NASCAR: The best and worst changes to the 2021 schedule

Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Good change: Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course

Date: Sunday, August 15 | Race 24 of 36

This is probably my favorite change on the entire schedule. The NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been lacking in not just racing quality, but attendance as well. And if what many fans consider this track as “The Cathedral of Motorsports” has many open seats for a Cup Series race, you know there are issues.

The way the Generation 6 car has been aerodynamically has simply not been what NASCAR is all about. And I believe Roger Penske and NASCAR have come up with a solution: move the Brickyard 400 to the road course.

Last year’s Xfinity Series race at the track was terrific, especially the battle for the win at the end between Chase Briscoe, A.J. Allmendinger, Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson.

Plus, the NASCAR Loop Data says it all. In the 2019 Xfinity Series race on the oval, there was an average of 17.1 passes per green flag lap. The 2020 edition on the road course saw an average of 24.1. Clearly Penske and NASCAR have given the fans what they wanted: racing.

All NASCAR needs to do to make this race great is pick the right package. NASCAR has to use the low downforce, 750 horsepower package if this race is to be great, just like what we have seen at Sonoma Raceway, Watkins Glen International and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval for a few races. Put the race in the driver’s hands.