Stock cars at Indy are boring

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Why does NASCAR insist on a race weekend at Indianapolis? It's just plain boring.

Stock cars at Indianapolis are incredibly boring. There. I said it. Someone had to!

Ahead of the upcoming "super weekend" at Indianapolis, I figured now was the best time to share my thoughts on what can be easily dubbed (in my opinion) as the worst stop on the calendar in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Start: Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota leads
Start: Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota leads

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

I will state the facts before I start a real rant here.

1. You cannot pass at Indianapolis in a stock car.

Well, sure, there is passing. But those passes occur when one guy gets a little out of the groove, or there is a mistake made, or a big pack on a restart. There are no "racing" passes per se.

2. Slower speeds, and a smaller groove than the open wheel compatriots that race there every May.

This one completely relates to the first fact. While the speeds are slower, there is one groove, and it is really small. Taking a hulking 3,400 lb stock car and letting it loose on this tricky 2.5 mile rectangle is like putting a gorilla on a tight rope. What is the point? Well, the gorilla would be hilarious to watch but this race just puts me to sleep.

3. Tradition is not a reason to race somewhere.

The Brickyard
The Brickyard

Photo by: IMS LLC

Way back in 1994 when the series first visited the track, it was promoted as the 'other' race at the Brickyard. That track has more than 100 years of tradition, but any time you are at the track you don't hear a single soul say "I can't wait for the stock cars!" It just doesn't happen. If tradition in other series is such a deciding factor in scheduling a race somewhere, I am shocked they haven't started sending stock cars to the Circuit de la Sarthe to hold the 36 Hours of Tanks running around a historic circuit.

Those are my three reasons behind this rant. Now, I will never pose such an issue without looking at a potential solution. It just wouldn't be fair to expect the NASCAR brass to come up with a good plan of attack if the chance arose that this lowly commentary would influence the series.

Rockingham. Period.

That is solution number one. We lost that great track many moons ago, after a couple incredibly exciting photo finishes. I don't understand the logic behind ditching a track that had such great and exciting racing. Wait, I do understand the logic. Not enough people in the seats.

Matt Kenseth takes the checkered flag inches ahead of Kasey Kahne
Matt Kenseth takes the checkered flag inches ahead of Kasey Kahne

Photo by: Autostock

If you have an amazing product (Rockingham), but no one is buying it, do you just throw it out? No! You advertise it, you MAKE people check it out. I know many fans will agree, but Rockingham got the short end of the deal. Dear NASCAR, please make this years event at Indianapolis the last, and return to The Rock.

Just wait folks. There is more.

Another road course. Yep. Contradiction. Isn't it beautiful?

I may have called stock cars tanks on a road course above, but I do have a weird fascination with seeing these lumbering beasts making left, and right turns. I rarely miss the opportunity to take in these races.

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Earlier in the year, the questions of a road course in the chase came up, as it usually does around the time of the first of two visits to the windy tracks. I think NASCAR is foolish to not put a road course in the chase. Why? Because if you are awarding a championship based on the skill of the driver and the know-how of the team, then you are completely ignoring the fact that you are making two worthless visits to two great track to do what? Give Marcose Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya a chance to get a top 5? (Or hit a jet dryer?)

Road America would make a great addition to the schedule, replacing one of the cookie cutter tracks in the chase, which could be moved to the Indianapolis date. What about Circuit Gilles Villeneuve? NASCAR showed up a handful of years ago and bought our (I am Canadian) National stock car series and branded it the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series…why not show some support and send the big boys up to Montreal for a show. Make it a chase race too!

Let's go around the final turn and come back to where we started. There will be a three-and-a-half hour infuriating test session of 43 cars running around a track make for open wheel cars on Sunday, which NASCAR will call the Brickyard 400. It's boring. Thats all there is too it. I have posed my problem, and given some solutions. Maybe I am going a little too far, but all we can do now is HOPE for CHANGE. Obama for President 2008.

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Commentary
Tags 24 hours of le mans, circuit de la sarthe, crash, dale earnhardt, danica, daytona, indianapolis, montreal, nascar, road america, stock cars, tony stewart