When you pull out a map of the United States and think about NASCAR venues, sometimes you’ll notice large regions of the country don’t have even one race scheduled for the top three series of stock-car racing. While the cradle of the sport — Alabama to Virginia-ish area — is loaded with races on the calendar, other areas are devoid.
So what could remedy that? Building massive, expensive tracks is likely cost prohibitive, but what about these street races NASCAR is experimenting with lately — like the one that will take place in Chicago right before the Fourth of July?
So what if we were to see a street race get added for a new southern venue (since a vast majority of road courses are up north or out west)? What would be a great location for that?
Biloxi would be a perfect place for a race when it comes to springtime. The fall would be tough because of potential weather in the Gulf of Mexico and of course, the Mississippi heat in the heart of summer would be brutal.
But for those months that still have snow up north? March potentially? Biloxi’s casino district has some twists and turns and is right on the gulf. It would give Mississippi a NASCAR race for the very first time.
Can you imagine a NASCAR street race winding its way through the historic streets of Charleston, South Carolina, past the Charleston Battery, and looking out at Fort Sumter and the Atlantic Ocean?
With the only races these days in South Carolina being at Darlington, it would give another well-received Palmetto State city a key date with a beautiful backdrop.
Greenville hasn’t had NASCAR racing since the 1970s when Greenville-Pickens Speedway — on the west side of town — hosted consistent races at the highest levels of the sport.
Since then, Greenville has grown by leaps and bounds and is nestled along the scenic Reedy River, with the backdrop of the Appalachian foothills in the same picture. This area is NASCAR starved and undoubtedly would be well-received.
NEW ORLEANS, LA.
The state of Louisiana hasn’t hosted a race since Lee Petty won at the Shreveport Fairgrounds in the 1950s. The city of New Orleans speaks for itself.
With its history and the Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop, along with its southern roots, this would be a wonderful location to try out — instead of trying to wedge it into a city that isn’t going to embrace NASCAR.
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.
If Indy Car can do it in St. Petersburg, why not NASCAR? With its marinas and gulf breeze pumping in, St. Pete can be a wonderful place for a race — especially in the springtime when the weather is frightful in other locations around the country. The race would weave near the downtown executive airport, in between high rises and all of the boats in the harbor. It’s popular every year.
No matter what, a street course in a southern state that doesn’t get tons of races would likely be warmly received.