Right turns, nuff said. Alright, seriously though, road courses have been a NASCAR tradition over its 60 plus year history. Tracks like Riverside Speedway, Sonoma, and Watkins Glenn International have challenged the traditional good ole boys by adding a few kinks, literally. Just to clarify to readers who may not know, all three tracks mentioned above are road courses, a term used to define race tracks that have left and right have turns.
I know a few readers will be surprised to know, that NASCAR does indeed go right twice in the long season, when the series goes to Sonoma Valley in California and upstate New York to Watkins Glenn International Speedway (Riverside taken off the schedule 1989). In my opinion NASCAR needs to add two more of these unique events to the schedule, and here's why.
Now, I know many have an argument against adding road courses, such as 'I don't like them' and 'this is stock car racing, not open-wheel', and I plan to address both. First, 'I don't like them', well honestly this doesn't matter. Many fans really enjoy a different style of racing, and honestly there is nothing similar to a stock car on these kinds of courses. Other series have light weight cars designed to take sharp corners, and lets just say stocks car not built for this reason.
A 3400 lb car being yanked around right and left is aggravating and exciting wrapped into one. Its like trying to exercise when you first wake up, yes, you can move around, but you have to use a little muscle. Personally, I enjoy racing at the courses, because it is something a bit different, I understand the argument against them, but if you truly enjoy racing you have to at least respect these events.
Jimmie Johnson racing at Sonoma in 2014
Second, 'this is stock car racing, not open-wheel'. Trust me I understand this completely, NASCAR never has and never will be a road course based series, but racing there 3 or 4 times a year doesn't change that. If NASCAR added two more road racing events that would only take up 11% of the schedule, and fans can't tell me that they wouldn't be fine with a new course replacing a Pocono or Michigan event. Another course is not going to hurt the integrity of the sport. Don't get me wrong nothing is better than a short track showdown at Bristol, or a 200 mph mad dash at Talladega, but having road racing events gives NASCAR drivers the chance to show off their skills to the rest of the world.
Darrell Waltrip always refers to NASCAR drivers as the 'greatest drivers in the world', and if he is going to claim that, then stock cars drivers ought to be able to turn right as well. If NASCAR wants to prove they have the greatest drivers, they need to add more examples on the schedule. To take this further, a road course race should be added to the Chase.
I know some older fans will think this is ridiculous, but in my opinion a championship driver should have to compete on every type of track on route to winning the title. NASCAR covers all other types of tracks (superspeedway, intermediate, short track) in the Chase, so there is justification that a road race should be added. I want my champion to be solid on all types to tracks.
Overall, I think adding a road course or two is coming in the next 5 years. Drivers have been saying they need at least a third event for years. I just think that if people are want to consider NASCAR drivers the best in the world, then NASCAR drives should have to prove themselves on any type of track.
Tell me what you think!! Also, what track(s) would you like to see added???