Sunday night NASCAR’s K&N East Series took to the track at New Smyrna Speedway and for the first time it was streamed live online at FansChoice.tv. NASCAR’s young stars put on a show for all 175 laps, leading many people to advocate for more short track racing.
K&N showing how good the show could be if trucks went to New Smyrna pic.twitter.com/hYeoTsupPj
— Apex Off (@ApexOff) February 12, 2018
Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland put on a short track racing display NASCAR hasn’t seen at the top level since Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott fought for the win at Dover in 2016.
Sunday night in the final two laps you had clean short track racing. A bump and run Ala Jeff Gordon at Bristol by Harrison Burton coming to the white flag. Fellow Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Todd Gilliland responded with a light tap, just enough to get under Burton. Cars sliding off the corner, side by side racing, and no one crashed. Somehow a couple of 17-year-old kids put on a better show than NASCAR’s stars could.
More Short Tracks For NASCAR’s Three Major Series
NASCAR’s three major series have been plagued recently by a lack of competitive racing on intermediate tracks. Because of that fans and media members have called for the series to return to their roots of short track racing.
Calls have especially been made for the Camping World Truck Series to return to the original concept of the truck series. A short track based touring series that visited local short tracks around the Western and Southern United States. Recently the truck series has become a support race on Friday nights for NASCAR’s two upper series. Running on a mile and a half race tracks that historically have provided mediocre racing.
NASCAR’s executives, however, have told fans and media members alike that simply going back to short tracks is a bigger challenge than meets the eye. Logistically it seems to be a challenge, contractually and from a safety standpoint.
For the sake of pointing this out, NASCAR says they won’t send their three major series to a track without SAFER barriers. But if it’s ok to send K&N cars to tracks across the country without SAFER barriers, why isn’t it okay to send the Trucks there? Essentially they’ll run the same speed, crash the same, and act the same. It’s a weak argument for why NASCAR can’t send the trucks series to smaller short tracks.
To his credit new NASCAR Truck Series Director Ben Kennedy responded to calls for more short tracks after Sunday night’s race:
Great racing tonight. I’m a huge fan of short tracks & all of the tracks mentioned. K&N really displays it well. I wish adding them to the schedule was as easy as it sounds, but a lot of moving parts. We go to some great short tracks & doesn’t mean we won’t see more 1 day. https://t.co/beE3WjcpWw
— Ben Kennedy (@BenKennedy33) February 12, 2018
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