Backseat Drivers Fan Council
Racing NASCAR's Trucks at Eldora and surprises in Kansas
By: Matt Taliaferro | 10/24/12, 1:37 PM EDT
Is it time for NASCAR to look in a different direction to run a race? Maybe something old school. You know, some place dirt-y? Of all that happened last weekend in Sunday’s Cup race at Kansas, what was the most impressive feat? Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council debated those and other questions this week. Here’s what they said:
Should the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on a dirt track?
Tony Stewart admits he'd be “ecstatic” if NASCAR ever ran a truck race on his dirt track, the half-mile Eldora Speedway. Fan Council members were asked if they thought it would be a good idea for NASCAR to run the truck series at that track or another dirt track?
80.4 percent said Yes
19.6 percent said No
What Fan Council members said:
• I would absolutely LOVE to see a truck race at Eldora!!!!! Truck racing is just about the best racing there is in NASCAR now and to put them on dirt would be unbelievable!!!
• It would be AMAZING … A breath of fresh air that this sport desperately needs.
• The fan in me is screaming “YES!” but the realist in me thinks it would be too difficult, too problematic, to stage. There would be no pit stops, special rules and other stuff that would hurt the credibility of the series. Also, it seems a little gimmicky. Love to see it, but I give it less than a two percent chance of happening.
• Absolutely! The Truck Series ran mostly short tracks and are set up for those tracks. If ARCA can run dirt, why can't NASCAR? The trucks shouldn't have a majority of 1.5-mile tracks scheduled in the first place and neither should Nationwide. Run them in a doubleheader at Eldora and they would draw better than most races all year.
• Any time we can add a new track, let alone a short track, to a schedule would be AWESOME!!!! Short track racing always produces that best racing and drivers love it, as do the fans! I say send the Trucks and Nationwide to Eldora (to start with).
• I would really like to see the Truck and Nationwide series return to their roots. Rockingham, South Boston, Myrtle Beach, Hickory, Orange County, the Nashville Fairgrounds … those are the tracks I'd like to see. Eldora would be very cool, too. I think the old complaint of these old tracks not having enough seating is out the window now. When they run at the big Cup speedways, the seats are 80 percent empty anyway. If they are going to run Eldora, they should also run a few other dirt tracks to go along with it.
• Bring it on!! NASCAR bills them as the "Worlds Greatest Drivers” … make them prove it by showcasing them in all disciplines. ARCA cars run on dirt, why not the NASCAR series?
• I'd watch it out of curiosity, but trucks on a dirt track are a mismatched idea. It will not bring down the cost of racing trucks. I think this idea may have been conceived in a bar.
• Tony is just looking at the $$$ aspect. That would be going backwards. Don't do it!
• You can always go home. Go back to your roots, NASCAR. You might be surprised how many people find that impressive.
Grade Sunday’s Cup race at Kansas:
58.4 percent called it Good
25.1 percent called it Great
13.7 percent called it Fair
2.7 percent called it Poor
What Fan Council members said:
• This had to be the best race of the year. There was constant action on the track, there was retaliation, retaliation gone wrong, super-fast cars, lots of great restarts. I wish all races were like Sunday's race!
• I don't care what people say. In the era of follow-the-leader racing, multiple cautions are awesome. That was the only thing that made it possible for teams to make the huge comebacks they did.
• Prior to halfway, I thought the fans in attendance had already gotten their money’s worth. However, the rest of the race was INSANE! Finally we got some excitement from a 1.5-mile track. Drivers slippin' and slidin', drivers mad at one another, and side-by-side racing was back. I enjoyed every second of it.
• There was NO side-by-side racing other than when there was a caution. And if that’s the way you have to have side-by-side racing, well then I would check this track off the list of tracks I want to see a race at.
• The race had drama. That is all I ask.
• I truly didn't expect it to be very interesting but I was glued to the TV the whole race. It was full of surprises, racing side-by-side and strategies. Loved it!
