Don't change Fontana banking California Speedway president Gillian Zucker was in Las Vegas this past weekend, making her rounds through the garage during the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, and hopefully she took a good look at what was happening on the track.
Last year, Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials spent millions of dollars reconfiguring their track, increasing the banking in the turns from 12 to 20 degrees. The hope was that would lead to closer racing. But nothing happened. This Nextel Cup race was as lackluster as all of the rest that have been held at the 1.5-mile oval. Yeah, there was some passing at the back of the pack, but who really wants to see Kenny Wallace and Jeff Green battle for 25th?
After watching attendance decline over the years at her track, and some of the ticket holders complain about the racing, Zucker has toyed with the idea of tearing up her speedway and adding gradual banking. Here's some advice. Don't do it. Leave the track alone. Unless you want to completely tear the place down and start over with a new high-banked, half-mile oval just like the one in Bristol, Tenn.
But there's nothing wrong with California Speedway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway was fine just the way it was. All the construction project did was lead to a huge tire problem and a lot of wrecks.
The problem isn't with the tracks. NASCAR is inherently boring. There's no way around it. Here's what Bobby Labonte had to say last month at California Speedway, "It's exciting at the beginning, boring in the middle and exciting again at the end." It's impossible to keep any sport exciting for three-plus hours, so instead of repaving the tracks, how about making the races shorter? Orange County Register
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