There May Be A Road Course Coming To The Playoffs

AJ Allmendinger

Earlier this month AJ Allmendinger tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway on what was roughly a 2.3-mile circuit similar to Daytona International Speedway that incorporates both the infield in Turns 1 and 2 and the regular 1.5-mile oval according to multiple sources.

The test was a collaboration between Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR.

Recently there has been proponents that floated the possibility of incorporating a road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway. SMI CEO Marcus Smith told at the time that an announcement was expected in due time, that was October 2015, but nothing materialized. He added that CMS’s plan included three different lengths of road course and the possibility could be “awesome.”

The road course itself is nothing new to Charlotte Motor Speedway which has hosted Sport Car Club of America events and other races in the past. However, since Joe Lee Johnson won the first race in 1960, the track has only used the 1.5-mile oval for NASCAR.

Sources said Charlotte could incorporate the road course as early as the All-Star Race, which is scheduled for May 20. It’s more likely the road course would be used for the fall Chase race on Oct. 7. Fans have been clamoring for a road course in NASCAR’s playoffs and Charlotte could offer the perfect solution.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup schedule currently features two road courses — Sonoma Raceway, which hosts the tour in June, and the August Watkins Glen race.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series competes on three road courses: Watkins Glen, Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. NXS is scheduled to compete at Charlotte on Oct. 6.

Certainly, if the Charlotte plan comes to fruition, transitioning to a road course could be an option at other facilities. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, for instance, already feature road courses as part of their landscape.

A.J. Allmendinger was asked about the test during Tuesday’s media events:
“Here’s the deal… I don’t know what’s going to happen. I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. You can bring something new to the schedule and something new if it was done. I’m all for it. I’m probably biased toward that. It’s kind of like the new format. Change can be good and it can be a little scary. We have to see how it plays out. But could it be successful? I think it would be a fantastic race and something the fans could truly enjoy.

WOMR  thinks that the idea of a road course during the “playoffs” now is very intriguing, to say the least!  That would complete the only missing discipline that presently represents itself in the “playoffs”.


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