There were too many wrecks and barely any passes for the lead. Only the varying pit strategies made it interesting.
• I don't know how people can say there is “too much green flag racing” when this seems like the alternative. The middle part of this race was fairly unwatchable. At least nobody got hurt that we know.
What was the most impressive performance in Sunday’s Cup race?
53.7 percent said Jimmie Johnson finishing 9th after crashing
23.5 percent said Regan Smith finishing 7th in the 88 car
11.0 percent said Matt Kenseth winning
6.7 percent said Martin Truex Jr. finishing 2nd and giving MWR its fourth top-4 finish in the last five races
5.1 percent said “other”
What Fan Council members said:
• All of the above, really. But for the 48 to fix THAT much damage without losing a lap and finishing top 10?!?! Part horseshoe (nothing major broken), part “The Genius of Chad and the team.”
• I thought when JJ hit the wall it was a 30th-place finish. However, the team had enough caution laps to work on the car and fix the damage and turned the day into something positive. I hate to say it, but that is a championship run.
• Tony Stewart keeping his car off the inside wall after his spin was the best save I've ever seen. Period.
• The 48 CREW deserves an award for the way they fixed that car. Don’t know about it being Jimmie Johnson’s performance. Definitely the over the wall gang.
• Some lame duck, huh? I'm so happy that Matt has been able to get some wins after mechanical issues gave him a bad start to the Chase, and both he and his team were impressive at Kansas. Having run so many races with just his manufacturer's sponsorship, it was nice to have the beautiful Zest car in Victory Lane.
• Without a doubt, it was the performance of Regan Smith in that 88 car. It goes to show that the kid CAN drive a racecar and that leaving Furniture Row Racing and getting this opportunity in the 88 is showcasing what he can truly do for a top-notch team if given the shot.
• Tough choices there—all good performances. Not to mention AJ’s and Almirola's temporary, but otherwise strong, showings.
• Matt winning. Any win is impressive. I'm sick of everyone being obsessive over Jimmie coming back. IT WAS EXPECTED. They are five-time champions. It was also expected for Regan to run good in good equipment.
Did Kansas change your opinion about 1.5-mile tracks?
Sunday's Cup race featured a season-high 14 cautions. Saturday's Nationwide race saw a driver come back from two laps down to win on the last lap. Fan Council members were asked if their opinion of 1.5-mile tracks changed after this weekend:
71.7 percent said no
16.7 percent said they look at them slightly more favorably
11.6 percent said they look at them more favorably
What Fan Council members said:
• It was the exception to the rule. It will continue to go back to the follow-the-leader who has a 4.5-second lead on second place ... Hopefully next season, with the return of testing, the cars won't be so equal and impossible to pass on the cookie-cutter tracks.
• No, the repave was the main cause of this. Fuel mileage races seem to occur more at 1.5-mile tracks, but all of the cautions were primarily from track conditions and teams that either went too far on camber (causing the right front blown tires) or the driver making a mistake on the new asphalt.
• I was very impressed by Ricky's win. I'm not a big fan of 14 cautions in a race. But then again, I never liked road courses until recently ... I just like to watch racing, doesn't matter to me what track they are on. I have season tickets to Daytona and sometimes those races are incredibly boring until the end. But to me, I'm watching NASCAR—that makes me happy enough!
• The ONLY reason these two races were so “exciting” is because of Goodyear bringing an incredibly hard tire with no grip to try to cope with high speeds on a new surface. 1.5-mile racing will continue to be horrid unless the cars are slowed down about 15-20 mph and Goodyear can bring a softer tire that actually wears out.
• Certainly does wonders when a track gets repaved. Wish they all would get repaved so the racing would be so entertaining!
• The only thing wrong with 1.5 mile tracks is... There are too many of them! NASCAR need more short tracks.
The Backseat Drivers Fan Council was founded and is administered by Dustin Long. Fans can join by sending Dustin an email at email@example.com.
Please include the following information:
Name, city, state, Twitter name, e-mail address and favorite driver.
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