NASCAR America: Charlotte Roval is most anticipated debut since Indy

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Pete Pistone, co-host of “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, joined NASCAR America Thursday to share what the fans have been saying about Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBC) when they call into his show.

If their excitement holds, NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway already have a hit.

According to Pistone, the Charlotte Roval is the most anticipated debut since the Brickyard 400, more than two decades ago.

“I’ve got to think all the way back to 1994 when NASCAR first went to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first Brickyard 400,” Pistone said about the expectancy. “But even in that case I don’t remember the drivers being as nervous about the race that’s coming up at the Roval.

“The listeners on SiriusXM NASCAR radio for the most part are really excited about this because it’s something new. It’s something different. It’s something they don’t know what to expect.”

Pistone believes that excitement will carry over to Monday – even if some playoff contenders are eliminated because of Sunday incidents.

“I think the fans in this case are going to side on the race track,” Pistone said. “They want it to be hard. It’s supposed to be hard.”

The reason fans will continue to be enthusiastic is because NASCAR has listened and given them something they have wanted for several years.

“Fans want more short tracks – more road courses,” Pistone said. “They’ve been given one; a very unique one and it’s one that, I think if it causes chaos, for the most part … that’s what the fans are looking for and they’re hoping to get that both Saturday and Sunday.”

The question of who this track will favor will not be answered until the checkers wave, but Pistone has one dark horse in mind.

“The one guy who’s name just keeps coming up, for whatever reason, is Jimmie Johnson,” Pistone said. “Chad Knaus said on our channel this week, he’s giddy about getting there because he thinks that the way this track is laid out, it’s suited for Jimmie Johnson and for him to do well on Sunday.”

For more, watch the video above.

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