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Will NASCAR Add Another Road Race to its Schedule?
- Updated: March 13, 2017
A lot of talk is going on to possibly add a road race to the NASCAR playoffs. [Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]
A Few Loose Lug Nuts from Pit Row
by Gene Turk
When NASCAR released its new rule changes for the 2017 season, it stated that the changes were to make the racing more exciting for the race fan. Another way to keep the race fans excited would be to add more road race tracks to the schedule. It’s hard to argue that road racing doesn’t have its exciting moments. There does seem to be some credibility to a rumor that NASCAR may be considering this option. It just so happens that two track owners in the Lone Star State are having a disagreement on a potential scheduling conflict.
NASCAR fans are familiar with the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway located near Fort Worth, Texas. This track has hosted NASCAR racing for many years and has a race scheduled on 4/9/17. What you may not be as familiar with is the Texas World Speedway located near College Station, Texas. This track is quite unique in that it has an oval within a high banked oval combined with a 2.4 mile road race course. Now here is where it gets interesting. The owner of the track claims that he has been in talks with a NASCAR official. Now who he talked to and what was discussed is not known at this time. What was interesting is that the owner of the Texas Motor Speedway did comment that anybody can talk to a NASCAR official about anything and that doesn’t mean that bringing a race to another track in Texas is going to happen. Point well taken.
In October of 2015, NASCAR agreed to a five year sanctioning agreement with 23 tracks that host the Monster Energy Cup Series. Also, NASCAR has stated that they will keep the 36 race schedule. To add a road race to the schedule would mean another track would be dropped from the schedule. The tracks that are not included in the agreement are Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas. Now it makes a little more sense why the owner of the Texas Motor Speedway might be a little upset if his track is removed from the race schedule.
For 2017, NASCAR has two road races schedules. The 3.4 mile Watkins Glen track in New York and the 1.99 mile track in Sonoma, California. Now, if NASCAR where to add another road race to the schedule, they could consider the 2.4 mile Mid-Ohio track, the 3.4 mile Texas Motor Speedway or, my favorite, the 4.1 mile Road America track. I think that adding more road races to the NASCAR schedule does have merit and just might warrant consideration.
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