A Call for More Short Tracks

A Call for More Short Tracks

by July 25, 2013 0 comments

Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR

FLORENCE, SC :: While the dust is still settling from the MudSummer Classic at the Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night, NASCAR and racing fans around the world are still talking about Wednesday night’s inaugural event at the Eldora Speedway in Rosburg, Ohio.  A race which saw Austin Dillon take home the first checkered flag in a NASCAR National Series in over 40 years.

With the success Wednesday’s events on a dirt track, fans and drivers alike have already started the yearly shouting for more short tracks and less mile and a half cookie cutter events for all three of NASCAR’s top series.  I for one would love to see the Truck Series return to places like South Boston Speedway in Virginia or Colorado National in Denver.

I can still remember watching Ron Hornaday and Jack Sprague duel at the now closed Mesa Marin Raceway in California one Saturday night as a kid.  The Truck Series was founded on tracks that where less then a mile in length.  It’s without a doubt the best racing around, and last night at Eldora was a perfect example of it.

As Denny Hamlin said on Twitter last night “100 MPH sliding or 200 MPH stuck?”  Last night was a perfect display of that statement.  NASCAR has clamored to make the racing better in the top three series, but they haven’t been all that successful.  Maybe it’s time to shake up the schedules and not the cars we see on the racetrack week in and week out.

Getting back to short tracks would also help in another category NASCAR has been hurting in over the last few years.  The number of fans in the stands is a topic of discussion every week.  So what better way to make the sport look better then running a race at a sold out venue?  It’s kind of hard to sell 150,000 seats in today’s economy and with so many tracks taking seats away, why not run five or six races at places like Hickory, South Boston and Myrtle Beach?  On TV, it looks so much better seeing a packed Eldora Speedway with 25,000 people then say a Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway.

In my opinion once NASCAR realizes that bigger isn’t always better and returns to its roots of short track racing, things will finally get better for the sport.  It’s a win win for both NASCAR and the fans.  NASCAR looks healthy on TV and the fans get great racing at historic racetracks all over the country.

If last night was any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a return of several short tracks to at least the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule in 2014.

Maybe NASCAR is finally starting to wake up from its deep sleep over the past decade.  Only time will tell.

Chris Owens
For years, Chris has been traveling the country shooting photos capturing some of the sport's most unique moments and writing articles about grassroots racing and the NASCAR. Chris is the track photographer for Dillon Motor Speedway, and he has created websites for regional racing media outlets as well as for a few clients in the various traveling Late Model divisions. He also created a website for NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Danny Efland.

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