Former Cup Driver and Team Owner Explains Usefulness of Races Like the Chili Bowl for NASCAR Drivers

Published 01/08/2021, 7:00 AM EST
2016 October 01 | Saturday: Matt Tifft (11) Toyota Tundra waits in the Neon Garage between practice sessions for the 20th DC Solar 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


During the NASCAR off-season, many racers take some time for themselves away from the racetrack. After some much-needed R&R, it is usually time for them to resume preparations for the new season. Sometimes, drivers race in other series in order to keep themselves active and in shape.

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Recently, former driver Matt Tifft spoke about racing in other series outside NASCAR. According to him, driving in races like the Chili Bowl Nationals can be ‘refreshing and fun.’ At the same time, it helps drivers hone their craft and learn new tricks of the trade.

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It also ensures that none of the drivers have lost their touch. If a racer stays away from a sport for a little too long, they run the risk of getting rusty and have it affect their performance. The likes of Michael Schumacher can attest to that, when he tried to make his comeback to F1 in 2010, but failed miserably.

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Can the NASCAR drivers benefit from other racing series?

The 2021 season will be hugely important for many drivers. Especially since there are a few new venues to race at. In addition to that, for the first time, NASCAR will tackle the dirt surface. Since a race like the Chili Bowl Nationals primarily takes place on dirt tracks, some would view it as practice.

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – JULY 15: Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, races John H. Nemechek, driver of the #38 YANMAR Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series All-Open at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 15, 2020 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

To be honest, they are not wrong in that assessment, as it could give them a leg up on the competition. Of course, this is easier said than done, as anything can happen in the span of several hundred laps. However, the season is long and all drivers will be hard at work preparing for the new season.

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Sure, they may have taken some time away for the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, once they come back and are refreshed, it is back to the grind, yet again.

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Dhruv George

11998 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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