Road course racing in NASCAR has provided some of the most exciting races in the last several years, with many fans and drivers advocating for more of these races to be added to the schedule.
Would adding a street course or more road courses be beneficial to the sport? Is a street course something that could realistically be part of the sport in the future?
More on that in a moment …
Let’s talk rivalries. Rivalries have fueled NASCAR’s popularity for years. However, throughout the last several years, it seems as though a true rivalry has been lacking. Whether it was Petty vs. Pearson back in the 1970s, or Gordon vs. Earnhardt in the 1990s, these rivalries added to the popularity of the sport in their time.
Will we ever see a similar rivalry now or in the future? If so, which drivers are the most likely candidates to take on this role?
Q: Which do you want to see more of in NASCAR, road courses or street courses? Sean F., Greensboro, NC
A: I would be fine with seeing either more road courses or a street course or two on the schedule in the future. There really is no preference as long as we see more road racing. While some fans prefer one over the other, road racing is extremely popular.
There have been rumors of NASCAR possibly heading to street courses in the future, possibly to an overseas location. That would be absolutely huge for the sport but would most likely not happen for another few years, if at all.
Other than IndyCar, IMSA is the most popular American road racing series, and there is definitely a ton of star power and a lot of entertaining racing that takes place in that series. They race on both regular road courses and some street courses such as Belle Isle and Long Beach. We see how great IndyCar’s road racing is, whether it is a regular road course or a street circuit.
Street circuits in NASCAR would definitely be intriguing and an experiment that would be worth trying out. To start out, maybe an exhibition race would be optimal, but I would expect it to be successful.
NASCAR has already added new tracks to the schedule in the Truck and Xfinity series in the last four years with Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Mid-Ohio, two of a handful of road courses that provide some of the best racing on the schedule. There are many more road course and street course options NASCAR could choose from.
No matter what NASCAR decides to do, one thing is for certain: some of the best racing on the NASCAR circuit occurs on road courses, no matter what series it is. Adding more of them to the schedule would improve the overall quality of the season.
Q: Do you think we will ever see another great rivalry in the sport like we used to see with Petty vs. Pearson or Gordon vs. Earnhardt? If so, who can be even close to that in today’s NASCAR? Daniel R., Knoxville, TN
A: Rivalries are great for any sports. It gives us one more reason to watch and to see two great athletes or teams (depending on the sport) go head to head with one another. We used to see this quite frequently in NASCAR, but it seems we’ve been lacking the sort of star-powered rivalries of yesteryear.
There have definitely been drivers who have had feuds that lasted a few weeks, like Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin back in 2017, and Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano last season. However, from what I have seen, Kyle Busch vs. Brad Keselowski has been a big and constant mini-rivalry that has persisted (though certainly not to the same degree as Petty/Pearson and Earnhardt/Gordon).
Go back to 2010 when it all started, when Busch wrecked Keselowski during an Xfinity race at Bristol for the win. Keselowski was obviously not pleased and during driver intros the next day for the Cup Series race, Keselowski came out and said over the PA system, “Kyle Busch is an a**!”
Now from that point on, we thought maybe we would see something develop and over the next few years, Keselowski had run-ins with multiple drivers, including a few with Busch. However, nothing significant has really transpired. They have had their battles and have voiced their opinions about one another, but nothing serious has developed at all.
So will we ever see another great rivalry in the sport? I think it’s possible. The drivers who ultimately carry out that rivalry may be the two we least expect.
Now if I had to guess, Kyle Busch will be involved in any budding rivalry, due to his attitude and aggression level. But we’ll have to wait and find out.
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