We all knew going in that this would not be the magical season that would see the Cup Series schedule blown to pieces and replaced with a smaller and more varied version. That said, this was a good step in the right direction that shows NASCAR is serious about shaking things up.
Martinsville’s second event moving to November 1st – I’m not a big fan of this because of how late the start time is for this race. It is a cold race to be at in October, now getting into November, I can only imagine it will be a bit nippy for some fans to endure. I’m hoping in addition to these changes start times get better, but given how much influence TV has on the schedule it is doubtful as they want later times.
Daytona being the last regular season event – I like the concept of Daytona being the bookends of the regular season, I don’t like having a crap shoot race being the last chance in. Just re-visit what Kevin Harvick did a few years ago at Talladega and see what happens when “boys have at it” to get into the playoffs. Hopefully we don’t see something like that, but also cue up qualifying from Fontana.
Indianapolis moving to July 4th – This doesn’t have to do with the sanitary that is Daytona being on the 4th of July, it’s more about the heat factor. Complaints about this event was the heat in August, so going to an early July slot won’t help. I also don’t like this being the third date in three years, that won’t help regain a fan base. In retrospect that’s a dumb statement since I’m opening rooting for things to get even crazier with the schedule next year.
Bristol being moved to September 19th – Putting Bristol into the playoffs gives the most diverse mix of tracks in the Chase era. That’s three short tracks, a superspeedway, a road course, Darlington, whatever you want to call Phoenix, and then the 1.5 mile tracks.
Pocono doubles – It has yet to be determined how they will do these races, but knocking Pocono’s two races off in a single weekend is a welcome change for two reasons. The first, odds are they will be shorter races. The second is hopefully that rids us of the Trucks and Xfinity Series at that track, they do not belong there.
Atlanta moved to March 15th – Atlanta has trouble getting fans in and was doing worse when it was too early in the schedule. Unless NASCAR wants to do a Florida/California/Nevada/Arizona trek each schedule they’d be better served starting the season later.
Why does everyone think Sonoma should be run early in the schedule when Northern California is colder in the spring time than Southern California?
Will they actually remove tracks next season?
How will fans embrace the change in dates for some of these events?
Can we either stop the All-star/Clash races or move them elsewhere?
Will the finale rotate in the future or is NASCAR setting Phoenix up to close the season for years to come?