NASCAR Cup: Charlotte Motor Speedway road-course race great idea
Earlier this month, word got out about a test involving A.J. Allmendinger on the infield road course at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and NASCAR’s consideration of running either the All-Star Race or the Charlotte playoff race on the facility’s road course. No official announcement was made during this week’s Media Tour in Charlotte, but at least a few drivers were asked about the possibility of a road-course race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Allmendinger being among them.
“I think it could be a fantastic race,” Allmendinger said.
Granted, the Dinger may be a little biased. After all, his one Cup win came on a road course, and he’s among the best road-course racers on the circuit. That being said, though, since he was the driver whose services were utilized for the test, I’m thinking the guy knows what he’s talking about.
I’m thinking turning one of the existing Charlotte races into a road-course race is a great idea. It seems like only a few years ago, the thought of adding another road-course race, at any road course, to the Cup schedule would make me cringe. Not so long ago, road-course races were among the most boring races on the schedule. Times change, though. Nowadays, the road courses seem to provide some of the best racing of the season.
Since NASCAR road-course racing has become way more exciting, i.e. entertaining, in the last few years or so, there has been strong fan support for the idea of a road course in the Chase, ahem, I mean the playoffs. Adding a road course to the playoffs is easier said that done, until, possibly, now. Charlotte has a playoff date. Shift that race to the facility’s road course. There, problem solved. Nobody has to give up a date on the schedule and fans get the road-course race they want. It’s a win-win. Isn’t it?
I’m not so sure, though, that the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course should jump head-first into the deep end, i.e. the playoffs. Maybe run the All-Star Race on the road course, first, and if that goes well, move the playoff race to the road course the following season.
To re-quote Allmendinger to echo his sentiment, “I think it could be a fantastic race.”