Sunday’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire is the only one at the track in 2018.
The one-mile track used to host two Cup Series races a year but the second race of the season got moved to Las Vegas, a track also owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. It’s the first time a track has gone from two Cup races to one since Auto Club Speedway and Atlanta each lost a date after the 2010 season.
ACS has turned into one of the more entertaining intermediate tracks on the schedule since it’s had one date, though that has to do more with the aging pavement than the fact there’s just one race there now. New Hampshire, well, it hasn’t been the most entertaining race. If you like strategy, New Hampshire is good for it. If you like side-by-side racing, well, New Hampshire probably isn’t your thing.
Connecticut native Joey Logano is a proponent of tracks having just one race date a season. It’s a sentiment shared by others, including Kevin Harvick. