Published on June 20th, 2008 | by Michael J Smith0
Road Courses In NASCAR?
As the Sprint Cup Series turns to Infineon Raceway this weekend, I began thinking of the normal questions that surround road courses in NASCAR. First, should NASCAR even race anything but ovals?
I say, absolutely. I think road courses level the playing field in NASCAR a little bit. Granted, someone like Jeff Gordon seems to have the advantage of road racing skills and good equipment on these road courses, but the Robby Gordons, the Juan Pablo Montoyas, the Scott Pruetts also have a legitimate shot at winning here, no matter what cars they are driving. (No, I did not forget Boris Said, for all of you “Said heads,” he’s a contender this weekend as well.)
There’s something about those cars being thrown around the track that I like. Plus, it really shows NASCAR drivers’ skills. I also like to see them improve as they go to these tracks more and more.
Second, should NASCAR go to more road courses? Personally, I’m on the fence about this. I like them, but the more road courses NASCAR includes, the further it gets away from the heart of NASCAR racing, which is racing on ovals. I wouldn’t object to one more road course, but I wouldn’t want to see many more than that.
I think road course racing takes skill and technique. Not that oval racing doesn’t take these traits, but at road courses, car control is much more important.
Third, should NASCAR include a road course in the chase? Absolutely, for the reasons stated above. I think the Chase should include a road course, a restrictor plate race (as it does), a short track race (as it does), and an intermediate track (as it does).
I could make an argument to include Pocono and Darlington in the Chase as well, but I’m not sure Mother Nature would cooperate.
Overall, I love what road courses bring the sport. But, like anything else, moderation is the key. I think two is a good number of road courses to have. Anymore than that, and I might complain.