Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The 5 best tracks in NASCAR

The hot topic the past couple of weeks has been the schedule realignment for the 2011 season. Some tracks have lost a race while others have gained one. According to my last poll on what your least favorite track is, many of you (at least 32 percent) should be pretty happy about Fontana losing race. Today, I thought I would turn the tables and share my five favorite tracks and let you guys vote on this as well.

-Talladega/Daytona – Yes, I enjoy restrictor plate racing. And yes, I am counting these two tracks as one. Some say the racing is dangerous and a recipe for disaster. I have never understood that as danger is at every track, not just these two. Even though cars going airborne look violent, it is a safer wreck than something like a t-bone because of the impact absorbed. As for the action, it doesn’t get any better than Talladega and Daytona. More drivers have a shot at victory here than any other track, and that’s what I love about it. The margin of victory is always slim, and lead changes are season highs.

-Bristol- I know many don’t like the new pavement and the track is not as popular because of it. Quite frankly I love the new pavement. Cars can race side by side the entire race and therefore, we are provided with some exciting racing. It also means more green flag racing and the momentum of the race is no longer slowed by 15 plus cautions.

-Atlanta – I have said this on numerous occasions; Atlanta is the new Darlington. The pavement has aged to where the track characteristics are similar to the Old Darlington. The tires were off so quick that you will see drivers come through the field and others fade to the back. This provides another element to racing, and in today’s NASCAR, where equipment doesn’t fail as much as it used to, worn tires are something that keep you on edge. But of course, NASCAR had to get rid of one their race dates, just like they did with Darlington.

-Homestead – Just like Bristol, Homestead has progressive banking. This is something all tracks need to strongly consider once they need to repave the track surface. There is more side-by-side racing here than any other mile and a half track, and has had some very exciting finishes (see: Greg Biffle-Mark Martin 2005) in its short history.

-Richmond – Saturday night short track race. Enough said. Part of what makes Richmond so awesome is the fact that it is run on Saturday nights. What I like most about it, however, is the fact that there is really no other track like it. It shares one key trait with Bristol though - it is a short track the produces side-by-side racing, always a plus.

I am sure a lot of traditionalists are going crazy right now wondering why no Darlington. My answer for that is it’s not the same anymore. Part of what made Darlington so great was how the tires would fall off, and with the new pavement, you just don’t see that anymore. With that said it is still one of my favorite tracks and just missed the cut. Now is your chance to share your favorite tracks.

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