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Sonoma should replace a cookie cutter within the Chase

By admin | June 19, 2012

By Richard Allen


A few years ago, this writer was of the opinion that all road courses should be removed from the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule in favor of more ovals. However, over the last few turns of the calendar, I have had a complete change of heart on the subject. I now appreciate road course racing for the variety it adds to the season and for the fact that drivers are more in control of their own destiny rather than having pit road or aerodynamics be the determining factors.

That said, if NASCAR is going to continue using the Chase for the Championship system to decide the season title(which unfortunately they are), then a road course ought to be included as one of the ten playoff events.

As the schedule stands right now, there are five 1.5 mile tracks included in the Chase. Chicago, Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Miami-Homestead make up half the venues that determine the Sprint Cup champion. Even though there are a significant number of that size track on the schedule, the number seems disproportionate for the playoff.

Granted, those tracks mentioned are not all ‘cookie cutters’ in the sense that they are exactly alike, but in either size or shape there are too many similarities among them for deciding a true champion.

The Sonoma track would probably be best suited to replace one of the other sites within those last ten races because of climate. There are only two road courses used by NASCAR’s top series, this one in California and the other in upstate New York. Weather could potentially be more questionable in that part of the country in October or November.

So, first of all, it has become my belief that NASCAR should continue to use road courses. Second, if the Chase is going to be part of the sport then a road course ought to be included in the playoff since the champion is supposed to be the most complete driver in the series. Sonoma should replace one of the 1.5 mile ‘cookie cutters’ among those last ten tracks.

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13 Responses to “Sonoma should replace a cookie cutter within the Chase”

  1. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    If Barber wasn’t so close to Talledega and Atlanta I’d be in favor of adding it to the schedule and have 3 road courses.

  2. Tyler West Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    They really need at least 1 road course in that stupid chase. Maybe more! It’s stupid that most of the tracks are 1.5 mile tracks. BORING!!!!!! If anything they provide action.

  3. Racergirl Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I say drop another 1.5 oval from the Chase and swap it out with Richmond. In my opinion that would be the perfect variety of tracks.

  4. Rich Norton Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    How can you crown a champion, if the majority of the tracks in the chase are 1.5 mile tracks. There should be one of each type of track that nascar goes to in the chase. 1 plate track, 1 flat half mile, 1 banked half mile, 1 1.5 mile oval, 1 road course, 1 flat 1 mile, and then fill out the chase. I would switch the second Daytona race with the Homestead race. and end the season in Daytona. If necessary use the Daytona road course to close the season.

  5. J.R. Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Amen! It is foolish to have a champion without a lefty/righty track involved. It would allow the BEST overall driver to show his stuff!

  6. Matt Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Kansas is getting reconfigured and a road course is being added to the speedway. I hope Nascar does not add the road course at Kansas Speedway as a third road course. Nascar needs more road courses and I am with the author. Sonoma should be in the Chase. Replace the Kansas date with Sonoma. That eliminates a mile and a half oval from the Chase.

  7. Russ Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Just look at who owns the tracks that are in the Chase. Think Nascar is going to drop any of them?

  8. Jerome Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Right on. Over the past few years the road courses have offered some of the best racing. IMHO.
    That being said, Russ is right, none of the tracks are going to give up a date. In the “prestigious” (heavy sarcasm) chase.

  9. Kenny Ireland Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I agree. Chase should feature

    1. Richmond
    2. Talladega
    3. Charlotte
    4. Darlington
    5. Bristol
    6. Sonoma
    7. Indy
    8. Atlanta
    9. Homestead
    10. Daytona

    Not particulary in that order. But a nice variety, some tradition, and a thrilling, crapshoot for the finale…

  10. Bobby Says:
    June 20th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Watkins Glen to start the Chase would be nice as a 500k on the Grand Prix Course, and Sonoma needs to ditch the Chute in favour of the full course including Earnhardt Carousel. The Glen’s great racing history includes the great fall races of the United States Grand Prix in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

    Texas got their race because Johnnie Cochran bullied NASCAR into taking out the Southern 500 for that boring race.

    The Chase:
    1. Watkins Glen - Classic date of F1.
    2. Indianapolis - Harvest Auto Racing Classic.
    3. Martinsville
    4. Dover
    5. Charlotte
    6. Homestead - the “old Atlanta”
    7. Phoenix

    – The Showdown in Order –
    8. Talladega - Why not?
    9. Bristol - Of course, just sad they messed up a good little South Boston type track where a 3-wide Lap 500 with cars in all three lanes fighting for the win would be a finish that would send fans asking “who won?”
    10. Darlington - The Southern 500, For Everything. As Kyle Petty says, it’s a U. S. Open course where there aer too many TPC’s.

  11. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Frankly, I feel NASCAR would have to delete the Chase before seeing a Road Course, because my concern is the diversity of venues is not happening at this time.

  12. Keith Murray Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I agree that it would be better to drop one of those tracks in the Chase for a road course, but I’d much rather see Watkins Glen.

  13. Offkilter Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 4:55 pm