Hot Laps

New Hampshire Motor Speedway didn't exactly capture NASCAR fans' attention in its early days.

The flat mile, long track filled a void in the sport's quest to expand beyond its southern roots when it first opened its gates in the early 1990s.

But the racing wasn't much.

More often than not, a race at the "Magic Mile" was a single file parade with little or no passing.

But things improved dramatically when Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the facility a few years ago.

When NHMS went into Bruton Smith's portfolio, the upgrades came, including a resurfacing and SAFER barrier installation project.

The result left a track that, although it became more narrow because of the SAFER walls taking up additional real estate in the racing groove, actually became more competitive.

Side-by-side racing is now a bigger part of the day at New Hampshire, and Sunday's first use of NASCAR's double-file restart rule really emphasized just how racey a place Loudon can be.

SMI's purchase of the track also raised speculation that one of New Hampshire's dates could be harvested for a second race in Las Vegas.

But it appears the sell outs and strong support of the New England race fans has convinced Smith to continue the tradition of visiting the beautiful area twice a year.

That's a smart business move, and now that the racing has picked up, one with which I'm in total agreement.

  • It was another rain shortened race with Joey Logano joining Matt Kenseth and David Reutimann in celebrating a victory after Mother Nature cut things short. None of those drivers are complaining and they shouldn't. Rain shortned races are part of this sport, just as Major League Baseball games which go five innings and then end because of weather.

  • Unfortunately there will be those who won't give Logano the credit deserved for winning, just like the group that felt Reutimann's first career Cup win at the Coca-Cola 600 was also tainted. Wrong. Logano's victory, for the record books, should be considered impressive as the young star of the future is finally fulfilling the lofty expectations he brought into the sport.

  • Watching Jeff Burton, Casey Mears and Kevin Harvick get caught up in the day's eight car pile-up, just once again underlined what a rotten year it's been so far for Richard Childress Racing.

  • The double-file restarts are exciting, but there is no doubt they will lead to more caution flags - and accidents - like they did on Sunday.
  • Related Topics:

    Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2009

    Next MRN Broadcast

    On Air Now
    Sep. 26, 2017 12:00 PM ET

    Upcoming Cup Broadcasts

    © 2017 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites