MONTE DUTTON - NOTHING TO LOSE
I’m not fond of the term “roval.” The road courses that use both infield and oval in Daytona Beach and Indianapolis aren’t called rovals. I’m surprised it’s not a new prescription drug (“In rare instances, Roval has been known to cause understeer in mice.”) or a cereal that sounds healthy but isn’t.
It’s going to be ubiquitous on TV. They’re all going to say “roval” as often as they say the reigning Monster Cup champion’s name without one of its letters.
Martin Trex Jr. loves this roval!
I’m not against it. It’s a novel idea but not so novel that it makes me want to write one about it. Charlotte Motor Speedway, which was sort of the original wonderland of NASCAR, always nudged the sport forward to ideas whose times had come. All-Star races. Lights. Condos. Legends cars in the trioval. Dirt track. Drag strip. Swimming pools. Movie stars. Y’all come back now. You hear? Everyone says the fan base is aging, so y’all ought to understand a Beverly Hillbillies reference. If the kids at the local high school start wearing M&Ms jackets again, then we’ll know it’s a success, and I’ll have to start making references to Young Sheldon.
Oft times CMS has begun an innovation that ended up being copied so much that the novelty wore off. The entire sport has moved into the “what the hell, give it a try stage” that CMS has been in for 50 years.
I don’t know what they’re going to do if something doesn’t work soon.
It seems to me there is great fear and loathing among the drivers, who seem to have the nervous demeanor of men who have been issued some kind of Miranda warning of the race track.
Anything you say or do can be used against you in a laser inspection.
These are men whose response to the roval seems to be, “Uh … well … it’ll be … interesting. That’s for sure.”
Translation: I hate it, I hate it, I hate it ...
Certainly the element of uncertainty adds the possibility of excitement and the likelihood of controversy. I’m sure I’ll be watching with more than the normal level of intensity. I’m sort of worried that, following the usual pattern, if this happens to work, and by work, I mean that, by current standards, if the TV ratings edge up by half a point, it’ll be hyped as sliced bread, rural electricity and free wi-fi, all rolled into one.
I want it to work, but if it does, I hope it doesn’t result in Indy on the road course, summertime Daytona on the road course, and, God forbid, a road course through the infield of Darlington.
Back in ’90s, I used to get out a ruler, and a protractor, and maybe an Etch-A-Sketch, and draw up a stadium road course because I realized the disadvantage of most road courses is that fans can only see what’s in the turn or on the straight in front of them. I envisioned finding the perfect tract of land that, with the land-moving skills normally seen in the design of golf courses, could be fashioned into a venue where fans could see all the action in spite of left and right turns and changes in elevation. If I could do that on a legal pad, no telling what some architect could do in a laptop. The problem with an Etch-A-Sketch is that the slightest shake would make part of my masterpiece disappear.
Charlotte has needed a break for about a decade. I don’t begrudge it one now, but I’m old enough to remember when the shape of the track – the truncated trioval was the late Bob Latford’s term – was considered so brilliant that it was cloned into other tracks all across this great land of copycats.
How’d that work out? Anyone remember?