Iowa, Sonoma Make For A Great NASCAR Weekend


Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen enough, but I’m excited about this weekend’s NASCAR schedule. Why? It has to do with the “where” on the schedule for all three of the national touring series.

The Xfinity and truck series is topped this weekend at Iowa Speedway. This track needs to go on to the Monster Energy Cup series pronto. Is there anyone who disputes that there are more short tracks needed? Rusty Wallace helped play a part of the design of the track, patterning it after Richmond. No wonder I like this track.

The lower two of the national series have been racing at Iowa for some time. Everything about this track gives you the feeling of a classic NASCAR race, something the Cup series desperately needs. The Newton, Iowa track has that hometown feel because well, Newton is a small town.

That is going to be the challenge in terms of getting the Cup series there. It is said the capacity at Iowa is about 30,000. On the other hand, I may suggest there have been a few bigger tracks where- if they’re being honest- the race barely drew that many.

Speaking of short tracks, there are some who say that Sonoma is the new Bristol. What? I know, I know- Sonoma is a road course; but have you seen a race here? Around those tight turns you frequently get full-contact racing. It gets a little messy sometimes with some of the pile-ups, and invariably, fuel strategy often plays a bigger role than some fans like, but oh, baby, the racing is rarely disappointing.

While some liken NASCAR road racing to a pig doing ballet, racing at Sonoma provides drivers a challege. You win here, and you know you’re good. We still have a road course ringer or two coming out to race for points-starved teams, but over the years, many of the mainstream NASCAR stars have put a concerted effort into becoming better road course racers, and it’s paid dividends.

Some say Sonoma should get a second date. It’s an idea whose time has come. It seems fitting there should be a road course in the playoffs. There’s little doubt the fans would support it.