Should a Road Course be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup?
The 10-race schedule for 2016’s “The Chase for the Sprint Cup” starts September 18 at Chicagoland Speedway, with race number 1 of the “Challenger Round.” As has been the case since the Chase’s 2004 inception, the composition of tracks in the final playoff series includes a variety that tests various facets of the drivers’ capabilities, from superspeedways (restrictor plate racing) to short tracks, with a collection of intermediate tracks in the mix. To the chagrin of many loyal fans, however, and in their often-expressed opinion, there is one glaring omission: a road course.
While a number of format changes have been enacted in the Chase’s 12-year run, with expansion from 10 competing drivers to the current complement of 16, with the elimination of some tracks like Darlington and Atlanta, and with the addition of selected tracks (Chicagoland and Texas, for example), one thing remains constant…there still is no road course in the playoffs. This simple fact causes a fair amount of conjecture, since many fans believe firmly that not having a road course in the hunt does not completely test the drivers’ skill levels under the pressure of a playoff format.
So, what do you think? Should a road course be one of the 10 Chase races? And if you feel that it should, which one should it be? Currently the Sprint Cup schedule competes at two such venues, Sonoma in California (1.99 mile course) and Watkins Glen in New York (2.454 mile course), and both of these tracks offer a diverse set of skill requirements. The Sprint Cup tour visits both of these tracks during the 2016 regular season (the first 26 races), first at Sonoma on June 26 and then at Watkins Glen on August 7.
Let us know what you think…
Just as a reminder, here are the 10 tracks currently in “The Chase for the Sprint Cup:”
- Chicagoland Speedway
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- Dover International Speedway
- Charlotte Motor Speedway
- Kansas Speedway
- Talladega Superspeedway
- Martinsville Speedway
- Texas Motor Speedway
- Phoenix International Raceway
- Homestead-Miami Speedway
For a quick refresher on the characteristics of all of the NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks, check out our previous post on “The Tracks of NASCAR.”