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Should there be More 1.5 Mile Tracks on the Schedule?

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Joshua Lipowski

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Kansas and Darlington delivered two solid races to begin the Playoffs, and they both delivered bangers of races in the spring. This seems to be a general trend for the Next-Gen car with intermediate oval track races being some of the best races on the schedule to this point. Brad Keselowski and Jordan Bianchi discussed this point on Twitter, with Keselowski openly asking for more 1.5-mile race tracks on the schedule.

Should there be more 1.5-mile race tracks on the schedule? Let’s analyze whether or not there should be more of these types of race tracks on the NASCAR schedule.

Why There Should Be More 1.5 Mile Tracks on the Schedule

The racing on intermediate race tracks is some of the best racing the Next-Gen car offers. Why should there not be more races on the race tracks where NASCAR hosts the best races?

The reason why fans clambered for more short tracks during the Gen-6 era was because the short track racing during that era was some of the best racing the Gen-6 offered. The reason why fans clambered for more road courses was because of the incredible racing product that many road course races offered. Now, the script has flipped, and the 1.5-mile tracks are hosting the great racing.

There are also options for NASCAR to expand to more 1.5-mile tracks. Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway currently sit with no NASCAR racing happening at either track since either before or during the pandemic.

NASCAR can also move the Charlotte Roval race back to the oval for another 1.5-mile race in the Playoffs. Rockingham Speedway also fits the definition of an intermediate track despite it being only 1.017 miles in length.

There are places that NASCAR can go, and the racing is as good as it ever has been on these types of tracks. Why not go there?

Why There Should Not Be More 1.5 Mile Tracks on the Schedule

Intermediate race tracks already make up 13 races on the schedule, so, why add more? As it is, there are 13 intermediate track races, six superspeedway races, six road course races, nine short track races, plus one dirt track race, and one race at Pocono. Intermediate tracks already take over the largest chunk of the schedule, and they account for five of the 10 Playoff races.

It’s also short-sighted to say that every single road course or short-track race in the Next-Gen era has been awful. Races this season like COTA, the Chicago Street Race, and Indianapolis were received relatively well by the NASCAR fan base. The spring race at Richmond this year was received well and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pointed out how drivers were using five different lanes at New Hampshire this summer.

Sure, the product has been hit-or-miss, but, it’s not been all bad. Is it really right to give up on the recent influx of road course and short track races after a little less than two seasons with the Next-Gen car?

If NASCAR gets rid of a bunch of road course or short tracks races, then they suddenly get the package on both tracks working once again, and fans will be clambering for those tracks back once again. As it stands now, intermediates hold the most dates on the schedule, and the other track styles have hosted good races. One of the things that NASCAR can pride itself on is the diversity of the schedule, and would it be worth it to give that up?

Conclusion

Adding more intermediate tracks to the schedule can be done, but the question is should it be done? It will be interesting to see if NASCAR makes any changes with the 2024 schedule release being just around the corner.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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