After finishing second Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson made an appeal for NASCAR to build more short tracks. Larson believes the racing was great and fans enjoyed the action, so giving them more of the same would fix a problem faced by NASCAR.
It is an idea that is gaining popularity.
But it’s not that simple, according to NBC analyst Jeff Burton.
It’s not even the right question. Instead of trying to fix the perceived problem and add excitement by adding short tracks, NASCAR needs to address how to make the racing better on every type of course.
“The conversation in my world is not, do we need to have more short tracks,” Burton said. “The conversation is how do we make the mile-and-halfs better. The variety in our series is what makes it awesome. The fact that you run so many different kinds of race tracks. That is the challenge.”
As NASCAR works to create an environment conducive to more side-by-side racing with a modification of this year’s rules package used in the All-Star race, the fans need to vote with their time and their wallets.
Burton believes historic tracks like North Carolina Motor Speedway (Rockingham) and North Wilkesboro Speedway lost their dates because of poor attendance.
“Rockingham wasn’t exactly full when we left,” Burton said. “There were a lot of empty seats in the grandstands. … Let’s don’t reinvent history and say these places were packed and the fans loved it, because fans were not going there and they were packing Chicago and Kansas and Texas.
“Let’s don’t confuse history and say the sport left those tracks. Those tracks had a role – and the fans had a role in not showing up.”
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