On Saturday night, the field for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup will be set in Richmond. Many within NASCAR have voiced displeasure with the current 10-race playoff schedule. With that in mind, here is a look at my dream 10-race Chase schedule, listed from the first to last race. Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section or on Twitter.
10. Texas Motor Speedway: Track President Eddie Gossage has been known as a great promoter of his events, so putting the second Texas race at the beginning of the Chase would be a great move, especially considering it would cancel the conflict with the Formula One race in Austin. The race ideally would also be in the daytime, where the track’s racing has been more exciting.
9. Iowa Speedway: From Texas, the series would move to a new track on the schedule. Iowa has quickly become a popular track for many drivers and one that people have been clamoring for on the Cup Schedule. Here it gets a date as the second race in the Chase, and give the schedule a nighttime short-track event.
8. Chicagoland Speedway: This year’s Chase opener gets moved back two weeks. A second straight race in the Midwest and in one of America’s biggest media markets gives NASCAR extra promotion for the final seven weeks, especially since the race will be the end of the first round of the playoff.
7. Dover International Speedway: Another holdover from this year’s Chase Schedule, Dover has a reputation for being one of the most grueling tracks on the schedule. That and its proximity to some of the bigger media markets in the Northeast help cement its place in the Chase.
6. Martinsville Speedway: NASCAR’s oldest track keeps its second, albeit a few weeks earlier. The tradition and excitement of the Virginia short track help keep its place in the Chase.
5. Charlotte Motor Speedway: Charlotte keeps its date and the October race will be kept on Saturday night under the lights. A 500-mile night event would be a great way to end the second round of the Chase.
4. Talladega Superspeedway: One of the Chase’s “Wild Card” events keeps its place in the Chase. The unpredictability and close-racing often found at Talladega has made the event one of the most exciting for fans, and one of the most frustrating for teams.
3. Phoenix International Raceway: Moving up a week, the race at Phoenix International Raceway would still stay in the Chase. Last year’s event provided some thrilling racing as drivers looked to make their way into the Championship 4 at Homestead.
2. Sonoma Raceway: One of the biggest debates about the Chase scheduling has been the addition of a road course. Here, the series not only gets a road course in its playoffs, but also gets an October date with favorable weather in California as a last race before the championship finale.
1. Auto Club Speedway: Over the past few years, the race at Auto Club Speedway has become one of the most thrilling on the schedule. Given that, as well as its proximity to Los Angeles and its history hosting the IndyCar finale in the past, Auto Club Speedway would be a perfect place to cap off the season.
Have a great week and see you soon.