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Charlotte Motor Speedway ‘roval’ needs test race before playoffs

The “roval” oval/road-course hybrid at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., was tested earlier this week, and the course will not only be one of the 10 tracks in the 2018 playoffs, its Sept. 30 date on next year’s schedule will make it the elimination race of the first round.

I’ve been a proponent of a road course in the 10-race playoffs, and while a “roval” isn’t exactly a true road-course, generally speaking, a “roval” in the playoffs is enough to satisfy my desire for a road-course race in the playoffs, I think. I guess I’ll have to follow a playoff with a “roval” in it to know for sure.

What I’m not really comfortable with is the addition of a course to the playoffs that the series hasn’t raced on before. I didn’t think about that much when the announcement of the “roval” in next year’s playoffs was announced, but it entered my mind during the test session of the last couple of days.

I get the reasoning that, since none of the drivers have raced on it, the unknown factor is the same for everyone, so the playing field is still even. But that’s not my issue with throwing this “unknown” into next year’s playoffs. And I get that these drivers are supposed to be the best stock car racers in the world. I get that, I really do. Still, I think a course in the playoffs should get some kind of test beyond a small handful of cars on the track in a non-competitive environment.

I think there’s a relatively easy answer — run the All-Star Race on the “roval.”

NASCAR’s reasoning for not considering the “roval” for the All-Star Race? The expense and difficulty of lighting it. I get that. So, why not try an afternoon All-Star Race? After all, the All-Star Race has lacked luster in recent years and NASCAR keeps changing the format to find some sort of “magic.” Why not throw the proverbial “kitchen sink” at it next year and reschedule it for an afternoon and run it on the “roval?”

Problem solved.

I definitely don’t think the Coca-Cola 600 should be moved to the infield road course. That race is a tradition, a big part of NASCAR history, if you will. Leave it as it is. But what about the All-Star Race? Heck, an afternoon race on the “roval” may be just the shot in the arm that event needs.

I’ve heard this idea presented casually by either a fan or media member. Honestly, I don’t remember which. The rebuttal was the fact that not all drivers run the All-Star Race. But between the All-Star Race and the preliminary last chance to get in, all drivers run at least one or the other, so really, they’d all get some competitive time on the course. Sure, those two events aren’t the same length, but not all drivers have the same amount of experience at other tracks, as they’ve been in the series varying length’s of time. But with the “roval” All-Star weekend proposal, they’d all get some competitive track time. Some is better than none.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on October 19, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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