Of course on Sunday I watched the Toyota/SaveMart 350 from Infineon Raceway (always known to me and most native Californians as Sears Point). Funny thing is I was emailing Jay back and forth the week before about going to see a Nascar race (more on that another time) and I mentioned that I was physically closest to Infineon…but I wouldn’t want to see my first Nascar race there.
Not because I don’t like “road” courses (and I use quotes because…well these aren’t TRUE road courses…to me a true road course would be something like that Grand Prix of Long Beach or Las Vegas where they close down streets to actually race on…now THAT is a road course)…quite the contrary…I think Infineon makes for some very exciting racing…(at one point I was sequestered in my room wrapping a present from my uncle to my aunt for her birthday while watching when Tony Stewart made a hell of a pass..and I ended up flinging the wrapping paper off my bed and running into the living room to make sure that our company knew just what a great pass that was). However, from a live spectator point of view, they can be kinda sucky to watch because you can’t see most of the track unless you happen into some really nifty spot around the course. Have I ever been to Infineon. NO. But I have seen my share of races at Laguna Seca (er…Mazda Raceway)…and while shaped completely different than Infineon…I imagine that from the fan point of view it is similar. Basically you are stuck waiting for the cars to come around again…so that you can see them whiz by on your little portion of track. Maybe this is just a Laguna Seca thing…but I don’t imagine that it is since Infineon, like Laguna Seca, has elevation changes.
Unlike Liz Allison, however, I do NOT think these “road” courses should be removed from the Cup schedule. I think they are a welcome change. She mentions that they are boring because the same people win them year after year…which obviously wasn’t true yesterday. I think not only should they run Infineon and the Glen…but consider a true road course similar to the Long Beach Grand Prix or the Las Vegas Grand Prix….and like Tony Stewart has mentioned…maybe even throw in some dirt track racing…diversify. I am not down on the oval….I love oval racing and I hope that my first nascar race is an oval track…but variety is the spice of life you know?
Of course I wouldn’t argue if Nascar decided to run a cup race at Laguna Seca/Mazda Raceway…that track is practically in my backyard (takes me about 15 minutes from door to furthest parking lot) so you KNOW I would HAVE to go to that one…”road” course or not.