@nascarcasm: Coolest thing to happen at each Roval turn
By @nascarcasm | Friday, October 8, 2021
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Turn by turn, the greatest, funniest or simply most bizarre occurrence at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
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In a short time, the Charlotte Roval has already earned a considerable amount of notoriety. It’s wild. It’s unpredictable. And strange things happen there. That’s why we’re going to take you through every one of its 17 turns and pick the best thing that has happened at each one.
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At the Roval’s infamous first turn, there is no question. Chase Elliott’s legendary 2019 restart takes the cake. Mind you, he came back and won after this real-life “YOUR CONTROLLER HAS DISCONNECTED” moment.
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Turn 2 has been the site of so, so, so many spins. But we give AJ Allmendinger’s 360-degree spin in the 2020 Xfinity Series race this honor. Just kept on going like he meant to do this. Much like his hair, AJ Allmendinger thrives in wet conditions.
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In the interest of full disclosure, we looked at like eight different absurd shunts into the Turn 3 wall and couldn’t decide which was the best. But this one starring Justin Haley and Preston Pardus in the 2020 Xfinity Series race takes the cake. Pardus is like “NO REAR GRIP” and Haley’s like “HEY I BET I KNOW WHY.”
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There’s wrecking … and then there’s running aground. Brandon Brown sailed through the waterlogged grass after Turn 4 in 2020 … and we mean sailed, as in propelled a craft on a body of water. We promise this is an Xfinity Series race and not a “Deadliest Catch” outtake.
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Chris Buescher lost it into Turn 5 during the first Cup Series Roval race in 2018. He wasn’t happy about it, but Echo Park Automotive was. The sign remained stuck in Buescher’s bumper, providing Echo Park with an absolutely mind-boggling return on investment. SPONSORSHIP WORKS.
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When Brandon Jones spun in Turn 6 in 2019 it somehow wasn’t that bad, assuming you’re not the Charlotte Motor Speedway groundskeeper. Imagine trying to enforce track limits with this one.
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When a new road course is introduced, everyone needs practice. Everyone. Including the pace car. This lazy little harmless spin happened by Turn 7. Don’t worry, they didn’t have to go to a backup.
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You’d think Turn 8 would be where things calm down and stretch out a bit. The No. 1 and No. 37 in 2019 would like to inform you that you could not possibly be more wrong. So wrong. Open a window and let all the wrong out.
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OK, so not much has happened in Turn 9. It represents a moment to catch your breath and think about the chicane up ahead. But we found this little moment from 2019 that is perhaps low on intensity but HEAVY on the foreshadowing.
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Last year’s Cup Series race was run partially in the wet, so tire strategy came into play. That’s why you saw some cars still sporting the rain tires dipping 50 feet off the track by Turn 10 to find some moisture for grip. No, they’re not playing in puddles. I get it – puddles are fun. But this is not what’s going on here.
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Turn 11 is also known as “The Entry To The Bus Stop Chicane” so you know it’s ripe for calamity. The brakes hate it. They’re used to flying full-throttle down the back stretch so once they get here they’re all “WTF ARE WE STOPPING? I DON’T USUALLY HAVE TO DO ANYTHING AT THIS POINT.” So we give this honor to Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch in 2020. It’s synchronized. It’s pairs figure skating. It’s beautiful.
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2019 was not a high-water mark in the friendship of Bubba Wallace and Alex Bowman. Things happened, and it culminated with this – the craziest moment at Turn 12. Yes, Alex Bowman can get mad at things other than the fireman tripping and triggering the fire extinguisher before dousing the flames on his race car.
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In the year 2020, we hushed all those who don’t believe in numerology. That’s because in Turn 13, car No. 13 lurched ahead and won the first stage. Ty Dillon and his team ditched rain tires before everyone else and was incredibly fast. So if you ask “What’s the most memorable moment at Turn 13?” we’ll tell you “It’s a Ty.” 10/10 dad joke right there.
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Life is all about difficult decisions. For instance, “Do I run full bore into the back of William Byron or do I pancake the right side of my car instead?” That’s the quandary in which Aric Almirola found himself in 2018. And there was no “C. Other” option. He chose the latter, and would make it all the way to the Round of 8 of the playoffs that year. Our best Turn 14 moment, ladies and gentlemen.
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OK, so we all remember this moment in 2018. From what we can tell, Kyle drove this busted junk all the way around the track, but it’s at Turn 15 where we truly started to realize that he was saving his playoffs right here. By passing a junked Jeffrey Earnhardt, Kyle gained enough positions to advance to the next round of the playoffs. This is me in college the morning after nickel Jaegermeister night at the bar still somehow making it to my 8 a.m. class.
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The first Roval race in 2018 was eventful for Martin Truex Jr. Early in the race, he was victimized by a careening Brad Keselowski in Turn 16, which is our most memorable Turn 16 moment. And absolutely nothing went wrong for Martin Truex Jr. after that point, right?
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The top Turn 17 moment is not a surprise. Well, OK, Martin Truex Jr. was probably surprised when this happened, but … nevermind, you get the point. Jimmie Johnson got a little aggressive coming to the checkered flag, and well, the rest is history, Truex did not appreciate the move. Ryan Blaney though? He was cool with it.