Before the NASCAR Cup Series took to the road course at Indy, the race was already under some scrutiny. Both fans and drivers alike were expressing their distaste for yet another road course race. Luckily for the naysayers, they were indeed validated. In probably one of the worst displays of racing NASCAR has seen in years, almost half the grid was taken out by one corner.
A Prelude To Chaos
NASCAR already had some caution flags heading into Sunday’s race. Both Indycar and the NASCAR Xfinity Series had issues in their races. The issues the races specifically had were with turn 6 on the circuit. At turn 6, there were curbs at the corner that unfortunately were not exactly designed for NASCAR stock cars.
On Saturday, several cars went airborne at turn 6. Now technically, those cars would not have gone airborne if the were racing the course correctly. The curbs are not designed for cars to drive over them, but it does still happen. And when a stock car specifically goes over the curb at turn 6, nothing pretty happens.
Some Long Final Laps
The race at the Cup race Indy road course did seem to be going off without a hitch on Sunday. But that completely changed as the race entered the final laps. As Chase Briscoe and Denny Hamlin were racing for the lead, the pack was racing hard behind them. As every driver was fighting for position as they went into turn 6, William Byron’s splitter caught the curb and ripped up the car’s underside. This sent fluids all over the track, resulting in half the field being sent off the track.
On the ensuing restart after the mess from the first crash was cleaned up, the field crashed once again a turn 6. This really did not surprise anyone watching. The way the track is oriented just invites large incidents. This caused the race to be put on pause again to clean up the wrecked cars. This time though, they also removed the curb at turn 6.
On the next restart, Chase Briscoe was sent into the grass at turn one. But Briscoe ended up rejoining the track by cutting it, putting him in first place. Briscoe was handed a stop and go penalty for this. After that though, Briscoe decided that there was nothing to lose and he spoiled Denny Hamiln’s race by spinning him. Luckily, this would be the final major incident in this race. A. J. Allmendinger came away with his 2nd Cup Series win after surviving the mess.
Was It Even Entertaining?
Chaos in a NASCAR race can be a very fun thing. This type of chaos though was more of the annoying type though. Yes there were big crashes, but they happened as a result of the track conditions, not due to hard racing. Sometimes fans would much rather watch a race come to a close finish than have to watch a race be dragged out by constant crashes.
NASCAR absolutely will now probably assess if the Cup series will run the road course at Indy next season. The road course is just not designed for stock cars. It could be redone in the off-season, but after this race there may just be no point. Fans and drivers are already wishing for the oval back.
‘From our Haus to yours’