Much like you and your 16-year old friends NASCAR also wants to go racing on the streets and whipping through parking lots.
According to Adam Stern, the governing body wants to have street circuits or temporary circuits in parking lots next to stadiums for the 2021 season.
Over the summer NASCAR sent out a Fan Council survey that asked fans if they would like to see street circuits and/or temporary circuits set up in the parking lots of stadiums. It’s an interesting question and one that is definitely intriguing. Street circuits more than parking lot races. There has never been a parking lot race where people left thinking “that was a damn good race” looking at you F1.
For NASCAR they’re looking at street circuits as a way to reach a new fan base in new markets. The majority of race tracks are 30-45 minutes outside of most populated areas. If people won’t come to the track, bring the track to them. Australian Supercars race on street circuits and have managed to do it without crashing into buildings, hitting children, and destroying streets. NASCAR should be able to replicate that.
SCCA hosted a street race in Des Moines, IA from 1989 to 1994.
Street circuits aren’t known for producing great racing. Passing zones are limited, streets are narrow, lots of 90-degree corners. But is that really any different than Sonoma currently? Passing is hard in NASCAR right now, a street race will just look like a normal race.
Say No To Parking Lot Races
While you can sell most people on a street race there is no way you can convince fans that a parking lot race around stadiums will be good. F1 hosted a parking lot race in 80’s at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. IndyCar hosted a race in the lots around NRG Stadium in Houston. Both races were very forgettable.
Stadiums are known for having a plethora of asphalt around them. Plenty of space to set up some walls, fencing, and temporary grandstands. NASCAR is bringing up the idea of parking lot races with one market in mind.
New York City.
Pocono is currently the closest track to New York City and boy is that a snoozer. Met Life Stadium is 10 miles from the island of Manhattan. There are 19.8 million people that live in the NYC metro area. And Met Life Stadium has acres upon acres of paved parking lots.
If there is going to be a parking lot race it will be at Met Life Stadium. No clue where they’re going to parking all of the fans though.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the 2021 schedule will be out by April 1st. If these temporary circuits are going to happen deals will have to be in place soon.
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