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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