As NASCAR begins a stretch of return trips to 12 tracks, it raises the question: Does the sport really need to visit these markets twice?
There are 23 different venues featured on the Sprint Cup schedule. The tour will race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in two weeks. That’s the 13th track with two dates.
But as the sanctioning body looks to increase the sport’s popularity, the onus is on NASCAR to take the product to the people — not wait for fans to come to a race track where they may or may not have been before.
“New tracks in the forefront would probably spice things up,” said Denny Hamlin, a leading voice in the Drivers’ Council. “Even Kentucky in the first year — maybe two — was a boon. I don’t think the demand is as much as it used to be simply because you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it twice. Some of these tracks we go to on and on and on for many years now, and it gets stale.”
Kentucky Speedway, where the tour returns next weekend for a tripleheader, is centrally...
Crew chief Chad Johnston will be missing in action from this weekend’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan Speedway.
Johnston was the latest victim of NASCAR’s crackdown on improperly installed lug nuts, thereby depriving the No. 42 Chevrolet driven by Kyle Larson of its team leader.
So what does that mean for Johnston? The crew chief is barred from any area of the track where he would generally need his hard card for entry. Sprint Cup garage? Off limits. Team Hauler? No go. Pit box on Sunday? Forget about it.
But with modern technology — FaceTime, Skype, digital radios and cell phones — Johnston is just a text message away. If Johnston sets up shop in his motor coach, the team could debrief as usual. Should he stay at the team’s hotel, the crew can continue going over the weekend’s game plans at night. And like any other fan, Johnston can buy a ticket, sit in the seats and take in a bird’s eye view of the action.
Last weekend, crew chief Tony Gibson served his...
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