NASCAR America: Road racing’s evolution is not yet complete

0 Comments

In this week’s Bump & Run feature, questions were posed about the most memorable moments in road course history and whether NASCAR should run a race on a street circuit. That provided an opportunity for Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton to share their thoughts on the matter in Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America.

Petty went deep in the vault to the days when NASCAR ran Riverside International Raceway for his most memorable memory.

“I’d never seen a road course in my life; I’m in the third grade,” Petty said. “Dan Gurney is there driving the 121 car. … You watch Gurney – and my Dad took us up to the races and he’s like, watch this guy. That was a road racer. That’s what road racing was. And it was amazing to watch (A.J.) Foyt, amazing to watch those guys when I was eight or nine years old.”

Burton’s memory was not of a specific race, but rather the transition of the sport.

“It’s watching the evolution of road racing,” Burton said. “In regard to Cup drivers, Cup teams. There was a time when they would bring the ringers in. The guys would come in that were road racers. They would contend to win – not sure that they ever won – but contend to win. … The Cup guys have evolved to be so good at what they do – and they know these cars so much better than the guys that come in. The evolution of how teams and drivers look at road racing is fascinating.”

Perhaps that evolution is not complete. Burton would like to see NASCAR compete on a street course, but doesn’t think the answer is particularly easy.

“The thing about a Cup car is they are so heavy, you need a certain amount of street to be able to make racing happen,” Burton said. “So much left, right, left ,right, they can’t really ever get racing; with a Cup car at some point you need some speed.”

“I’d love to see it with this car,” Petty said. “I don’t think we could have done it in the early 2000s; I don’t think we could have done it in the ’90s, I don’t think we could have done it in the ’80s with those cars. But with this car I think it’s possible.”

For more, watch the above video.