By admin | August 12, 2014
By Richard Allen
After watching the showdown over the final few laps of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen between eventual winner A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose, I have to say that more road courses on the NASCAR schedule would not be the worst idea in the world. That is especially true when the finish of a couple of years ago on the same track between Ambrose, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch is remembered.
In reality, it’s not just road courses I’d like to see more of. I believe the NASCAR schedule would benefit greatly from the removal of so many 1.5 - 2 mile ‘cookie cutters’ and the addition of any type track that takes aerodynamics more out of the picture to bring the driver and the mechanical aspects of the car more into the picture.
Short tracks would also fit into the above description along with the tracks featuring turns going both left and right.
But as I write this, I am fully aware of the economics of the situation. NASCAR, like every other business in America, is money driven. With that being the case, the sanctioning body, which is run by a family who is heavily invested in a corporation that runs race tracks, is not going to abandon their facilities just because I think it sounds like a good idea.
So here is a possible solution. Take the existing tracks and use the road courses already built into them. If NASCAR and International Speedway, Corp. are determined to race at places like Kansas and Michigan twice each season, then use the road courses once and the ovals once. If the recent races at Watkins Glen are any indication, doing so would make for a much better show.
I believe the track owners could actually increase profits and make racing better at the same time by doing this. Of course, I guess the big risk might be the possibility of the road course race stirring so much interest at those tracks that tickets for the oval races would be even harder to sell. But looking at the grandstands of most facilities this season, I don’t think that’s a challenge that isn’t already in place.
Please note, I am not suggesting that NASCAR abandon oval track racing. That is the heart and soul of the sport. And it is noteworthy to mention that I used to be one of those ‘purists’ who believed that NASCAR should only turn left. I have changed that opinion over the years. I now believe that for the betterment of the show, a little variety apart from the multitude of sameness would have to help.
To help prove my point, watch this week’s race at Michigan and compare it to last week at Watkins Glen or next week at Bristol. I hope this week’s race is a good one, but the likelihood of it being better than the other two isn’t very high.
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