Wallace, mid-week racing, Daytona road course are at the top of this week’s Hot Topics Sound Off with Fan4Racing writer Andy Laskey. Share your thoughts by commenting below.
Rumor: Bubba Wallace to Chip Ganassi Racing
A surprising turn in the 2021 silly season, is the recent rumor of Bubba Wallace possibly taking Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Chevy, in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. While many peg Ross Chastain for the seat, Bubba Wallace could certainly bring a lot to that team.
Wallace has become a high profile driver bringing a lot of attention to not only the team but sponsors as well. Wallace has been competitive during his time in NASCAR’s top-three divisions, and a shot at a top team could make him an instant playoff contender.
NASCAR: Midweek Racing Still a Possibility Despite Ratings Slump
The news of the struggling mid-week race TV ratings is disappointing from my perspective, and perhaps others as well. But, there may be a couple of valid reasons for the weak showing.
NASCAR has always been, primarily, a weekend sport and some of the long-time fans still look for the races on Saturday or Sunday. Another issue is simply the fact that a majority of fans work during the week, and may not be able to watch. Perhaps with more promotion and mid-week racing becoming more common, the idea will gain popularity.
From my seat, the few 2020 mid-week races so far are enjoyable. I’d love to see the concept become a small part of the schedule for years to come. The traditional Saturday and Sunday afternoon races should remain the standard. But some changes are good and mid-week racing should also have a place in the future of NASCAR.
Daytona Road Course Rules
Last week, NASCAR published several rules ahead of the inaugural weekend at Daytona International Speedway’s road course on August 15th and 16th.
First, drivers competing on the road course that weekend cannot race in multiple events. This rule is certainly justified. Any driver taking part in another series before their points race gives them a distinct advantage. Since no one has ever raced the road course in a stock car, NASCAR is giving everyone the same playing field of unknowns, especially when it counts the most for every driver.
Second, the Daytona road course is also used by IMSA for the Rolex 24, with one exception. A chicane, located off turn four, is a change by NASCAR to slow the cars down as they enter the front straightaway. This is a smart move given the speed drivers would have as they enter the first turn without the chicane. Especially given the driver’s unfamiliarity with the road course, accidents could potentially be a problem without NASCAR’s intervention with the chicane.
Third, NASCAR is using its 2019 road course package for the Cup cars. The bundle includes 750 horsepower with the higher spoiler and brake ducts. For road course racing, the lower horsepower package is better for the racing product and driver safety.