The NASCAR Cup Series will race at three road courses this season. Should NASCAR add more road course races to the schedule?
In past years, the NASCAR Cup Series has raced at road courses two times a year during the season. This year, NASCAR has added a “roval”, which is a road course and an oval combined. The final layout was recently announced.
The race is set to be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will be on Sunday, September 30th, 2018. The Xfinity Series races at three road courses: Road America, Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen. The Camping World Truck Series races only at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Should NASCAR add another road course to the schedule?
Last year’s Xfinity Series race at Road America ended in spectacular fashion at the finish. Jeremy Clements, driving for his family-owned team, defeated Matt Tifft, who was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Both drivers spun out coming to the white flag, and Clements got going before Tifft could. At Road America, the race always comes down to fuel mileage and the finishes tend to be exciting. Clements’ win was one of the best moments of the season in all three of the top series.
Mid-Ohio was another fun race to watch last season. The 2016 race was run in the rain, which does not happen often in NASCAR. Adding one of these road courses to the Cup schedule could be an interesting option for NASCAR in the future.
The Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is the only road course race that the series has. The races there over the past few years has been great as well. Last season, Austin Cindric spun out Kaz Grala on the last lap to win and clinch a playoff spot.
In 2016, Cole Custer and John Hunter Nemechek door-slammed down the front stretch and across the finish line at the end of the race. Nemechek won, but Custer tackled him to the ground after the race ended. This track could also add an exciting race to the Cup schedule given how much action has taken place there.
The Cup Series has raced at Watkins Glen and Sonoma for many years. These have been the only two road courses for a long time. Fans should be excited that NASCAR is adding a roval to the schedule. But why stop there? Would it be a bad thing if they added more road course excitement? The answer should be “no”.
The Cup Series races on 24 different tracks. That means that 12 races take place during repeat visits to tracks that have already hosted races earlier in the season. If NASCAR took one of those duplicate tracks away to add another road course, that could give more fans in other parts of the country a chance to go to a race. Fans like change, and giving fans in Wisconsin a chance to see the best drivers in NASCAR compete in their area sounds like good business.
This would allow fans the opportunity to see more “road course ringers” like A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell, and it would allow other drivers to showcase their skill of road racing. Opening the sport to a wider fanbase and challenging the more seasoned drivers with new courses can only enhance the popularity of NASCAR.