SMI executive says it won’t add Roval concept to its other tracks
CONCORD, N.C. — Don’t expect the Roval to be incorporated into other tracks owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. even after Sunday’s debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“I’m not looking at any of our properties to add a road course …Rovalizing as you said,” Marcus Smith, chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc., said after Ryan Blaney’s victory. “I feel like this is unique to Charlotte, and we’ve got other speedways out there that produce their own unique action.”
MORE: Roval provides roller coaster of emotions to playoff drivers
SMI owns eight tracks that host 12 Cup points races annually. SMI’s tracks are Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.
Charlotte Motor Speedway spent millions to upgrade the road course in its infield and attach it to the oval to create the 17-turn, 2.28-mile track. The move was made to add excitement to Charlotte’s playoff date, an event that had seen a steady decline in attendance in recent years.
Sunday’s race was one of the most anticipated NASCAR races in years because of the new concept and unknowns in a first event.
Charlotte has been innovative through the years. It was the first large NASCAR track to have lights. But after many other tracks added lights, the concept was no longer novel or fresh for fans.
Smith doesn’t want that to happen to the Roval.
“I do think that we can learn from our history,” he said.
Also, he suggests additional Rovals aren’t needed at his company’s tracks — even though five of SMI’s tracks are 1.5-miles long — because of the 2019 rules package that NASCAR is set to unveil this week. The new package, which has elements of what was run in the All-Star Race in May, is intended to tighten the competition.
“I’m really excited about all the things I’m hearing about next year’s racing with the new aero and power package,” Smith said. “I think it’s going to be fantastic for the whole sport.”