Chase Drama: Is It Time To Shake Up The Chase?

[media-credit name=”Brad Keppel” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]Ever since its inception in 2004, the Chase for the Sprint Cup has provided fans with a 10 race playoff style format that has made every race and every point critical all the way to the checkered flag at Homestead Miami Speedway.

While the competition on the track is at an all time high, many have wondered, myself included is it time for NASCAR to shake the chase up and change some of the venues for the 10 race chase?  Five of the chase races are currently held on 1.5 mile race tracks. Many believe that if the chase included tracks of every discipline it would make for better competition throughout the 10 races. Here are the 10 tracks that I believe should make up the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

1. Chicagoland Speedway – The 1.5 mile speedway which opened in 2001 currently serves as the chase opener. Multi-groove race track which allows for great 3 wide racing and plenty of opportunities to pass makes for a perfect way to kick off the chase.

2. Pocono Raceway – The “Tricky Triangle” as it is affectionately known provides super speedway like speeds with a road course type strategy. This track is a true test of driver,crew chief and pit crew. Would make for an awesome chase addition.

3. Dover International Speedway – The “Monster Mile” is one of the series most popular stops among fans and drivers alike. The high speed one mile high banked concrete oval makes for a true test of man and machine. Chases can be won or lost at Dover.

4. Watkins Glen International – The 2.454 mile road course located in the finger lakes section of New York is a crowd favorite and provided of the best races of the entire 2012 NASCAR season. Another great test of driver ability as well as having the speed of superspeedways in some sections of the track. Road Racing in the chase has been something desperately needed for quite some time.

5. Richmond International Raceway – Usually the track that decides the race to the chase should be in the chase. The 3/4 mile oval provides NASCAR fans with a perfect blend of short track racing and speed. The “Action Track” as it has been dubbed would live up to its name with championship implications attached to it.

6. Darlington Raceway – No chase would be complete without one of the most historic tracks in NASCAR. The 1.366 mile egg shaped oval located in Darlington County would provide a big race throwback style feel to the chase. To add the Southern 500 and Darlington Raceway to the chase would make for a huge event and make winning there even more special.

7. Martinsville Speedway – NASCAR’s oldest track holds a special place among all associated with NASCAR. Martinsville has one of the most unique surfaces in all of NASCAR with asphalt straightaways and concrete corners. The “Paper Clip” provides drivers with long straightaways and flat narrow turns. No chase is complete without having this jewel of a race track in it. Tradition at its best.

8. Phoenix International Raceway – The 1 mile D shaped oval is the only track on the west coast that hosts two NSCS events every year. This newly repaved and reconfigured race track makes for some exciting side by side racing. One of my favorite stops of the season.

9. Kansas Speedway – The 1.5 mile tri-oval located in Wyandotte County ,Kansas was built in 2001 and has hosted two NSCS race weekend events since 2011. This newly repaved and reconfigured track will host the Hollywood Casino 400 in 3 weeks and will allow drivers and fans to get a good look at the improvements made to the race track.

10. Charlotte Motor Speedway – I can’t think of a better place for NASCAR to crown its champion than in the heart of NASCAR country. The home to many of the race teams in the NSCS. It would provide for a home field big game like atmosphere. Many race fans would flock to the Charlotte area for what would be the premiere weekend in all of NASCAR.

There are my 10 races. A good mix of tracks that would provide a little something for every race fan and would provide drivers and teams with a different test every week. I think it would make for a very exciting 10 weeks of racing and a championship that would go down to the final lap.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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