NASCAR returned to their roots in 2013 with a race on dirt at the famed Eldora Speedway. The Camping World Truck Series have put on some phenomenal shows at the high banked half mile in rural Ohio. With the race becoming such a success fans want to see Xfinity and Cup cars on a dirt track.
With fans wanting more NASCAR has been reluctant to pull the trigger and put cars on the dirt. There are a litany of reasons for it, some drivers don’t want it, they don’t want to dilute the product and the logistics of running a dirt race are kind of difficult. What NASCAR shouldn’t do is run all three series or even two series at the same dirt track on the same weekend. Here is how NASCAR should handle it;
Three Different Tracks, Three Different Weekends
NASCAR doesn’t want to dilute the product. Fair, this is an asphalt series after all and always will be. So in an effort to not dilute the novelty of running on dirt they should have each series run one dirt race a year on different weekends from the other series. And then each year rotate the series between the three tracks.
For example because people love examples to get their simpleton brains functioning, I’m here to help. Year 1 the Cup series will run at Eldora, Xfinity at Knoxville and Truck series at Perris in California. Then in Year 2 Cup will be at Perris, Xfinity at Eldora and Trucks at Knoxville. Year 3 you can do in your own head.
With this plan we have dirt track racing across the country and only once a year for each series. At least three weekends a year people can get excited about dirt track racing, it gives the networks something to market and promote more than your regular Sunday race at Michigan. It’s also only once a year, some drivers will complain but NASCAR races at road courses two (soon to be three) times a year to test a drivers skill and give the people what they want. Dirt track racing falls in that same category, it’s a novelty but it also plays into certain driver’s skill sets.
People will obviously criticize NASCAR for doing anything. NASCAR Twitter is home to possibly the dumbest people on earth filled with even dumber opinions. Naturally people will criticize this plan because Matt from ApexOff.com is the one that will be scheduling the three series for 2019. So let’s quell some of the criticism;
“Eldora can’t even sell out their truck race! Why should we have more dumbass” – Roy from Somerset, Ky
Hey Roy, thanks for the question. You’re not wrong with this statement. Eldora is still selling tickets for the race tonight, as late as last night in Cincinnati they were running commercials for tickets. Back to that real quick, Eldora has done more promoting in Cincinnati than Kentucky Speedway did for the Cup race. But Eldora has struggled to sell out the race after the first two years and it’s a simple reason.
It’s really hard to get people to come out on a Wednesday night when the race doesn’t start until after 9:30pm. That’s lunacy but it has to be that late to get qualifying and the heat races in. Still it’s a massive turnoff for people from Cincinnati and Columbus due to the fact it’s also in the middle of nowhere. Either people have to take Thursday off work or go in running on very few hours of sleep.
“Uhh hey stupid, there’s already a race in Iowa” – Rick from Des Moines, IA
Not wrong there Rick, glad you got a good read on the schedule. For the Cup series this isn’t an issue, for the other two series one of the races from Iowa Speedway will be going to Knoxville. While Iowa puts on a decent show the race at Knoxville will likely be as good if not better. Likely better.
“This gives dirt guys an easy in to the playoffs” – Tanner from Hays, KS
Hey Tanner, what about AJ Allmendinger? He’s literally banking on making the playoffs every year based on two road course races. NASCAR plays right into his hand with those two races. How is one dirt race any different? A lot of these guys raced dirt at one point of their life meaning the field of contenders will be much larger.
Also it gives smaller teams a chance to win. NASCAR is all about parity and everyone says they want to see someone new win. This is an opportunity for a smaller team to win like a road course and restrictor plate race do. So does it give dirt guys and easy in? Not necessarily some of the Eldora racers haven’t been dirt guys.
This is exactly how NASCAR should handle the need for more dirt races. If you think of a better way feel free to slide into the twitter mentions and let me know. NASCAR shouldn’t over do it and one race for each series is enough. This will also get more people to dirt tracks not just for NASCAR but for other series as well. It’s time NASCAR gives back to grassroots racing.
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