Nascar is a modern machine. The wheels and moving parts that make it tick are constantly turning with the ever thinking officials who want to see the sport grow and evolve. Over the last several years race fans the world over have wanted changes to the NASCAR schedule. They want to see less of the proverbial “cookie cutter” racetracks or those tracks that seems like carbon copies of their brothers and sisters at other facilities. They want a road course; they want the eventual Monster Energy champion to prove they have what it takes on every type of track available. Race fans, NASCAR is listening and you are about to get your wish. Earlier this off season Clint Bowyer had the opportunity to test a cup car at the Road Course facility inside Charlotte Motor Speedway. The test was met with much praise and it got NASCAR fans talking if a road course was truly in the playoff cards.
Charlotte has announced that due to dwindling attendance their scheduled October chase race will be run on the road course beginning in 2018. Good news certainly for fans who wanted that road course in the chase. Now why am I excited about Vegas? In a matter of a few short hours Las Vegas will announce that they too will be playoff racing in 2018 as they will finally get their long desired second cup race.
Las Vegas has desired for a second date for many years only for NASCAR to deny that request because the NASCAR calendar is already plenty full with 36 races in 52 weeks. In order for that domino to fall into place another domino must fall. It’s a GIANT domino as it’s falling from 2,000 miles away at New Hampshire. NHMS will lose the tracks playoff race in order to give “Sin City” the race they desire.
Now the question remains, what does NASCAR do to help teams now that they must go west 2 times during the chase? The New Hampshire playoff race has been the second race of the playoffs since it’s inception, but putting Vegas there means Chicago before and Dover after which is logistics nightmare for most teams. The most logical place for the Vegas race is either race number 7 (moving Texas to race #6) and putting it a week before Phoenix OR as race #9 (moving Phoenix up a week) and making it the final cutoff before homestead.
I’m sure most NASCAR teams would love to end the season in “Sin City” because the NASCAR banquet takes place the week after thanksgiving there and it would be the perfect end to the season but FORD and homestead have the season ending race locked up at least for the foreseeable future.
It may not be every NASCAR fans dream schedule but taking weather and climate into consideration it appears limited options are valid. NASCAR is listening to the fans and trying to give them variety in the chase which is what most fans want. Hey, no matter what happens Vegas is about to be a playoff race, I’m thinking road trip!!!!