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NASCAR Roval race a slam dunk

CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 30: Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, and AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 30, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

We’re now three days removed from the NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the new Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval that culminated in Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, so I guess it’s fair to say that the reviews are in. I can only speak for myself, but I liked it.

Was attrition high? Sure, on Sunday. But was that a result of a treacherous race course? Maybe partly but definitely not completely. After all, attrition didn’t seriously build until later in the race. The course didn’t change during the race. I think a lot of the attrition we witnessed Sunday was simply a product of the Bank of America Roval 400 being a playoff elimination race. After all, the battle for the final advancement positions was close, so close that there was a three-way tie for the final two round-two slots.

After NASCAR moved a tire barrier before final Cup practiced and the Drive for the Cure 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, the attrition rate went down, at least for awhile. After wrecks in earlier Cup Series practice sessions and qualifying, Saturday’s final Cup practice ran incident-free and the Xfinity Series race ran relatively incident-free, so problem solved.

Do you realize that of the five cautions in Saturday’s Xfinity race, only one was for a wreck? Two came at the end of the first two stages, one for a stalled car and one for debris. Again, only one was for a wreck, so obviously it’s possible to run an entertaining race on this course without it becoming a wreck-fest.

That brings me back to my theory that the high attrition late in Sunday’s Cup race was more a matter of the pressure that comes with elimination races.

Besides, do we really want to make competition easy for the drivers? I don’t want this whole racing thing to be like a calm Sunday drive for these guys. Remember, these are supposed to be the best race car drivers in the world, folks.

Here’s another thing — Sunday’s race on the Roval is classified as a road-course race. Haven’t fans been asking for a road-course race in the playoffs? Well, now they have it, kind of.

Seems like it wasn’t that many years ago that I would’ve booed anything remotely resembling a road-course race, but not anymore. Dang it, NASCAR road-course races have become exciting. Did I just say that? Yeah, I guess I did.

While I enjoyed Sunday’s race, I’m not calling for more rovals, though. Actually, I’m glad Speedway Motorsports Inc. head Marcus Smith proclaimed that roval races would not be added at other SMI tracks. My opinion of roval racing is similar to that of the yearly NASCAR Camping World Truck Series dirt race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Add more, and they’re no longer special. Night racing is a perfect example of this. Night races used to be special. These days they’re just other races on the schedule.

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Posted by on October 3, 2018. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,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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