News & Media

Head2Head: Should more road courses be added to schedule?

June 20, 2011, ,

This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series makes its annual visit to Wine Country for the race at Infineon Raceway. A fan and driver favorite, Infineon provides exciting, right- and left-turn racing each year, as does Watkins Glen later in the summer.

Should more road course races be added to the Cup Series?


In the race between perception and reality, the former often laps the field. When it comes to road courses, NASCAR fans too often hold their figurative noses and make jokes about finesse and daintiness and how it just seems all wrong for their macho sport. Maybe if they'd stop making gross mischaracterizations and actually watch, they'd realize that road course races in recent years have been what NASCAR is supposed to be about -- tough, close competition, and cars finishing with black wheel marks on their side.

Go back and look at last year's event at Infineon Raceway, which looked like Martinsville with more turns. Go back and check out some of the battles drivers have had in and out of their race cars at Watkins Glen. And maybe you'll eventually realize that road courses aren't for delicate, European racing, but the kind of door-to-door stuff we don't see as much of at ovals anymore. You want more action? Then you need more turns, the right variety as well as left.

And you need more road courses on the Sprint Cup tour. OK, just one more would be a nice start. There's a fabulous layout up in Montreal that's received great reviews from fans and drivers and produced plenty of action since it was added to the Nationwide tour. Bring it over to the big league. Yes, some oval race will have to go to make room for it. But once the race starts and the cars begin gouging one another in the corners, you might not even notice the difference.

David Caraviello, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? When it comes to road-course racing in the Cup Series, the answer is a resounding yes.

Don't get me wrong, Infineon and Watkins Glen are two race weekends I look forward to each season. Both races are exciting, both races are competitive and both races are enjoyable from a fan perspective. Common sense would tell you, if road races are great, NASCAR should add more of them.

But that's an argument the sport needs to stay away from.

The reason the road courses are so enjoyable is because they only come up twice a year. If the schedule is loaded with road courses, they just become another intermediate track. The uniqueness of the road courses is the selling point. Adding more races takes the uniqueness away.

Despite my enjoyment of the two road course races, NASCAR, at its core, is a speed sport. NASCAR's bread and butter comes from cars reaching 190-plus on an oval. Sure, road-course racing is important, but let's not kid ourselves -- NASCAR fans like to see cars go fast. And you just don't get that kind of speed on a road course.

Like I said, I enjoy the road courses, but because they are special. We get two a year and it is appointment television. Adding more will only dilute the appeal and take away just how special Infineon and Watkins Glen have become.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

But should NASCAR add more road course events to the Cup Series schedule? Are two road course races enough or are you clamoring for more? David Caraviello wants more right turns, Bill Kimm thinks two races are enough. Read their arguments and weigh in with yours in the comments below. And don't forget to vote in the poll at the right.