Rain aside, looks like it was quite the spectacle–in a good way.
If NASCAR does more street circuits in the future, where should they go? Detroit? Los Angeles? Miami?
Surfer’s Paradise, Townsville, Newcastle…give the top 5 drivers in the US NASCAR event a shot at a V8 Supercars race.
I really want to see more NASCAR street circuts. This was a fun race to watch even with the weather issues.
When they announced the race last year I thought it was a terrible layout but in the end both the wife and I enjoyed watching it.
There is rarely any racing shared on the news in Chicago so when all the media jumped on it I was worn down with all the hype. But in the end it was a fun event.
The race was fantastic. Super fun to watch the guys hanging the tail out the whole race on the exit of turn 5 and blast down to turn 6. Atmosphere was great when the cars were running.
Things NASCAR could have done better;
Track map: Did not make it clear at all where the GA boundary ended, there was a whole area on the map that seemed to be open and not part of the GA Plus ticket, but was inaccessible to GA. Was pretty bummed to not be able to get all the way out to turn 3 or 4 where there was some great action.
Be realistic and more communicative with fans: we got shooed around by event staff for over an hour Saturday before they even announced any updates to if the race was delayed, let alone postponed. It was especially frustrating to show up to the track Sunday morning at 9am for the chance to see the Xfinity race if the weather actually broke, just to find the gates closed and continued delays, once it was already clear from the weather that it wasn’t going to run. Lots of us got drenched waiting because we didn’t want to risk wasting half of a very expensive event ticket (whose value had already been diminished by the cancelation of half the concerts scheduled).
GA had basically no covered spaces once you were actually inside the gates for folks to get out of the rain, and umbrellas were not allowed. It rained so hard my brand new rainjacket actually soaked completely through after about 3 hours. Once we finally sought out a tent to shelter under (some folks near turn 6 elected to relocate the umbrellas and tables from a food area over to the fence – event staff really didn’t know how to deal with that one), for some reason they weren’t selling drinks? I have no clue why the event would choose not to sell their overpriced booze to wet, cold, bored people.
I’m just glad we rushed back to the fence once they called drivers to their cars, absolutely would have blown to have been tip-toeing to see over people even on the straights, having paid as much for tickets as most of us did (ignoring the ~7000 vouchers NASCAR handed out the week before). A lot of folks probably did not get a good view of any of the race. Also there were really only two screens and they weren’t visible from the track, so you were hosed if you didn’t know where to look on your phone for track feed and/or have a scanner. Most people who were new to NASCAR would have had to choose to either watch a single file of cars passing by on a straight every couple minutes, or to pay a lot to watch the race on a big TV.
Overall, a very cool event in concept, the first half of the Xfinity race gave a glimpse of what it could have been if the weather held up. The cup race was great. Chicago is a neat city, glad I got to experience it, and the rain can’t be helped, but for the cost of a GA ticket I was expecting a much more organized and thought-out event.
Was half of the enjoyment of the race because of everybody tip toeing around the track in the wet? Instead of the usual bumper car push and shove.
In reply to bumpsteer :
Thanks for the descriptive spectator experience. I do hope they do a lessons learned and figure out what to do better versus just considering it a failure and walking away. (a la the ALMS race in DC)
In reply to bumpsteer :
I went to the F1 race at COTA the year it was almost flooded out, and they didn’t handle it any better than your experience. They actually sent us home on Saturday because quali was put off until Sunday, and then held it anyway.
Severe weather just isn’t something race organizers are ready for.
In reply to Keith Tanner :
Fair, it just felt extra egregious to me given that rain was on the forecast for over a week, there were no stands or buildings that fans in GA could hide under like at an actual track, and they couldn’t expect most fans to be able to go hide in their cars parked close to the track; so I was hoping for at least a few more basic tents or to let people huddle on the stage that wasn’t getting used for anything else at that point.
They called the start of the Cup race perfectly though, I was actually in disbelief when it completely stopped raining about 15 minutes after they called drivers to their cars.
In reply to bumpsteer :
I’ve attended NASCAR races at Watkins Glen for years. They don’t offer any places for GA people to take cover in the event of rain during the day when NASCAR Cup Series runs its race. Just got to grin and bear it, or run back to the car parked far, far away when NASCAR comes to town.
I thought for a street circuit it is pretty creative and given that the midwest is pretty flat they made use of the man made elevation which I thought put some more fun in it rather than just a bunch of drag races into 90* corners like most street circuits.