By admin | September 25, 2011
By Richard Allen
It seems bad enough that so many NASCAR races end with fuel mileage stretch runs that feature drivers coasting around tracks in an effort to outlast rather than out run the competition. But to make things worse, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one that seems to rarely lend itself to good racing. That imperfect storm proved to churn out a race that proved uneventful and difficult to watch on Sunday afternoon.
The Sprint Cup Series contested its first race at NHMS in 1993 and has since held 34 events on the one-mile facility. It seems as though there have been very few instances in which viewers or attendees could have come away from a race there feeling as though they had seen a truly competitive and hard fought show.
The track’s relatively flat design and slick pavement seem to foster a situation in which drivers are merely hanging on and logging laps rather than actually racing. Cars often spread out and run in parade formation until the final few laps when some might be willing to chance a move around another car.
After Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at NHMS, driver and team owner Kevin Harvick admitted that the race was a “parade” and it was “terrible racing”. It would have been difficult to argue that point. After the Sprint Cup race that same statement could have easily been repeated.
All that said, it seems as if the time has come for changes to be made to this track. There would seem to be a couple of clear options. Either the speedway should have banking added to increase speeds, but more importantly, to create a situation in which cars can run side by side without losing traction and sliding into each other. Or, the track could be shortened to make it more ‘Richmond like’.
There are some challenges in regard to environmental issues but surely there is a way in which those could be overcome.
The only other alternative would seem to be a serious reworking of the schedule. NASCAR cannot afford such a snoozer of a race to be part of its Chase for the Championship, especially at a time when television viewers have so many other sporting options to choose from. Either changes need to be made to this track or changes need to be made to the Sprint Cup schedule for the good of the sport.
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