Should the dirt cup race be moved to Richmond?

Should dirt racing be moved from Bristol to Richmond?

While the Bristol Motor Speedway NASCAR Cup Series race was a rating success, there is a large crowd wishing there was more than one race on the pavement at the world’s fastest half-mile. Short tracks are among the most popular races on the schedule, and there are now just under five of them. The dirt race will likely remain on the schedule for the foreseeable future, but should it be in Bristol?

Not according to Kevin Harvick. Harvick became active on Twitter after his South 500 caught fire, and began responding to fans and tweeting his views on the account. One of the things he suggested was a dirt race at Richmond Raceway.

In his post-race press conference after his victory in Bristol last Saturday, Chris Boecher also said the dirt race in Richmond would be better than Bristol.

“The excitement I had walking in that tunnel yesterday and seeing the clean concrete was really big,” Buescher said. “I don’t mind dirt racing, but this is my favorite racetrack on a paved surface. So when we lose that to dirt, the pain is a little more than if Richmond was covered in dirt.”

Would a Richmond dirt race be possible? definitely. The track isn’t much longer than Bristol’s, so importing dirt, while more of a challenge, shouldn’t be difficult. Additionally, Richmond has been criticized for lackluster races in recent years, and fan attendance has reflected this as well.

With two Richmond dates remaining on the calendar, putting one of them on the dirt would definitely be worth a try. One sidewalk race and one dirt race will add to the excitement of the track and give fans the chance to see two different styles of racing in one calendar year, similar to what we saw in Bristol.

However, moving the dirt race from Bristol to Richmond ignores why the Bristol Spring Race went to dirt in the first place. The summer night race has always had a big crowd on hand, but the spring race has struggled to keep up with attendance. Thus, the spring was moved to the dirt to make it an even bigger draw for the fans.

It would be surprising to see dirt racing move to Richmond. But if fans and drivers want two sidewalk races again in Bristol, people will have to show up in the spring from now on.

With the NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifiers starting Saturday, who are the favorites to make it to the Phoenix Raceway?

Finally, the Xfinity Series qualifiers are here. Seven races remain until a champion is crowned at Phoenix Raceway in November, and Round 12 begins at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 24.

Of the six races leading up to the finish, three will be on 1.5-mile tracks: Texas, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motors Speedway join the Roval Texans in the round of 12, while Martinsville follows Vegas Speedway and Homestead in round eight as the penultimate race of the season.

This year, the race to reach the fourth championship seems pretty self-explanatory, as four drivers have proven themselves to be the field class this season: Noah Gragson, Josen Algayer, Ty Gibbs and AJ Alminder.

To what extent was the Quartet dominant? He ranks first through fourth in wins, top five, top 10, average finishes and laps this season. In addition, all four drivers enter the post-season with at least 32 break points while no one else has more than 22 points.

With three of the last seven races on 1.5-mile tracks, Allgaier and Gragson will likely lead the JR Motorsports charge in the Intermediates alongside teammates Josh Berry and Sam Mayer. With wins at the Vegas and Michigan International MotoGP this season, Gibbs is likely to be JRM’s closest competitor.

The Allmendinger is unbeaten at Charlotte Ruffale in three games and is likely to be the favorite to claim a 4-4 win in October. The order to finish in Talladega would be a lottery, but Richard Childress Racing’s JRM, Kaulig and Austin Hill all dumped the fastest supercars of the season. The Martinsville fight is likely to be between the winners of Martinsville Berry and Gragson as well as Gibbs, who led 197 laps on the track in April.

However, anything could happen, and it was not a given that the four of them would reach Phoenix. Crashes and mechanical failure will always be a possibility, and anyone else in the playoff grid has a chance to play spoiler with win or consistency. Perry and Hill both won several races this season, and were behind the top four in dominance. If the four drivers weren’t for Phoenix Gragson, Allgaier, Gibbs and Allmendinger, it would be Perry or Hill taking their spots.

The Cup race in Bristol was a flop for the TV ratings. What should be done to maximize viewership when new TV deals begin in 2025?

NASCAR’s rivalry against the football season will always be a tough time for ratings, but ratings in Bristol were shockingly low, with an estimated viewership of 1.776 million. Saturday night’s races struggled to bring in the same viewership as their Sunday afternoon counterparts, which is partly why the Cup series was relegated to two Saturday night races for 2023 with Bristol and Daytona International Speedway in August.

But for qualifying and one of the most anticipated races of the year, the ratings were lagging behind.

Football, Saturday night’s race and concerns about the next generation car on the short tracks were all factors that contributed to the drop in viewership. However, the race was on the USA Network. Races on cable always score lower than those shown on network television, and NASCAR is reaching a point where every trophy race must be on network television.

Fortunately, the final race for the US is the race on Sunday (September 25th) in Texas. The last six races will be on NBC.

Both FOX and NBC are locked into their contracts until 2024, so getting the bulk of the schedule on cable with a few on network TV will be the status quo for the next two seasons. But similar to how NASCAR experimented with the 2021 schedule after its five-year contract to race tracks expires in 2020, NASCAR needs to look beyond its current 2025 position.

In a perfect world, NASCAR would be available on network television. At the very least, the biggest races of the year should be prioritized moving forward, with the Southern 500 and Bristol Night Race being set in the USA in 2022. In addition, NASCAR also needs to pursue contracts with major broadcast services. People keep cutting the cord on cable and live TV, so making NASCAR available via broadcast will give new audiences access to NASCAR they otherwise wouldn’t have.

However, NASCAR should not choose between television or broadcasting – it needs to combine both. It is enough for people to watch network and cable television to where they do not give up broadcasting. Choosing one or the other will largely remove access to the unselected side.

Of course, all this is in an ideal world. Money will always be a factor, and NASCAR will likely accept the deal that offers it the biggest reward. But when thinking about the future, NASCAR needs to look beyond the status quo.

With the Cup Series’ first trip to Texas for a points-paying race in the next generation car, what can be expected?

The next-generation car was praised for racing on the intermediate tracks, but the All-Star race in Texas in May proved to be an exception. This race was criticized for lack of passing and action, not to mention the early caution as Ryan Blaney was about to take the checkered flag.

Similar to racing with a Gen 6 car in this configuration in Texas, Sunday’s race is likely to be a battle for track position, pit stops, not pitting for extra tires, a great restart, and staying ahead. NASCAR is also putting resin in cornering on the track for this weekend’s events. The traction compound has been used on tracks like the Nashville Superspeedway and Pocono Raceway to great success. The resin may help drivers pass opportunities throughout the weekend, but that will be unknown until the Xfinity Series takes the green flag.

Also unique in Texas is that it is the sixth race of the season with at least 500 miles. Given the number of teams dropped from the running arrangement with mechanical failures in the southern 500, there’s a chance this weekend could turn into an endurance race as well.

In terms of the candidates in Sunday’s race, Blaney will certainly be one of the biggest threats. He dominated the All-Star race in May, driving 403 laps in Texas in 13 starts. If Blaney wins, he will also be the coveted 20th winner of 2022 and break the record for most winners in a single season in the modern era.

Beyond Blaney, favorites aren’t clear. The last points-pushing race in Texas was last fall with a Gen 6 car, when Kyle Larson won after leading 256 laps. It’s been a relegation year for Larson despite two wins, and it would be hard to imagine him repeating that performance on Sunday. Given the short distance and small field at the All-Star Race, it’s not a great measure this weekend after Blaney has been cruising out front for the majority of the night.

After the field reaches the training and qualification track, the garage area will have a better idea of ​​which teams will win.


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