Monday, July 26, 2010

Expect Vegas, Homestead to have much different slots on the schedule next year

It looks that after years of speculation, the Sprint Cup series will be getting a scheduling makeover for the 2011 season. Atlanta, Fontana, and Loudon all appear to be losing dates in favor of Kansas, Kentucky, and Las Vegas. Of course, this is not yet set in stone, but losing an Atlanta (has become the new Darlington) race and a short track date in New Hampshire is not what the series needs. Many fans wouldn’t mind seeing Fontana lose a race, but I am getting off the subject.

Anyway, we know SMI’s CEO Bruton Smith has long wanted several of his track’s to have another race (in Kentucky’s case, one race) in the Sprint Cup schedule. Of all the tracks mentioned, Las Vegas is the most interesting. With each passing day, I hear more about Vegas hosting the season finale. It makes sense, if you think about it. With the season ending banquet held there anyway, why not have the last race of the year in the same place? You could make a whole other week out of it.

I know Las Vegas isn’t where most fans would like the season to end. It is just another 1.5 mile cookie cutter track that doesn’t need more than one race. In the track’s defense, though, it certainly is a much more appealing race now that they have added some banking to it. I am feeling nice, so I am not going to bash any tracks right now and say Vegas would better than (insert track you hate here). Point being, there are plenty tracks that would be worse to host the finale, whether it’s racing or seasonal weather.

Personally, I enjoy Homestead hosting the last race of the year. But, say Vegas does indeed replace the south Florida track for the last race of the year. Where will its new date go? I have heard speculation that it would go to the second race of the season, right after Daytona. This would be great for everyone. With it still being cold in February, Homestead would be the best fit for a race this time of year. And no one would love it more than the team truck drivers, as they would only have to go 200 something miles south for the next race. It sure beats the current 3,000 they have to drive all the way to California.

So, yes, we all shouldn’t be surprised with a major schedule overhaul in the schedule for next year. But if you are a betting man, you can’t go wrong gambling on Las Vegas to host the season finale starting in 2011. Now lets just hope we don’t watch 5 drivers shoot for the Cup in an elimination style Chase while we are out there.

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