Road courses present some of the most exciting racing during the NASCAR season, but should they become part of the Chase?
Watkins Glen, N. Y. – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule has two road-course events as part of its 36-race calendar. The road course races are at Sonoma Raceway in California and at Watkins Glen International in the southern tier of New York. Each season before, during and shortly after these two events, there’s lots of talk from competitors and fans concerning the inclusion of a road course in the high-profile Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Of course, lots of opinions abound but given the recent competitive nature of the road-course races, many would like to see one as part of the 10-race Sprint Cup playoffs.
While California may offer the best climate during September and October, Watkins Glen management would like to be considered as long as it would be early in the schedule. According to Michael Printup, president of WGI, he would like to see his legendary track be part of the mix, but he realizes one of the 10 Chase tracks would have to give up one of its precious dates.
“It is pretty attractive. My idea would be swap with another track every other year,” Printup said. “But it would be pretty hard for a track to give up a Chase date. I think it would be pretty exciting for Sonoma and the Glen to alternate every other year. The drivers love the road courses as does (NASCAR president) Mike Helton, and I think it would generate a lot of excitement to the Chase.”
As for scheduling, Printup says he would have to have a September date.
Said road-racer A. J. Allmendinger, “Whether in Chase or not, I do not know but I would like to see a couple more road races (on the schedule). I think it is great racing and I think the fans enjoy it. It would be cool if it (a road race) was in the Chase as it would add a different element.” Looking at the overall picture, the popular driver opined there are other tracks that could be included on the regular-season schedule.
Time will tell but whatever happens or doesn’t, the topic will not go away quietly.