This past week, NASCAR released the 2014 Sprint Cup Series schedule. There were a few dates swaps here and there, but for the most part, not a lot’s changed. The circuit is going to the same tracks as in recent seasons and visiting each the same number of times.
But what are some changes that, maybe, should’ve been made, or would have, at least, been nice to see? Here’s at least one idea I’ve come up with:
Add a road course to the Chase. I have to say, I’ve come around on this train of thought. Just a few years ago, I would’ve said, “no way,” on this one. But I admit I used to abhore road course and it’s hard to say exactly why. Older fans may still not like this idea, as the love/hate relationship with NASCAR on road courses seem to often fall along the lines of older fans hating it and newer fans loving it. But road courses are here to stay, and shouldn’t the champion be the driver who performs the best, overall, on all types of tracks the series visits? And I don’t think one of the two current road course dates on the schedule should be moved into the Chase, either. Leave them where they are and add a third. Road America, perhaps?
And what date should be moved from the Chase to make room for this proposed road course race? I guess one of the overly-abundant mile-and-a-halves. I realize that the, overall, Sprint Cup schedule is heavily mile-and-a-half, but maybe the Chase shouldn’t be weighed so heavily with them that half the tracks are of this length. Yes, that’s right, if you look closely at the 10-race Chase schedule, no less than five are on mile-and-a-halves.
Actually, adding a road course to the Chase in place of one of the mile-and-a-halves is about the only change I can think of that would improve the schedule. That would result in each track type being represented in the 10-race Chase and would cut down that mile-and-a-half number, ever so slightly. Okay, so maybe I’d take another mile-and-a-half and substitute it for a short track.
On second thought, could a dirt track be added to the schedule somewhere? Eldora, anyone? But then again, would adding one to the regular 26-race season necessitate one being added to the Chase? After all, I did say earlier that the Chase champion should be a reflection of all types of tracks the circuit visits, or something like that. And besides, is there a dirt track with the seating capacity expected of Sprint Cup host tracks? Maybe this could be the one exception to my conceived, “if it’s a type of track in the first 26 races, there should be one in the Chase” rule. Whether or not a Sprint Cup dirt race is a valid idea, I don’t know, but it would sure be fun to watch.