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Imagining Crazy NASCAR Race Track Concepts We’ll Probably Never See

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Joshua Lipowski

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NASCAR race tracks tend to fall underneath general categories, but subtle differences make each track just a little bit different from other tracks on the circuit. From above, Daytona and Talladega look the exact same, but take a lap around the two, and you will see just how different they really are. However, there are still different track concepts that have never been tried before, and these are some concepts that NASCAR could look into, however unrealistic they may be.

High-Banked Intermediate

Track Characteristics: 1.2 miles; 31 Degrees Banking; Tri-Oval

Breakdown

Atlanta has given us an idea of what a superspeedway on a short track would look like, but what if the turns were just a bit sharper? That’s part of the concept behind Nashville Superspeedway, with straightaways that are about as long as most intermediates, but tighter turns. There have been low-banked experiments at tracks like Gateway, but imagine if those banks were steeper.

Darlington somewhat does this, but this concept is a track shaped the same as Nashville with Bristol or Daytona-style high banks. The cars could not go full-throttle because of the sharpness of the turns, but imagine the multi-groove racing we see at Bristol. The speeds would be much higher too, and that could create an incredible thing to watch on TV.

An Expanded Martinsville

Concept: 1.5 Mile, Martinsville-shaped Track, 12 Degrees of Banking

Breakdown

Martinsville Speedway is unique in that it is essentially two drag strips with a U-turn at each end. New Hampshire Motor Speedway is somewhat like an expanded Martinsville to an extent, but this new track takes it to an extreme. Imagine an intermediate track with straightaways so long, but the turns are the size of those at Martinsville.

This would mean we could see dive bombs that we normally see on road courses. The tight turns at places like COTA and Sonoma produce some fun dive bomb moves, and the high speeds at the end of the straightaways at this track concept could make for a unique challenge. Drivers will have to brake hard, and the high speed means engines would be under high strain as well.

Street Course Short Track

Track Characteristics: 0.5 Miles; On City Streets

Breakdown

When people were asked about where NASCAR should race on a street course next, some came up with the suggestion of setting up a short oval track on a street course. I cannot take credit for this idea in any way, but I could not find who first came up with the concept even though it was out there. The logistics of this could be tough, but it could be an interesting idea.

If NASCAR were to make a short circuit on city streets, it would take up far less room than other street tracks would. It would have to be in an open enough place to allow for there to be grandstands and a pit area, but imagine a short track on a street course. Bringing the very thing that is NASCAR’s own right to the people similar to the LA Coliseum.

An Ultra-Superspeedway

Track Characteristics: 3.0 miles; 34 Degrees Banking; Tri-oval

Breakdown

This was actually inspired by a fantasy track in NASCAR Thunder 2004, Tiburon International Speedway, but there are a few differences in this concept. First of all, the cars would use either restrictor plates or tapered spacers to curb the speeds, and the track would be banked slightly less in the turns at around 34 degrees. It would be the bigger version of what we currently see at Daytona and Talladega.

It’s incredibly unlikely that NASCAR would actually go for this in real life, but it is a fun concept to think about. It would also be a great spot to test how fast cars could truly go for those who are brave enough to try it. It could prove to be a testing ground for the automotive industry along with a race track.

As for how realistic these track concepts are, they are probably not the most feasible. However, they could be a ton of fun to see at least tested in a simulation like iRacing. Even places like NR2003 have allowed people to make their own fantasy NASCAR tracks. Maybe some concepts are sound enough to be tried in real life.

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Joshua Lipowski

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