By Jason Schultz
Many NASCAR fans feel the Sprint Cup Series has an excess number of mile-and-a-half tracks on the schedule. Mile-and-a-half tracks don’t seem to feature the close, competitive racing that super speedways, short tracks and road courses have offered fans. NASCAR is always looking for fan input on the series, but one suggestion it seems is not being addressed, is that some fans are no longer wanting as many mile-and-a-half tracks on the schedule.
The Sprint Cup Series included eleven races at mile-and-a-half tracks in 2012. Five of which were in the Chase. When five races at mile-and-a-half tracks make up ten races that are supposed to produce a true champion, is the champion truly a great racer in NASCAR’s playoffs, or is the champion a great racer at mile-and-a-half-tracks? Excluding Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon, three of winners at mile-and-a-half tracks in the Chase, went on to finish in the top-three in the final standings. That shows to have a shot at the championship, you need to be good at mile-and-a-half tracks.
In all the races at mile-and -a-half tracks this season, drivers that won those races went on to finish in the top-ten in the final point standings. Once again, that proves to be competing for the championship you need to be good at mile-and-a-half tracks. The last two Sprint Cup Champions have won races from at least two mile-and-a-half tracks. This is proving to be a pattern that shouldn’t be determining our champion. Our champion should be the best racer at all types of tracks, not just at mile-and-a-half circuits.
A potential fix to this dilemma is for NASCAR to take out a few mile-and-a-half tracks and replace them with other types of tracks. Are having two races at the Texas Motor Speedway each season worth it? I know that Texas draws the biggest crowd on the circuit but the racing is lacking at the track. NASCAR really needs to add a little more track diversity in the Chase races.. Having half the races in the Chase at mile-and-a-half tracks proves once again that the champion is great at mile-and-a-half tracks, not all types of circuits. Adding a road course race, another short track race and maybe even another super speedway race wouldn’t be a bad idea for NASCAR to consider when creating the ten Chase races to determine the Sprint Cup Champion.
From NASCAR fans to even media members, many have noticed and want change with a mile-and-a-half track dilemma at our hands. The Sprint Cup schedule needs some revising and we need NASCAR to come to the conclusion that many fans have already come to, we need less mile-and-a-half tracks on the schedule. Will something be done? Probably not for a while, but maybe one day the mile-and-a-half track dilemma will come to an end. That will be a day when we will see a true Sprint Cup Champion arise.