The Chase for Sprint Cup is an interesting idea that formed 2004. Many people called it the “Matt Kenseth” Rule. That was because Matt dominated so much, and won once, and walked out with the 2003 Winston Series Championship.
Truth is a drastic change the points system had been in play for quite some time. Here we are going on the ninth year of the chase, and it’s time for another drastic change. Not to the points. Quite frankly, I’m content as a cucumber with how the set up is. Do I wish winning gave more points? Sure but I’m not unhappy enough to be as up in arms as others.
So what would I change?
The god awful schedule! I hate, hate, and oh yeah HATE the schedule currently for the chase. While there has been small changes made, nothing huge, it’s time to do something huge. So here’s my schedule and with why I’d go there.
Race 1: Talladega Superspeedway
All the drivers talk about the trepidation going to Alabama. Let’s do it first and get it out of the way. I went back and forth between swopping Talladega for Daytona. Just like there needs to be a road course, there needs to be a restrictor plate race in the chase. So the only reason I didn’t switch them is because I like starting the season with the biggest race of the year, and keeping July 4th in Florida as well. So Talladega stays in.
Race 2: Watkins Glen International
If the Chase schedule is a true test of driver skill, then there has to be a road course. Let’s go to New York and make some right turns! The major two questions would be why not Sonoma or another track, and what would you do with the August date for the Glen? Give it to Chicagoland for a night race. I’d love to see the Cup cars at Montreal at that road course, but I’ll take what I can get.
Race 3: Kansas Speedway
I had an interesting debate with a friend over whether this should be Texas or Kansas for the 1.5 mile track here. When it came down to it the more exciting finishes, the races we liked the most were races run at the Fall Kansas race. The spring Texas race put new life into the track with the lights. But the fall race isn’t as good as it use to be. Kansas still is.
Race 4: Dover International Speedway
This is another track that’s earned its chase right. It’s also a damn entertaining race to me. So this keeps the Monster Mile in. See the theme starting to form here?
Race 5: Martinsville Speedway
It’s freaking Martinsville. We’re not taking out Martinsville. No, I don’t care if you don’t like Martinsville. If you don’t like racing at Martinsville you need to give some serious thought into why you enjoy NASCAR. Just saying. Also do you see the theme? We’ve gone from our biggest track to our smallest track.
Race 6: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
I like New Hampshire; I’ve even had the chance to visit the track. It’s a fun place to watch a race and the race is generally good. I could justify changing it out for another track. However, none seemed as good as New Hampshire to me.
Race 7: Charlotte Motor Speedway
This may have been the race I struggled with keeping in the greatest. I actually considered dumping it, and giving it to Texas or throw a curve ball and add in Iowa here. The only reason I went with Charlotte was I felt NASCAR should return home for a second race.
Race 8: Homestead-Miami Speedway
I’m strange, I know but I like Homestead! It’s an odd shape for a 1.5 mile track. I like odd! And it’s been a good race the last few years. It’d be interesting test for the track, because I had it pointed out to me, part of the interest? It was the final race to decide the title. So this would be a good to see if it’s the championship factor, or the racing is good.
Race 9: Phoenix International Raceway
I’m not going to lie. I may have only put this in because of last year when Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon’s crew came to blows. It is so worth finding on Youtube it’s not even funny! That and Stevie Letarte’s call of Bowyer running was hysterical. “Boy he’s going after someone! He IS HUSTLING!” Again, I’m odd. So it stays to see if it gives the same joy as last year.
Race 10: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
I do feel with the Champion’s banquet being in Las Vegas, our final race should be there. However, while we’re at it, let’s do a little nip and tuck to the Sprint Cup Schedule overall. Let’s cut the second Texas race, and Michigan as much as it’s going to pain me to say this, doesn’t need a second race. The June race is fine. I’m sure there are other races that could be cut (I’m looking directly at you Kentucky.) But let’s trim enough fat where the final race is a full week and some change before Thanksgiving in November
Let’s pretend we enacted the changes this year. Thanksgiving is the 22nd, so I’d end the schedule with Las Vegas ending on the 10th. We can go right into Drivers week at Vegas from the 11th to the 15th, due the Nationwide and Camping World Truck drivers/owners banquets on the 14th, Sprint Cup on the 15th, and everyone goes home.
It ends the schedule completely before the start of the Holiday season. One last thing on the banquet is this. Have all twelve drivers are able to go to and speak at the banquet. If you are only going to honor ten, then it’s time to cut the chase back down to ten.
So that’s what I’d do with the Chase Schedule? Would I love to see more variance in tracks? Sure, but like I said before. I’ll take what I can get!
In random news:
Roush Fenway Racing may have officially spilled the beans about the unofficial rumor of Austin Dillon moving to cup. AdvoCare is moving to Roush to sponsor Trevor Bayne, and leaving the 3 of Richard Childress Racing. The announcement outright states with Austin moving to cup they began the process of finding a new home. I suspect “PawPaw” Richard Childress may not be pleased with “The Cat in the Hat” Jack Rouse.
According to Kendra Jacobs the co-host of MRN’s Winged Nation Tony Stewart is going to continue driving Sprint Cars, which is where he broke his leg, next season. Good for him.
Kasey Kahne took part in the “My Wish” ESPN program. This is where a young fan gets to come and spend time with their favorite athlete. Good guy, Kasey Kahne is.
Some of the races in about nine markets, will be placed on the ESPN networks as oppose to ABC for just a little while Saturday, then should move back at the end of the program running at the time.
Random Sports/Non Sports Thought:
The Camping World Truck Series is racing tonight at 8:00 PM on Fox Sports 1. I recommend checking it out! Bristol is great when the Trucks get there.
The problem with the trucks racing tonight? Duck Dynasty is on at 10 while the race is going……Thank god for DVR.
Also, did I mention Sons of Anarchy comes back on September 10th at 10:00 PM on FX? And I’m going to be useless and or inconsolable on Tuesday and Wednesday for a while when it does come back?
Have a question, suggestion or witty comment? Feel free to leave one below! Don’t want to do that? Then the fastest, easiest, and quickest way to interact with me is on Twitter, @tpierc07. I also am on Facebook, but that one you have to work for. Don’t do social media? Then feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
So until we meet again, just know I'll be waiting for you in a left at Bristol under the lights!