NASCAR is all about the fans. It’s the only professional sport that allows fans to get up close and person with the athletes. This season, fans even have control over the Sprint Unlimited, formerly the Bud Shootout, race to kick of Daytona.
I took to twitter recently to see what exactly fans thought about the current tracks on the schedule. I asked my 900+ followers, a majority of them being NASCAR fans, what they would change about the track schedule the Sprint Cup Series currently has. Some responses were pretty predictable but others took me by surprise.
FONTANA: This 2 mile, D-shaped oval was probably the one that was brought up most often. Many race fans say they would like to see Auto Club Speedway removed from the schedule. A majority said that the TV broadcast quality is poor and hard to watch. It also seems like the attendance at the track as gone down in recent years. With only one race on the schedule, it would be sad to see this track go.
IOWA: The two Nationwide Series races held at Iowa Speedway do not seem to be enough for NASCAR fans. Many want to see this Newton, Iowa track hold a Sprint Cup race and soon. Attendance at Iowa Speedway seems to be high, nearly packing the stands each and every race. This 7/8 mile tri-oval, designed by Rusty Wallace, is definitely a fan favorite.
ROCKINGHAM: A lot of fans want to NASCAR to add Rockingham to the Sprint Cup Series schedule. The main reason for this is because Rockingham is where NASCAR belongs. Rockingham hosted a Cup race from 1966-2004. Currently hosting a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, fans would love to see the Gen-6 on this famed and historical track.
ROAD COURSES: This list was endless when it came to road courses. Road America, Montreal, and the Circuit of the Americas were all tracks mentioned numerous times in the addition category. Fans have been saying for years that they would like to see a road course in the chase.
INDIANAPOLIS: This was one that surprised me. Indianapolis is famous for the Indy 500; one of racing’s most famous events. Many NASCAR fans don’t think stock cars belong at Indy. One fan even made the comparison to seeing IndyCars at Talladega. Stock Cars have been racing at the Brickyard since 1994 and drivers like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson dominate at this track.
CHICAGOLAND: This was another track that took me by surprise. Opening in 2001, Chicagoland hosts the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. With only one race on the schedule, I was surprised this track was even brought up. The most common response regarding this track is that it is just too boring. Chicagoland hasn’t made any major changes to its track since its opening, maybe a reconfiguration and a repave would change the minds of NASCARs die-hard fans.
NASHVILLE: I have heard this track be brought up many times in the last few years. Many teams test at Nashville, so why not add it to the schedule? One fan went as far as saying that if it is good enough for testing then why not a race?
CANADA AND MEXICO: Fans would love to see NASCAR across the borders. Many were devastated to hear Montreal (Canada) was off of the Nationwide Schedule and think it should not only be back but added to the Cup schedule as well. “Montreal is just good racing,” exclaimed one fan. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (Mexico) was also brought up a few times which is also another road course race. The Nationwide Series raced there from 2005 to 2008. Seeing NASCAR across the border would bring in more fans but televising a race might be an issue.
KANSAS: Although the repave did make the fall race pretty exciting, many fans think at least one Kansas race should be removed from the schedule. The race brought up most often was the spring race in April. Maybe these new cars and the new pavement will change fans minds about this one. Change is good, right?
MILWAUKEE: This mile-long track was mention multiple times. Old-school short track was the main reason why fans want to see the new Gen-6 cars on the track. The Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series raced at this mile-long oval in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Milwaukee Mile currently hosts an IndyCar event, Milwaukee IndyFest, so having a NASCAR sanctioned event at this track wouldn’t be impossible.
Whether or not you agree with the list above, it is clear that fans want a change, but isn’t that always the case? Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing and having new or returning tracks added to the current schedule wouldn’t be such a bad thing. The questions remains, do you add on to the season or replace races with these new tracks? Maybe each track only needs to hold one event in the regular season and make the 10 races in the Chase the ten best tracks on the schedule. With all of the responses that I received, one thing is for certain, fans really want to see a road course in the chase.