Should NASCAR run a Cup race on Daytona’s road course?
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Although talk has been that the October Charlotte playoff race could utilize the track’s road course, two Cup drivers suggest running a road course at another track.
Daytona International Speedway.
Ryan Newman and AJ Allmendinger both like the idea.
Understand that Newman has been outspoken about restrictor-plate racing, and Allmendinger, who tested the Charlotte road course last month, has raced on Daytona’s road course in the Rolex 24.
The Cup Series currently has two road courses on the schedule - Sonoma Raceway in June and Watkins Glen International in August. NASCAR has never had a road course race in its playoffs.
Newman says NASCAR should try the Daytona road course before running the Charlotte road course.
“I think we should do it at Daytona in July first to get a taste for it,’’ Newman said Wednesday during Daytona 500 Media Day. “Put us on a race track as we are drivers, probably 70 percent have some experience with it. And put us in a position where we can do a litmus test for what that would be. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But I’m all for it.
“I’d rather go to a road course in Birmingham than go to Talladega in the Chase. And I’d rather, right now at least, run the road course in Charlotte than the oval, which we’ve already done twice that year.’’
As for Allmendinger, he’s not sure fans would be for running the summer race on Daytona’s road course.
“I mean, I like change,’’ Allmendinger said Wednesday. “I like the opportunities and obviously, I’m going to be biased toward it, but I will say the infield getting into Turn 1 it’s pretty tight.
“Now Charlotte it was pretty tight as well. I think you could make it work, but I think it’s more… obviously, you are not going to do it for the Daytona 500. And the Fourth of July race still has a lot of history behind it. So, I don’t know if fans would kind of take it as well just because of the history behind the Fourth of July race.
“But you know what it comes down to, if they are looking at change and that is a change, then great. Whatever it takes to build more excitement into some of these races. Especially, during the summer stretch or like NASCAR talked about if it was for the Chase at Charlotte, just to change something up to bring some more excitement to it.
“I look at probably the best road course to try it on would be the Indy road course. Being able to drive that race track before when I was in the Rolex cars. I think that would be a fun course to try it on, but if they want to keep adding road courses I’m okay with it.”