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The Dark Side of Only One Race Per Year at a Track

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Joshua Lipowski

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It’s become a conversation in recent years, and especially in recent weeks, surrounding whether or not NASCAR should visit all venues only once per year. We at the Daily Downforce have not been immune to that discussion, but there is more to consider on this topic. However, there is something to also note about this track’s ticket policy that could help counteract this issue.

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The Dark Side: A Weather-Delayed Race at a One Race Per Year Track.

It’s one of the saddest sights to see at a race track if you’re an outsider. It’s just as sad if you are in the throng. Fans trotting out of the race track back to the parking lot either after the race has been rain delayed or been postponed entirely.

Since Michigan only has one race per year, this is it for many of these fans. This is the only race at their hometown race track, and it’s going to be postponed. Some may be able to come back on Monday for the race, but others are not because they have work or school or whatever going on on Monday.

When asking for one race per year at race tracks, this is something that needs to be considered. In previous years at Michigan, fans had two race per year they could attend. One race was held in June on Father’s Day, with the second race being held in mid-August.

If the June race was weather delayed or postponed, fans could come back in a couple of months and see another race at the same race track. Even then, some not every fan can realistically afford to buy tickets to two races.

However, NASCAR actually has counteracted this problem somewhat with their schedule. Not only that, but a fan friendly track ticket policy tried to counteract it as well.

The Silver Lining: How the Schedule and Ticket Policy Helps Counteract This Problem

When looking at the NASCAR schedule, it’s interesting to note that there are certain times of the year that NASCAR stays in one general geographical region. Races 2-4 make up the “West Coast Swing” at Auto Club, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. In April, NASCAR has races at Richmond, Martinsville, and Bristol back-to-back-to-back, and all of those tracks are within five hours of each other.

NASCAR races at Dover in May, but they have more races in the Northeast/New England later in the season with New Hampshire and Pocono back-to-back and a trip to Watkins Glen in August. Even in the case of Michigan, NASCAR is traveling to Indianapolis this weekend, which is in a neighboring state.

If fans want to attend another race, there are tracks that are reasonably close to each other. It’s obviously not perfectly true for every race, but it’s there for a lot of races.

Bob Pockrass also noted that fans who attended this race may be eligible to exchange their tickets to a participating race track.

According to mispeedway.com, fans who were unable to attend a postponed race can fill out a “Weather Protection Program Request Form”, and they can exchange their unused grandstand ticket for a ticket of equal or lesser value at participating race tracks. The race tracks for this program, according to the website, are, Auto Club, Darlington, Daytona, Homestead-Miami, Kansas, Martinsville, Michigan, Phoenix, Richmond, Talladega, and Watkins Glen. Oh, this program is also completely free.

Not every track participates in this particular program, but it’s at least a gesture. It’s definitely not perfectly convenient for every race fan, but it tries to make the best of a bad situation.

Conclusion

The question of whether or not tracks should have more than one race per year will continue to be debated for a long time to come. It’s a worthwhile debate as there is an argument for tracks to have only one race per year.

Rain delays and postponements are bad for everyone. The most practical solution may not be to give every race track a second date. However, when people debate this topic, what happened at Michigan is something to consider.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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