Would rosin be a better option than restrictor plates at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
As Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway prepares for its first of two NASCAR weekends of 2017 this upcoming weekend — a weekend that will include races for the NASCAR X&N Pro Series East, Xfinity Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series — part of the prep work includes the spreading of a sticky rosin that the track previously applied to the track last August for its Camping World Truck, Xfinity and Cup series weekend with the aim of improving racing at the facility.
Said rosin was applied last season to encourage drivers to utilize a second lane for racing, and it worked. It worked so well that NASCAR and BMS are relying on it, again, this year. Actually, it’s being applied on an even bigger area of the track this time around.
The success of this rosin leaves me wondering. Could this rosin be a possible solution to the beyond-lackluster racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway? I think it’s at least worth a try, and maybe, it should be given a chance ahead of restrictor plates. In case you haven’t heard, NASCAR’s going to give plates a try in the Xfinity Series when it and the Cup Series travel to Indy later this season.
There’s no doubt; something needs to be done to improve NASCAR racing at IMS. If there’s a snooze-fest on the NASCAR schedule, Indy’s got to be it. And that’s sad, considering Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most storied facilities in all of motorsport.
But I’m not so sure restrictor plates are the answer. I’m wondering why the Bristol rosin wasn’t tried, first, to encourage more side-by-side racing.
Like restrictor-plate racing at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, or not, it’s a safety thing there. And while plate racing at those two tracks is edge-for-your-seat exciting, I’m not sure it’ll make for exciting racing elsewhere. Plates were put on Cup cars at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon back in the early 2000s, also for safety reasons after the deaths of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin in practice crashes there, but the racing there with restrictor plates on the cars sure left a lot to be desired.
Changes to improve racing at Indy can’t include permanent changes to the race track. After all, that track’s proverbial bread and butter is the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar race, so changes that would hinder that race would be out of the question, as it should be. That leaves changes to the cars and/or temporary track changes.
The application of rosin would, definitely, be a temporary change. It would, most certainly, be washed off the track by the time IndyCars return nearly a year later. So, why not give it a try before resorting to restrictor plates in an Xfinity race? The rosin, obviously, works at Bristol, while plates somewhere other than Daytona and Talladega didn’t work at the other track it was tried.
Yes, I realize NHMS and IMS are dramatically different, and so are Bristol and Indy. Indy is closer to Daytona and Talladega, length-wise, but it’s flatter, like Loudon. So, why not try out the rosin first?
Well, if the plates don’t pan out in the Xfinity Series experiment, maybe then, rosin application will be worth a shot.