NASCAR stages road course test at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Could a road course race be in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s future?
Last Friday, AJ Allmendinger tested on what was roughly a 2.3-mile circuit similar to Daytona International Speedway that incorporates both the infield in Turns 1 and 2 and the regular 1.5-mile oval according to multiple sources.
The test was a collaboration between Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR.
Two years ago, Motorsport.com floated the possibility of incorporating a road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway. SMI CEO Marcus Smith told Motorsport.com at the time that an announcement was expected in October (2015) but nothing materialized. He added that CMS’s plan included three different lengths of road course and the possibility could be “awesome.”
The road course itself is nothing new to Charlotte Motor Speedway which has hosted Sport Car Club of America events and other races in the past. However, since Joe Lee Johnson won the first race in 1960, the track has only used the 1.5-mile oval for NASCAR.
Sources said Charlotte could incorporate the road course as early as the All-Star Race, which is scheduled for May 20. It’s more likely the road course would be used for the fall Chase race on Oct. 7. Fans have been clamoring for a road course in NASCAR’s playoffs and Charlotte could offer the perfect solution.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup schedule currently features two road courses — Sonoma Raceway, which hosts the tour in June, and the August Watkins Glen race.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series competes on three road courses: Watkins Glen, Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. NXS is scheduled to compete at Charlotte on Oct. 6.
Certainly, if the Charlotte plan comes to fruition, transitioning to a road course could be an option at other facilities. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, for instance, already feature road courses as part of their landscape.
Stewart's packed 2017 racing schedule is taking shape
With SHR on board, can Ford take the fight back to their rivals in 2017?