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04/17 2017

Charlotte Motor Speedway GM on road course: ‘It’s something we’re ready to do’

Charlotte Motor Speedway GM on road course Its something were ready to do

A road course race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway is looking more likely with each passing day.PHOTO BY HAROLD HINSON PHOTOGRAPHY FOR NASCAR

MARCUS SMITH IS EXCITED ABOUT THE PROSPECTS OF A NASCAR RACE ON THE ‘ROVAL’

BY:  MATT Weaver

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NASCAR fans clamoring for a race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course configuration will not get their wish this season but it’s becoming ever-likely for 2018 and beyond.

Speaking to media at the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race format unveiling, Speedway Motorsports Inc. president Marcus Smith (also the CMS general manager) provided a sense of optimism in lieu of an outright confirmation.

The annual Bank of America 500 NASCAR Cup Series playoff race has been heavily rumored to be contested on the “roval” configuration (Editor’s Note: That’s road oval, for any newbies) next season, and Smith says he and his staff have been closely monitoring fan interest.

“We’ve definitely discussed it,” Smith said. “Others in the sport have discussed it. It’s something we’re definitely ready to do. I’ve heard a lot people say they want to see more road courses in NASCAR and one in the playoffs. So if this is something that everyone signs off on, I think Charlotte would be a great place to do it.”

A.J. Allmendinger tested the 2.3-mile circuit for NASCAR in January and praised the layout. Several other drivers, including Paul Menard and Michael McDowell, have come out in support of the concept. It’s worth noting that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been one of the loudest critics.

Smith says the layout was briefly considered for the All-Star Race before the current oval format with dual tire compounds was further explored.

“The roval was talked about for the All-Star Race this year, but it wasn’t really an option once we looked at everything,” Smith said. “It’s something that may come into play at a later time, however.”