Kevin Harvick says change is good: “The one thing that I do like about this season is the fact that the schedule is changing.”
Heading into the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, the schedule looks a bit shifted. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is now the last race of the regular season. Richmond has been added to the playoffs, adding another short track to the playoffs.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is now the opening race for the NASCAR playoffs. In addition, a brand new road course is now on the schedule and they plugged it into the playoffs.
“Do you really want to get me started on schedules?” Harvick asked with a smile at the Charlotte Convention Center.
“The one thing that I do like about this season is the fact that the schedule is changing,” Harvick said.
“You see Richmond in the playoffs, you see Indy in a date that the fans can actually sit in the grandstands without burning their rear ends off, you see the Charlotte road course. It’s just like the road course: If we don’t ever run the road course again, think about all the conversation that it has created. If you did it every year, it would just be another race.”
“Those are the types of things that we need to create. We need to create events; we need to create moments.”
What would Harvick change?
“I think it gets stale. It’s a great race track, but it’s not at all about the race track. It’s really about the event,” Harvick says. “How many times have you had a crappy Super Bowl, but everybody goes to the Super Bowl because it’s an event. And those are the types of things that we need to create.”
“I love how we’re starting to mix it up; I think we need to mix it up more. Going to Vegas for the first race of the playoffs is a good move from a market standpoint. It’s a great race track, but the market in itself is something that you have to pay attention to. If you’re going to some of these places and the market is stale, I think all these race tracks should have the opportunity to have one race in the playoffs.”
The championship race has been hosted at Homestead-Miami Speedway since 2002.
Much of the NASCAR schedule is locked in a contract. The tracks and dates are locked into a multi-year contract. That doesn’t allow for much movement or new tracks in the schedule, until 2021.
However, Harvick see’s some opportunity there.
“I think there are things there that you could get creative and really mix it up,” Harvick says. “People don’t like the same thing. You have to keep their attention.”
“It can’t just be about the cars racing on the race track and if you have to have a good race. They are not all going to be good. If you make the schedule exciting and make the events exciting, that is what guarantees you the people to come back if they had a good time.”
Related: 2018 NASCAR schedule
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