COMMENTARY: It’s no secret that if NASCAR added Rockingham and North Wilkesboro to the Sprint Cup Series schedule again there wouldn’t be a single fan upset about that. Even though both are located in North Carolina and that would make three races in NC, it would still increase ratings. Lets be honest, when we heard that the trucks were going to race at Rockingham again who was not excited?
Rockingham would no doubt be the easiest track to add back on the schedule. It has been up to date with all of the safety features that NASCAR requires for the race. Now why it should be put back on the schedule is because of the racing and the track itself. It has been apart of NASCAR for almost as long as NASCAR has been around until it saw its last race in 2004.
The best part is its not like the cookie cutter tracks like a lot of the tracks today. Its a mile long and it has a unique shape to it with 22 degrees of banking.
It’s located in the heart of NASCAR country which is really in the middle of nowhere in North Carolina.
It’s places like that where NASCAR started.
People would look forward to Rockingham during the week. You don’t see much excitement for Auto Club or Chicagoland.
North Wilkesboro on the other hand would be a lot harder to get a cup race on. The main reason is this: there’s still Winston Cup logos everywhere. Meaning that the track has been basically deserted since its last race in 1996.
It was re-opened for a very brief time in 2010 but quickly closed once again.
North Wilkesboro is also as old as NASCAR is and is also different from the cookie cutter tracks. Its .625 miles long and it has 14 degrees of banking in the turns. Its a classic short track that would really bring the “rubbin’s racing” saying back into NASCAR and that really is what NASCAR needs.
Some of the best finishes have happened at North Wilkesboro! In 1989 when Ricky Rudd and Dale Earnhardt crashed while running first and second and gave the win to Geoff Bodine. It just produced good old short track racing which would not hurt NASCAR at all.
If NASCAR wants to increase its’ ratings a great idea would be to spend a little money to repair North Wilkesboro. Lucky for them they don’t have to spend almost anything on Rockingham. Old school fans that might have been lost when NASCAR went west and turned into what is today might tune in again to watch the races if they were held at these to tracks. It would be great for NASCAR and the fans and that is what both want.