Chase race on a road course?

The age old question...why not run a chase race on a road course? Lets explore.

Ah yes, the age old question! Should there be a road course race in the Chase? It has been asked for many years and as of recent, it appears that this question is gaining steam with the talking heads of NASCAR. Some drivers love the idea, others don’t and many fans feel it would be something to consider.

Before we delve deeper into this discussion, we should take a good look at the tracks that are presently in the chase to see what could possibly be removed to accommodate for a road course to be added into the chase.

Chicagoland, Loudon, Dover, Kansas, Lowes, Talladega, Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.

Normally I would say that Loudon would be a causality because it has two races and they are generally pretty boring. However, that would be a terrible business decision because according to, in 2012, Loudon nearly sold out both of their races.

Fans take their seat at Phoenix International Raceway
Fans take their seat at Phoenix International Raceway

Photo by: Tony Johns

If we are solely basing removing a track on poor attendance, Phoenix would be the top candidate to lose a race. They presently have two, and going with Jayski’s attendance statistics, they have struggled so much in recent years that they removed seats from the track (76,812 down to 55,000). Even though I prefer Phoenix over Loudon, NASCAR see’s dollar signs and Loudon is still bringing in people whereas Phoenix is downsizing.

So now that I picked a track to knock out of the Chase, you’re probably asking yourself which road course I would put in its place. Sonoma? Watkins Glen? How about neither of them! That’s right; I’m picking a completely different road course and one that the Nationwide Series has been going to for a few years now. Drum roll please!!!!!

Road America!

That’s right; Elkhart Lake’s Road America would be a perfect test for the top drivers and really give the Chase for the Sprint Cup the road course it deserves. The monster four mile course has been historically known as a true test for road racers. The course would be a unique addition to the Sprint Cup schedule and in the four Nationwide races that have been run, there have been four different winners and every race has been extremely exciting.

Either way, I think Road America would be a fine addition to the Sprint Cup schedule and something many drivers would look forward to. The track is very different from any road course NASCAR has run on recently and believe it or not, the series has ran there before. Back in 1956, the Grand National Series (Sprint Cup) ran a 258 mile event at Road America in which Tim Flock won his last career race.

Elliott Sadler
Elliott Sadler

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

The area itself is extremely beautiful and would be a great place to have a race in September or even early October as the leaves begin to change color. The only potential downside of having a Road America race in September/October is that Packer season is just beginning and it may draw away from potential attendance numbers.

Would NASCAR ever seriously consider adding a road course to the Chase? And if so, would they just move Sonoma or Watkins Glen? Those two seem to be the easy way to go, but I think from a pure business stance, NASCAR could greatly benefit from having a Sprint Cup race at Road America. I think that is why they added a date at Road America to the Nationwide Schedule, to test the waters so to speak. I guess only time will tell if Road America is truly worthy of a spot in the Chase of NASCAR’s top series.

from the Grandstand Blog

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler , Tim Flock
Article type Blog
Tags championship, chase, childress, earnhardt, left, nascar, right, road america, sonoma, truex, watkins glen, win