NASCAR: Bring Back the Rock

Tom GCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2008

Remember the days when the Sprint Cup Series would pull into Rockingham, NC ready to put on a show?

The track where Matt Kenseth inched out Kasey Kahne at the line in 2004? Where drivers would wheel their cars over the extremely bumpy surface, inches apart from each other? Remember the days when fans flocked from miles and miles away to see a race at a historic track?

Rockingham hosted its first Sprint Cup race in 1965 and, until 2004, hosted some of the best racing in NASCAR's history, only to be plagued by low attendance and a loss of their fall date, the fan favorite.

The spring race remained, but it fell during a time of year when weather was often poor and unpredictable, making attendance lower and lower until the date was given to the Auto Club Speedway in sunny southern California.

The Rockingham Speedway has been dormant since losing its date (except for Sprint Cup testing, ARCA/Remax Series races, and movie and commercial shoots.)

Now, NASCAR fans are beginning to speak up and voice their opinions about wanting the historic racetrack back on the circuit.

The question is: Why isn't NASCAR answering the wants of the fan base by returning a date to the track?

Surely the Auto Club Speedway, with its reputation of less-than-stellar races and a track record of not selling out, could be eliminated. The last race there only fetched a crowd only two-thirds of the track's capacity.

Now here is a proposal for you: Give Rockingham its date in the fall back. Its racing would be just the thing the new Chase format needs. Move Atlanta to the second race of the season which would be a great race to follow up the Daytona 500, and demote California back to a single race venue.