The upcoming 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup is the marquee part of every NASCAR season.
Over the course of the first nine years of the Chase, NASCAR worked out the bugs and made some necessary tweaks to give fans an optimal playoff.
But whenever NASCAR fans get together and talk about the Chase, the selection of tracks that make up the playoffs is almost always a hot topic of conversation.
Why are some tracks in the Chase while others aren't? Why isn't a road course in the mix? Why are there five 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase?
Those are all excellent points.
And as we prepare for the 10th edition of the Chase, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the track makeup we see today may not be the track makeup we see in another couple of years.
Two things on the horizon could spell some significant change in upcoming editions of the Chase.
First, the mega-billion dollar new TV package with FOX and NBC that kicks in in 2015. Second, the current contract for Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway expires after next year's season-ending race—and it's likely there will be some serious jockeying among other racetracks to lure the season finale away from HMS.
As we prepare for the Chase field to be set following Saturday's final qualifying race at Richmond, we thought we'd put together what we believe would be the ultimate Chase, including some tracks that are already in it—and others that should be in it.
We were very cognizant of late fall weather when coming up with this slate of tracks and their locale, as well as making sure the three largest metropolitan markets were represented.
But with 23 racetracks on the schedule, you also want to be fair to as many as possible. So, we're going to throw a little twist into the selection process: to reach as many fans and geographic areas as possible, we've included four round-robin dates, where a particular race in the Chase will alternate between two tracks every other year.
Here's our list. Do you agree? Was there a track we left out that you strongly feel should be in? Let's hear your thoughts.