“We Need More 1.5”- Brad Keselowski Leads Stock Car Community’s Charge Against NASCAR, Demanding Return of Short Tracks

Published 09/11/2023, 10:19 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

NASCAR is a sport that breathes blazing speed and exhibits thrilling action. And for that sole purpose, it is perhaps necessary for the 700-horsepower beasts to run as fast as they can and as wide as they can in order to book that one cherished ride down the victory lane. With cars running three or even four wide, superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega put on remarkable shows that entertain the entire community.

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Since the dawn of the next-gen stock cars, the quarter-mile and half-mile short tracks have become the focus of discussion. There was a time when people sought after the road courses featuring the most daredevil of all Cup car races. But lately, the interest has shifted to the short tracks. And after the caution-prone race at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR insiders are talking in favor of the short tracks.

Brad Keselowski sided with the resurgence of NASCAR’s short tracks

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Recently, the renowned reporter Jordan Bianchi tweeted, “There was a time not too long ago NASCAR races at Kansas were looked at unfavorably. Just wasn’t a track that generally excited fans. Now, Kansas is arguably the best track on the circuit to where its playoff race is one circled on the calendar.”

RFK Racing owner and #6 Ford icon Brad Keselowski concurred. He retweeted, “Agreed. We went from 1.5 mile tracks being the worst and road courses being the best races to watch with Gen6 car: To now, 1.5 mile tracks being the best and road courses being the worst racing to watch with NextGen cup car.

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Interesting to watch this play out. We need more 1.5

Fans joined hands with Bianchi and Brad Keselowski against NASCAR’s long-oval precedence. A majority of the comments urged NASCAR to reopen Chicagoland Speedway. Due to factors like declining audience attendance and increasing operating costs, this racetrack closed permanently in 2021, following the 2019 global COVID-19 pandemic.

Someone commented, “The intermediates have definitely benefited thanks to the Next-Gen. The only points lacking really are the short tracks. I think now may be a good time for the manufacturers and NASCAR to look into getting more HP into the cars, no matter the cost.”

“It’s not good that the generation of car dictates what tracks get races,” said another.

A motorsport enthusiast demanded, “Need Chicagoland back on the schedule.”

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On that note, another fan wrote, “When are we bringing back Chicagoland, Indy and fall Charlotte? Move the roval to Texas.”

While another stated, “Need more intermediate tracks in general. That’s why it is such a shame that California is being torn down.”

Amidst the others, another short track was hurled into the depths of oblivion in 2021.

NASCAR is ignoring the short tracks that proved detrimental to this 14-degree banked racetrack

This shift in attention towards the short tracks of NASCAR is particularly necessary for the 1.33-mile racetrack in Nashville. This largest concrete-only track has hosted 3 Cup Series races, 24 Xfinity Series races, and 16 Craftsman Truck Series events, apart from 8 Indy Racing League contests. Despite the above, NASCAR has long ignored the D-shaped track since it opened in 1904.

NASCAR held its last Cup Series event at Nashville in 1984. However, the advocates for this track include Hall of Famers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Darrell Waltrip and current Cup drivers like Martin Truex Jr. and HMS star Chase Elliott.

In a tweet dating back to 2020, the number 9 Chevy star wrote, “One snooze fest at that joint will put the nail in the coffin of the fairgrounds, bummer.” After having raced for two consecutive years and winning the SRX race against his father, Bill Elliott, in 2021 at the Nashville fairgrounds in Tennessee, his opinion seems to be the same.

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However, in order to pick up NASCAR’s Cup Series schedule, they must do a decent degree of renovation on the track. As of now, the paint is withering off the cantilevered roofs of the track, and the concrete stairs show cracks. Moreover, they need to repave the asphalt on the tracks and rebuild the tunnels.

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Read more: “The Roots Are All There” – Owner Brad Keselowski Proves His Admiration for the Only RFK Winner

Although the mayor signed a renovation deal with Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, in 2022, the plan awaits approval from the Nashville City Council. Once approved, Nashville will issue a sum of $50 million in bonds for renovations and a 30-year contract that will allow the lease and optimum management of the track.

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Written by:

Soumyadeep Saha

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Soumyadeep is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. He has done his Master's in English Literature and is a semi-professional bodybuilder. He has, in recent years, channelized his love and commitment for motorsports into a building career path.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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