Answers to Years of Speculation

It’s official… NASCAR has released the schedules for the 2011 season, and seasons of speculation are finally over – both Kentucky and Kansas got their long-anticipated Cup dates.

I’ve never been the biggest advocated for giving Kentucky a Cup date and Kansas a second Cup date. They’re really just more of the same. That said, I’m glad NASCAR, ISC and SMI are bringing racing to fans who appreciate it.

Though I haven’t been the biggest proponent of adding dates to those two tracks, I (and TC) have been a proponent of taking a date away from California. The racing is never very good and for whatever reason the crowds just couldn’t be maintained. Some markets just cant support two dates.

I believe that’s the story in Atlanta. Though I like the track and the racing it produces, it too was having issues with attendance. From a business prospective it made more sense giving its second date to Kentucky – a place I think will be able to support the event.

Other welcome news was that SMI didn’t pull a date from New Hampshire – I thought for sure Bruton would use the police issue in Loudon to give Las Vegas a second date. The man in the gawdy sunglasses surprises.

Overall, while the 2011 schedule does bring us changes, there aren’t really a ton of surprises. As always, the internal politics of NASCAR, ISC and SMI keep the possibility of changes to a minimum. I’d certainly like to see a Chase that was more representative of the whole schedule, but I’m good with what is hopefully just the beginning of a truly improved schedule in NASCAR.

Some Thoughts on the Truck Series Schedule

With 24 scheduled events for the 2011 season, and another one TBA, the Truck Series  schedule is much improved over this year’s. Gone is the three week break between Daytona and Atlanta, and the two week break between Atlanta and Martinsville. Those successive breaks were a little excessive – not to mention they killed the momentum of the season.

There are a couple of two week breaks early on in 2011, and a month long break in the middle of the summer, but all in all they’ve done a much better job keeping the series flowing.

As far as filling that TBA date, why not have a triple-header at Richmond in September? There might be some logistical issues with the haulers, but who wouldn’t love to see the trucks make their RIR return?

I’m not sure what NASCAR is working on for that date, but my plea is that they keep them at a short track.

And finally a couple of disappointing spots. Pocono is back on the schedule. I think we all know my thoughts on that. And I don’t really understand the reasoning for moving the Phoenix date. It’s going to be weird for them to have an off-weekend before the season-finale at Homestead – and we’ve had such great end of season showdowns there.

What are your thoughts on Kentucky and Kansas and all three schedules for the 2011 season?

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7 Responses to “Answers to Years of Speculation”

  1. Kelsey says:

    Kentucky should have high attendance. They have had some terrible traffic problems when leaving tho. We sat for hours in the parking lot after a Nationwide Race once and never returned after that happened.

  2. Marcus says:

    Everywhere I have looked at the schedule, the Nationwide Series only has 34 dates. Will they add another one just like the trucks or is it going to stay at 34? Also I wnat to see how Kentucky does before I advocate against it. After all the years of Kentucky pleaing for a Cup date the racing better be good or there will be some upset fans. And not just in Kentucky. Also I like the Kansas move. More races in the Midwest for me to attend.

  3. Melissa says:

    I was happy to see the trucks have less month long breaks (there were 3 this year.) It does kill the momentum. I would love to see the trucks at Richmond in the fall too.

    I question the NW series having the 2 week break at the end of the season. That’s a momentum killer, especially if the way a champion is crowned in that series is changed.

    Not that NASCAR can do anything about this, but I can’t wait for the calendar to change to make it possible for Dover to be back in June after Charlotte. Living halfway between Dover and Richmond, I’ve had to make a choice as to which races I go to.

  4. Alphonse says:

    Funny how NASCAR went from trying to expand into new media markets (Cali) to now expanding to places that have good tracks (Kentucky).

    To Kelsey’s point, every race I’ve ever been to has traffic problems. Sat unmoving in the car for 3 hours one night at Charlotte.

  5. Ric says:

    I’m looking forward to the Kentucky Sprint Race, planning on being there!!

    I understand where having a break at the end of the season can be a momentum killer, but I think the Cup SHOULD put a break somewhere near the end. Something like before the chase starts, or a couple of races into the chase at the latest. The way it is now, there are three break, the last one at midpoint of the season. The first two are only a few weeks apart. Heck next year they start off the season with three races then they take a break, race 5 then break again.

  6. JT says:

    I’m surprised to see Nashville will have two NW dates in 2011. The crowds at Nashville have been pretty thin these past couple of seasons.

    On a side note, our local paper (the Orlando Sentinel) reported on Tuesday that ISC had sacked its’ COO, Roger VanDerSnick and plans “a further streamlining of operations” in hopes of cutting costs between $20M to $30M next year. This came on the heels of a disappointing earnings call back in July (ISC is a public company, while NASCAR is privately-held).

  7. Christopher says:

    I’m sure the break before the final race is for the same reason the NFL now takes a break before the Super Bowl. If its close between 2-3 drivers, they’ll be able to hype the heck out of the final race for 2 weeks.

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