In recent years, Nascar has come under fire for its schedule. Critics have charged that many of its races take place at boring 1.5 mile cookie-cutter raceways, with little passing and even less excitement. With that in mind, here are some new tracks that Nascar should consider adding.
1. Iowa Speedway
Patterned after Richmond International Raceway, Iowa is a 0.8 mile long short track that consistently produces exciting racing. Iowa has been hosting Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races since 2009, and its unusually fast pace for its size allows cars to easily make passes. Single-file racing is virtually nonexistent in Iowa, and the small space leads to lots of fender benders and crashes. Of all the tracks on this list, Iowa has the best chance of landing a Cup Series date. So what’s hold up? Iowa has a low seating capacity–it can only fit 25,000 fans, and would have to be upgraded before it could host a top-level race.
2. The Milwaukee Mile
This historic track has lost its way in recent years. Once known as one of America’s greatest racetracks, the Milwaukee Mile has been bleeding money and races for years. The Nascar Nationwide Series once raced at the Mile to remarkable success–the design of the track ensures tight, close quarters racing. However, the last time Nascar visited the circuit was in 2009. The IndyCar Series has been holding annual races at Milwaukee to high success, making the track a fairly attractive destination for Nascar. With seating upgrades and a better financial restructuring, we could see the track return to Nascar in the near future.
3. The Dirt Track at Charlotte
After the success of the Truck Series races at Eldora, many have been calling for similar races to take place in the Nationwide and Cup series. Obviously, the Sprint Cup Series can’t race at Eldora as long as Tony Stewart owns the track. But, there are other dirt tracks across the country which would work just as well. For example, this aptly named course, is, well, a dirt track next to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Owned by racing Magnate Bruton Smith, this small 0.4 mile course is a sort of sister track to Charlotte Motor Speedway, hosting Sprint Cars and Monster Trucks. Nascar could make an exhibition race at this 14,000 seat raceway part of its All-Star Weekend–fans and drivers would be sure to enjoy it.
The Road Courses
1. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve/Mosport
What do both of these tracks have in common? They’re in Canada. Nascar has hosted Nationwide races at both of these tracks to great success. It ran Nationwide races at Villeneuve from 2007-2012, with the inaugural race being one of the most controversial finishes in recent history. Robby Gordon, after being spun by Marcos Ambrose, wrecked Ambrose, ignored a black flag from Nascar, and attempted to celebrate his win alongside actual winner Kevin Harvick. Mosport, although devoid of such a chaotic finish, has showcased great truck series racing in the last two years. Both of these tracks would be a change of pace for Nascar and help expand its brand outside the United States.
2. Road America
The Nationwide Series races on far more road courses than the Cup Series–one of the most popular is Road America. Located in Wisconsin near the Milwaukee Mile, Road America is one of America’s most historic tracks, operating since 1955. The Nationwide Series has been running races there since 2010 with great success–3 of the last 4 finishes have been green-white-checkered. If the Sprint Cup Series were to begin racing in Wisconsin, it wouldn’t be its first time at the track–Nascar hosted one Cup race at Road America way back in 1956. Judging by the quality of the Nationwide Series racing, a Cup Series return would be the right thing to do.