Chase Elliott on how hard it was to pass at Texas: “I don’t know what genius decided to pave this place or take the banking out of 1 and 2, but not a good move for the entertainment factor, in my opinion.”
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) November 5, 2018
NASCAR fans aren’t a fan of Texas Motor Speedway and Chase Elliott isn’t either. The winner of three races this year let his feelings be known post race and they weren’t kind.
Elliott hit out at the “genius” who decided to repave the track and alter turn one. That “genius” is track President Eddie Gossage who does not handle it well when people disparage his 1.44-mile track. Texas was repaved following the 2016 fall race at the speedway at the same time turn 1 was widened 20 feet and had 4 degrees of banking taken out.
Chase Elliott is not a fan and he’s not alone. The last FOUR Texas races have been some of the most sleep-inducing races west of Sparta, Kentucky. Kevin Harvick led 177 of 337 laps Sunday en route to victory. It wasn’t necessarily an appealing race, 3.5 hours of mainly follow the leader and relying on restarts to give passing for the lead. The race was semi-saved by late race cautions but that doesn’t make it a good race.
When Texas decided to make changes to the track Eddie Gossage had things to say. “This gives the fans what they paid for,” said Gossage who seemingly doesn’t understand what the fans pay for. Sure it helps to make sure the track can be dried in a timely fashion but it killed any on-track excitement.
“It was just an opportunity. The track is torn up, so why not do something?” Gossage said. “This once and for all clearly will make Texas unlike any other race track, and can’t be charged with being a ‘cookie cutter.’ It’s an opportunity for us to be unique and be special.” There is nothing unique and special about Texas. Like Charlotte, you can’t pass and like Kentucky, having two different corners doesn’t make the racing any better. Sorry, Ed, there is nothing about Texas that makes it, unlike any other race track.
Repaves are necessary eventually, we all understand that. However, if you’re going to spend millions and you’re going to “give the people what they want” why not go all out. Make Texas unique, buck the 1.5-mile trend and convert it into a short track, or take all the banking out and make throttle management a thing.
It’s awesome that Chase Elliott spoke out. Four monotonous races in a row with no end in sight. Texas is just Kentucky and Kansas, a date on the calendar that you look at and think “I can miss this.”
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