Once again the twists and turns of Watkins Glen International in the Finger Lakes region of New York put on a fantastic show for NASCAR fans. And once again a majority of NASCAR fans are now asking for another road course race to be added to the Sprint Cup Series schedule, specifically in the Chase. But should there be a road course in the Chase?
The detractors would say no because the Chase should tracks should represent what the regular season looks like. The majority of the schedule is made of intermediate tracks, so therefore a majority of the Chase is on an intermediate track.
But that shouldn't be the determining factor. The current Chase schedule hasn't been altered much since its inception in 2004. The last 10 races in 2003 became Chase races in 2004 just because that's where they already were on the schedule. But maybe it's time for a shake-up.
The point of the Chase was to keep the championship battle interesting all the way down the stretch to the end of the season, and to keep fans watching NASCAR rather than switching to football. If you follow NASCAR on Twitter, or listen to any of the shows on SiriusXM-NASCAR, you'd be aware that many fans absolutely hate the racing on the intermediate tracks. They feel that they put on a lack-luster show. It's time that something be done so that the Chase is as exciting as possible, and that includes re-doing the Chase schedule.
It's time a road course is added to the Chase. But the big question is which one? It needs to be at a track that shouldn't be too affected by weather late in the season. Sonoma should work, but many love it's placement in the schedule as it is right now in June. I'm partial to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The facility has put on an awesome show for Formula One, Grand-Am, and Australian V8 Supercars in just under a year of being open. Formula One raced there last year on the same day as the NASCAR finale in Homestead so it can be raced at any time of the season. There are others that could definitely work, but it would be awesome to see a race at COTA.
The Chase has served its purpose well so far since 2004. But now it's time for a shake-up. Let's get a road course in the Chase.
The End of SPEED
This is the last week of SPEED as it becomes a new 24-hour all sports channel named Fox Sports One. It's the last week that an all-motorsports channel will exist in America.
SPEED has been wonderful for NASCAR fans by showing most practices, qualifying, news shows, pre and post-race shows, as well as showing winter testing.
SPEED has been wonderful for motorsports fans in general throughout the years by showing Formula One, Grand-Am, Supercross, MotoGP, and AMA Superbike racing, as well as TV shows like SPEED Center, Wind Tunnel, and Lucas Oil On the Edge that showed a lot of grassroots motorsports.
I used to be a NASCAR-only fan. But thanks to SPEED I know watch just about anything that can be raced. If it has wheels and an engine I will watch it race.
But now this is all gone. FS1 has promised NASCAR fans that things will continue as normal. But what about fans of other types of motorsport?
That leads us to NBC Sports Network. NBC bought the rights to Formula One, in addition to already owning the rights to most of the IndyCar Series schedule. They also just bought the rights to NASCAR in a mega deal. NBC is planning on broadcasting a few ARCA races this year as well. It seems that NBCSN has decided to make motorsports a centerpiece of their broadcast content.
As we motorsports fans mourn the loss of SPEED, let's look to the future and hope that NBCSN takes over where SPEED has left off.