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IMS Writers’ Roundtable, Vol. 37: Track Where You Want Cup To Run?

Today’s question: The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule was released last week. What previous track or a track where Cup has never run that’s not on the 2022 calendar would you like to see added to a future schedule?

Curt Cavin: This is a difficult one because NASCAR has raced – or is racing – at every track I believe is suitable. But since I must choose, how about WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, where you can imagine how much dust would be kicked up from dropping wheels off line. Imagine the Corkscrew with those beasts dropping down 10 stories in such a short distance. As for tracks of the past, I once came across Dog Track Speedway in the upper northeast corner of North Carolina, a quarter-miler where one of my favorite people, Ned Jarrett, won four races in the 1960s. And, if NASCAR is going to stage The Clash in the LA Coliseum next year, why not give Chicago’s Soldier Field another try? Fireball Roberts won a race there in 1956.

Zach Horrall: I’ve long fancied the idea of a NASCAR Cup Series street course race. Just imagine 40 stock cars roaring through the downtown streets of a major metropolitan city! I think the unforgiving confines of a street course would make for a compelling show with ample opportunities for drivers to beat and bang on each other around tight corners. And as we know, NASCAR drivers love to push the limits of the course available to them, and a street course would punish those who do. As the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has proven with street course races like St. Petersburg, Nashville and Long Beach, if done right it can be a weekend-long festival that brings huge crowds with an amazing atmosphere. Lucky for me, it appears NASCAR is on the same page as they ponder a Chicago street race in the near future.

Paul Kelly: The best NASCAR races are on short tracks, in my opinion, so this question was pretty easy for me: North Wilkesboro Speedway. Cup Series races took place on the .625-mile oval from 1949-96, with its unique uphill backstretch and downhill frontstretch. Sure, North Wilkesboro disappeared from the Cup schedule because its facility and amenities were antiquated compared to the speed palaces built during the start of the NASCAR boom in the 90s. But the racing was fantastic at the North Carolina track. And take a look at the list of Cup winners: It almost reads like a NASCAR Hall of Fame roster. It would take an eight-figure infusion of cash to get North Wilkesboro back to current Cup standards, but I would love to see it. Great racing in a traditional NASCAR hotbed, and I bet the teams and drivers wouldn’t mind a race just 85 miles from NASCAR’s team hub of Charlotte.

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