Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nascar and road course racing

I have to admit it, but I'm actually only a recent convert to road course racing. I used to feel that cars having to slow down to speeds of 35 miles per hour under race conditions was atrocious. Recently, however, I've changed my tune on that opinion.

Road courses provide fans to see the all around driving skills that our favorite drivers possess. Thirty six weeks a year, we get to see how they drive on various circle tracks around the country, but the road courses allow us to see the cars turning right once in a while.

Many new fans to Nascar are or once were fans of other series, such as IRL or Champ, or Formula One. Many of the races run in those series are on various road courses, at Infineon and Watkins Glen, the fans get to see cars racing on tracks they're more used to seeing. These two tracks offer a little break from what some might consider the monotony of circle track racing.

Even being what I would consider to be a Nascar purist, road courses are nothing new to Nascar. Years ago, the first race of the year wasn't the Daytona 500, as it is now. The drivers used to head to the old Riverside Speedway in California in January for the years first points event.

For the drivers, many who came up through the ranks on the circle tracks find the road courses to be a special challenge. Some don't like them, and have performed well on the courses. Others love them, but have never had much success. In the Busch Series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. once won a race at Watkins Glen, and claimed that he learned how to drive the track by playing a video game version of the race!

Love them or hate them, road courses are here to stay, and I have to admit, I'm not so sorry to see it. I've never been to a Nascar road course race, and I'm not likely to ever go to one, but I'm glad that the true fans of the road courses have their venues as well.

1 comment:

  1. They certainly are a change of pace, aren't they?
    Just when I thought Dale Jr. was liking Sonoma, he gave a long statement about how much he doesn't like it, that it's not been kind to him and on and on. I stated on my blog that he likes Sonoma since he found the 'handling' on it. I read that somewhere. I usually don't make statements for the heck of it, but it makes me feel really stupid after hearing his interview. Of course, I have since learned that he only arrived at the track yesterday (Friday) an hour before practice, so I am hoping it was the jet lag speaking and not Junior. lol


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