The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Xfinity Series wrapped up a double-header weekend at Watkins Glen International for the Zippo 200 and the Cheez-It 355. Here are five takeaways from the weekend in Upstate New York:
·Crowd: Watkins Glen was able to have their second consecutive sell-out for their NASCAR weekend. With a strong crowd attendance, it is obvious what NASCAR can continue to work on to bring fans to the track, that is on-track product. Watkins Glen provided one of the better races in 2016. Watkins Glen did not disappoint.
·Carousel: Over the past few years, the carousel at Watkins Glen has brought some of the most vicious wrecks in NASCAR history. Safety has to be the number one priority. However, with other racing series racing at Watkins Glen and using “The Boot”, this will provide a challenge.
·Cup drivers in Xfinity: When Joey Logano won Saturday’s Zippo 200, there seemed to be no outrage among fans about a Sprint Cup driver racing in the Xfinity Series. The issue with most fans seems to be when Kyle Busch wins the race. If fans are going to complain about Cup drivers in Xfinity, it needs to be for all Cup drivers, not just one.
·Road-course racing: Road courses once used to be a drag to drivers, crew chiefs, and fans when it was their turn on the schedule. However, over the past couple years, there has been a renaissance among road course racing. I am a firm believer that a road course should be placed in each chase for the championship. Why? A driver must have the prowess on every type of speedway on the NASCAR schedule. It will be interesting to see where road course racing will go within the next couple years.
·Rivalries: I am a huge proponent and believer that NASCAR needs a good rivalry like Petty/Pearson. Watkins Glen produced the potential of a couple new rivalries among Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski and among Kyle Larson and AJ Allmendinger. Truex and Larson were dumped by Keselowski and Allmendinger on the last lap. My hope is that these spur into new rivalries because that is what NASCAR desperately needs.
What are your takeaways from this weekend in Watkins Glen?