Gas 'N' Go: Road-Course Excitement


The Sprint Cup Series makes its first of two trips to a road course this weekend. (Photo: Getty Images)

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The pits are open again and the's Pete Pistone and Dustin Long answers this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."

Is road-course racing the most exciting in NASCAR?

MRN Staff Answer
Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

I'll admit that Sprint Cup Series racing on road courses has won me over. For a long time I was someone who hated it when Sonoma and Watkins Glen rolled around and the sight of lumbering stock cars trying to turn left and right was a big turn off. In fact for several years, I lobbied for a vacation week around one of the two road course stops. However, in recent seasons with double-file restarts spicing up the action and Cup regulars upping their road racing skills, these two races have been among the most entertaining of the year. But I don't want to see any more added to the schedule. NASCAR racing should be about oval tracks, which is what the sport was built on. I'm OK with going road racing a couple times per season as a way to change things up. In many ways road courses have become the short tracks of today's NASCAR. Beating, banging, high emotions and tight racing is what we now come to expect when Sonoma and Watkins Glen hit the schedule.

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I'd say road-course racing is among the most dramatic races, thus, it is makes for the most exciting racing in NASCAR. Brian Vickers called Sonoma a short-track road course this week and said: "You're almost inevitably going to come out of there mad at someone and someone mad at you, and you just hope it's not too many and they're not too mad.'' That's what fans love about short tracks. Road courses provides that flair. With cars going left and right and limited passing zones, it makes moving up challenging. That often leads to close racing and contact. Just think about the last lap at Watkins Glen last year between Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose. How can one not like that type of racing that road courses can provide?


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