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Kyle Busch Believes NASCAR Can Expand Its Street Course Portfolio After a Profitable Chicago Outing

Published 02/01/2024, 11:03 PM EST

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In 2023, NASCAR decided to mix things up by adding the Chicago Street Course race. Sure, the rain played spoilsport in the Windy City, but it also added a dash of thrill to the race. This twist in the NASCAR schedule introduced NASCAR to a fresh face: Shane van Gisbergen.

With NASCAR hinting at spicing up the track roster, could we see more street races on the horizon? Kyle Busch recently weighed in on this topic, sharing his two cents on whether street circuits could become a regular feature and dishing out his picks for potential new battlegrounds for NASCAR.

Kyle Busch believes including more street courses would not make some people happy

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There’s something electric about the driver’s seat during a race, especially when it’s through the concrete jungle of a city center. The idea of dodging through downtown, with its tight corners and slim streets, has got a lot of drivers buzzing, eager to flex their driving muscles in a setting that’s a bit off the beaten track. But it’s not just about the track turns. NASCAR’s shiny Next-Gen Car, with its aerodynamic design, beefier tires, and wider stance, tends to test drivers to the max as they weave through streets and road courses.

On the topic of whether NASCAR could see more street courses in the upcoming season when Kyle Busch was asked, he mused, “Looking at the city of Vegas they all weren’t too thrilled with F1 being there um but it was a great show it was a great race it really put on a really a really neat aspect there so maybe there’s something with that. um you know there’s other areas obviously that have been kind of rumored around of something in Manhattan or not Manhattan but like Long Island area or something like that but you never know we’ll see that that’ll definitely make some people not too happy,” since they like to drive on street or road courses as much.

Three years ago, the bigwigs at NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway decided to switch things up, swapping the traditional oval race for one on the road course. Kyle Busch wasn’t thrilled, even calling the road course a “parking lot” back in the day. In a chat with the Indianapolis Star last year in February 2023, the two-time champ didn’t mince words. He laid it out straight.

Moreover, he aired out his grievances about the road course, saying, “But I don’t know why we ever went to the road course, to be honest with you. I don’t think it did an uptick or changed a damn thing at Indy. If we can’t do a good enough job getting enough people to Indy to suffice us staying on the oval, then we need to go somewhere else—just like anywhere.” Well, things have changed quite a lot in just one year.

Watch This Story: Kyle Busch Breaks His Silence on Unusual Fan Behavior; but NASCAR Fandom Seem to Know the Real Reason

From 2020 to 2023, NASCAR has been adventurous with new road courses, adding the likes of Daytona, Indianapolis, Road America, Circuit of the Americas, and the Chicago Street Course. Now, road races make up a sixth of the season’s schedule. Given that road races usually see fewer pile-ups than oval tracks, NASCAR may want to toy with the idea of more street races in the upcoming years. Yet, according to Jordan Bianchi, NASCAR could be leaning more toward traditional ovals soon.

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Jordan Bianchi had a heart-to-heart with fans on the NASCAR Cup series schedule

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Back in June last year, when a fan was itching to know what 2024’s Cup schedule might look like, Jordan Bianchi, without beating around the bush, pointed out that NASCAR’s got more wiggle room in their calendar these days, allowing them to ease off tracks that don’t quite hit the mark in terms of thrilling races.

He hinted, “Expect such fluidity to continue. In part because a number of fans (and drivers) believe NASCAR visits too many road courses annually, combined with the tepid racing, the expectation is that the 2024 schedule could feature fewer road courses with the strong possibility the Indianapolis race reverts back to its 2.5‐mile speedway. Also, don’t be surprised if there is a push for Speedway Motorsports to shift the fall Charlotte playoff race off the Roval to the 1.5‐mile oval.”

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Read More: Kyle Busch Makes His Expectations Clear With RCR in His Second Season

Now, just because Bianchi’s got a hunch about these shifts doesn’t mean NASCAR’s set in stone to follow suit. But it does show they’re not afraid to shake things up if need be. If road racing keeps getting a bad rap, Bianchi believes NASCAR might just put the brakes on them.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta