Road America not thrilled with NASCAR date
Just when we thought NASCAR would zig, it zagged with its schedule.
Not with its whole schedule. Most of what was announced Wednesday (see below) was expected or even released ahead of time: Chicagoland Speedway starts the Chase, Kansas adds a second Sprint Cup date, Kentucky gets its first, California and Atlanta each lose one and Phoenix moves ahead.
But it did switch its plans for the Nationwide Series at Road America in Elkhart Lake. The track liked the original proposed schedule better, although why you might think.
RA preferred the idea of sharing Father's Day weekend 2011 with Michigan International Speedway but instead will fall the following Saturday, June 25, again on the eve of the Sprint Cup at Infineon Raceway.
Michigan is closer, making an easier commute for Sprint Cup drivers -- such as defending Bucyrus 200 winner Carl Edwards -- who might do double-duty. It also would have meant the possibility of more top road-racing specialists being available, but that group probably will be split again between Elkhart Lake and Sonoma, Calif.
Factors, sure, but the biggest reasons track president George Bruggenthies would have preferred Father's Day weekend?
"It seemed to work this year, and we wanted to do a repeat," he said Wednesday night.
"We were going to be changing the schedule a little bit; Nationwide is only going to be running Friday and Saturday because now they all know how to turn right there, but we also knew at the same time that it wasn't a firm schedule. There was a lot of stuff in flux, both with the Sprint (Cup) and the Nationwide race, with Gateway dropping two races, other things happening, the owners wanting to reduce costs . . .
"So NASCAR requested the date change. I don't have a lot of flexibility where I can move stuff around because we're so busy. So it was a bit difficult." More at JSOnline.com