“I just think then you would add even more extensive expenses to the race teams, because then they would add expenditures to make sure they were even better at road racing,” Martin said. “I really feel like the oval track racing is our forte, and I have always been a supporter of having road course-racing on the schedule but I would not necessarily be a supporter of the expansion of that.”
There's no denying that oval track racing is the essence of NASCAR competition, but even that has changed in recent years with the proliferation of intermediate speedways and the disappearance from the schedule of shorter tracks. Thirty years ago, part of the allure of Charlotte and Atlanta was that those tracks were different — as were Daytona and Talladega.
Even with the subtraction of Atlanta from the Chase schedule, there are four 1.5-mile speedways in the final ten races. You could make the argument that recent events at road courses have produced more dramatic racing than the intermediate speedways have.
Gordon would prefer not to have a road course in the Chase, presumably because of the wear and tear road racing could exact on his body, and specifically, his back. Gordon took a vicious hit Monday when Sam Hornish Jr.'s Dodge caromed off the tyre barrier out of turn nin and spun back into Gordon's path.
“The only saving grace is that there are no road courses in the Chase,” Gordon said after visiting the infield care centre.
From the standpoint of his physical well-being, perhaps that's so.
The Chase, however, wouldn't suffer from more variety, and it's hard to argue against the notion that a complete examination of a driver's and team's skills is the fairest examination possible.
September in Sonoma — that has such a nice ring to it.
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News