Martinsville vs 1.5 mile tracks
A week later, I’m still high on Martinsville.
“It’s so fun to be able to take your car to the race track — Be able to learn on each other. Beat and bang without needing to worry about losing that sideforce and downforce and all that crap,” Dale Earnhardt Jr says via the Dale Jr Download.
I’m gunna miss racing at Martinsville.
-Dale Earnhardt Jr
“And race! Damn, that was fun. I’m gunna miss racing at Martinsville.”
“You know, we run at these mile and a half’s and the cars are so critical to aero and downforce. If you barely touch the wall, it can knock the outside of your car, that can make it really uncompetitive.”
“That’s so annoying, to not be able to lean on the car and get into the fence a little bit. We used to race like that all the time. You know, rub the fence, [it wasn’t a] big deal.”
“Now if you rub the fence you can’t wait to get to pit road to be able to pull that quarter panel back to out to get the damn sideforce and downforce back in the car, cause it won’t drive good without it. But at Martinsville, you don’t even care about that.”
The good old days of NASCAR short tracks
“When I was young, going to the races… Man, it felt like every other 3-4 races, somebody got spun out. There was some drama, going on. You had rivalries that would popup outta nowhere.”
“Dad and Geoff Bodine were spinning each other out. Dad and Ricky Rudd at North Wilkesboro. Rusty Wallace spinning Darrell Waltrip at the Winston.”
What you say on Sunday, that happened all across the country on Saturday night
-Dale Earnhardt Jr
“We saw it a lot more often, back in the ’80’s. I think the reason is because we had a lot more short tracks. Short tracks breed that style of racing. What you say on Sunday, that happened all across the country on Saturday night.”
He’s right. It literally did. Former NASCAR driver David Stremme and Kyle Strickler got into it at The Charlotte Dirt Track. After thay crashed, Strickler climbed from his dirt modified and went to punching Stremme through the drivers window.
That wasn’t the only incident. Jack Sullivan and Cade Dillard crashed at WhyNot Motorsports Park. Sullivan then went backwards on-track, under caution and hit Dillard. The contact resulted in a rollover.
“You wanna see some action. You see the videos of Bowman Gray, all over the internet.”
“The conversation that is important to have is what do we do as a sport going forward? How do we see the positives in this past weekend. And how do we re-create it and infuse that into the sport?”
“I don’t want guys wrecking each other every week. That’s not what we’re talking about. The thing that gave me chills was when I got out of the car. We’re standin’ there watchin’ the big screen. Depending on the face that was on that screen, the grandstands were freckin’ going crazy.”
NASCAR needs to see that short track racing is their bread and butter
-Dale Earnhardt Jr
“When is the last time that has happened? I mean really? NASCAR needs to see that short track racing is their bread and butter man. I mean, we need to be at the short tracks!”
Most liked NASCAR tracks in recent years?
After every race, Jeff Gluck posts a simple twitter pole. The question is did you like the race? Yes or no?
1. Dover (2016): 93%
2. Martinsville 2 (2017): 93%
3. Sonoma (2016): 92%
4. Fontana (2016): 90%
5. Martinsville 1 (2017): 90%
6. Talladega 1 (2017): 88%
7. Watkins Glen (2016): 87%
8. Homestead (2016): 86%
9. Bristol 1 (2017): 86%
10. Richmond 1 (2016): 85%
11. Phoenix 2 (2016): 84%
12. Kansas 1 (2017): 83%
13. Phoenix 1 (2016): 81%
14. Talladega 2 (2017): 80%
15. Bristol 1 (2016): 79%
About 35% of the NASCAR schedule is run on a 1.5 mile track. Yet, 1.5 mile tracks are all but absent from the list above. That’s not good! Homestead isn’t a 1.5 mile track. Kansas is the first 1.5 miler, it’s 12th.
There’s only 8 short track races per year, across 4 tracks, making up 19% of the schedule. Yet, they collectively dominate the most liked list! Short tracks make up nearly 50% of the top-15 most liked races in the past 2 years.
“NASCAR needs to build short tracks. They need to trim down some of the mile and a half shows. Go to some of these track only once and get more short tracks into the schedule. They need a short track, every month,” states Dale Earnhardt Jr.