule.

  3. Nate Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Ricky nailed it! Couldn’t agree more with every sentence.

  4. Bill B Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Personally, I like the road courses. I’d add one more and place it in the chase.
    The only thing I think that needs to be re-examined are the double file restarts. I think they add too much of a crapshoot factor in any race but in the road course races it definitely puts the majority of the field in a bad place from the get-go.

    The fact that this was such an entertaining race just shows how bad the racing at tracks longer than 1 mile has become.

    Sure you can add a road course but what would make most fans happy would be to tilt the scale back to those 1 mile or less tracks. You still get the beating and banging but the track is more conducive to it.

    I’ll also give NASCAR kudos for not throwing a caution yesterday every time a car went off track or spun.

  5. Justin Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Why dont they add a few non points paying road races… Seems to me that the road courses put some drivers at a HUGE disadvantage. I have seen the argument that plate tracks and road courses shouldnt be in the Chase, because they are wild cards, but at least a plate track puts everyone on an even playing field. Just my take.

  6. brian Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Nascar should stick to the ovals. These guys are jokes on the road courses. The cars are slow and ill handling. It’s like watching a fat guy try to dance, not very entertaining. Stick to the ovals Nascar, I would much rather watch F1 on a road course then watch a piece of junk COT on one. The only reason people like it is because they are driving so slow they turn it into bumper cars. There is no danger of getting hurt, so they bounce into each other like it’s nothing and call it racing.

  7. mr clause Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I agree Rick. Five years ago I would have lobbied for no road courses in Sprint Cup. Now, to me anyway, the road courses provide a lot more entertainment value than the long drawn out follow me racing on some of the cookie cutter tracks.

    The drivers are working to get better at it and succeeding at it. No longer can a “ringer” come in and expect to win. A lot of our drivers are now as good or better.

    Yeah, this weeks race was a good one. Yes the broadcasters need to step up with the coverage more cameras,etc.

  8. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 27th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Rich,I am more partial to Short Tracks, such as Newton or Nashville, but, I find that Montreal would be an easier pick for the 3rd Road Course as I find it unbelievably difficult for Newton to get running to Cup as they have been Running for Sprint Cup since Day 1.