Several years ago, NASCAR would hold at least one race over the Easter weekend holiday, typically with the Xfinity Series. For many years, it ran at Nashville Superspeedway where we would see some great races and different winners — because, yes, Cup Series drivers ran in NASCAR’s secondary series back then too.
Should NASCAR bring that back to give some early season attention to the series or is having an off weekend for the holiday best?
Meanwhile, this weekend at Talladega is huge for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It is the debut of the new package at a superspeedway and the first time restrictor plates will not be used since the 1980s. Many drivers expect the unexpected but know it could be a lot of fun.
Should we expect much of what we have been used to or is it going to be something completely different? Can the “two-car tandem” possibly return?
Q: Would you like to see a stand-alone race in NASCAR come back for Easter weekend like we used to have with Nashville in the Xfinity Series? Patrick T., Boynton Beach, FL
A: I am fine with having an off-weekend for the holiday as we have had for the last several years. As much as I loved watching the Xfinity Series on the Cup off weekend back in the day, having an off weekend for all three series is the best thing to do.
We love racing and most of us wish we could watch it year round without any off weekends. However, a brief respite over a holiday weekend is perfectly fine.
When the Xfinity Series went to Nashville over Easter weekend, the drivers always put on a great show. We love when the spotlight is on a lower tier series instead of being overshadowed by the Cup Series. We did previously see some Cup drivers show up, though and yes, most of the time, it seemed like they would win.
There are other racing series that do typically race over the Easter weekend, but this year seemed to be an exception. Off weekends may be boring for a lot of us, but sometimes, getting away from the racing for a week to regroup can be helpful.
For the teams, it’s good to be able to spend some extra time working on their program, potentially returning to the racetrack better than they were before the break.
Hopefully, they took advantage of some time off, as we begin a stretch of races without an off weekend until June.
Q: With Talladega this upcoming weekend, do you think we can see the best superspeedway race for the Gen-6 ever with this package? What can we expect? Wendy A., El Paso, TX
A: I have heard many people speculate as to what we might see this weekend with no restrictor plates on the cars at Talladega for the first time in a very long time. Many drivers have taken to the simulator to see if they can get an idea of what kind of race it will be and what to expect.
My simple answer is this: We are going to see a superspeedway race like we have never seen before. Drivers have said they are still approaching 200 miles per hour in the draft which is similar to speeds we have seen with the restrictor plates on the cars in the past. They did make a minor rule change to slow them down a bit, but speeds in the high 190s or low 200s are still entirely possible.
For somebody like myself who has the iRacing simulator, they have done an amazing job with the new package on superspeedways and sim racing can provide somewhat of a preview to the weekend of racing. We could see huge runs in the draft, and drivers will be able to maneuver in ways they have not been able to for years. Brad Keselowski even said we may see a return of the popular two-car tandem because of how big of a run these drivers can get now.
All we know is that it is going to be fun to watch. The 20-30 car pack is likely still going to be present and it will be anybody’s race to win.
This is going to be a must watch race because this will be the first of three superspeedway races this season with this package. The next time the series heads to Talladega will be in the middle of the playoffs, meaning that what teams learn this weekend could be crucial to their championship hopes.
It is sure to be enjoyable and we very well may see the best race of the season this Sunday.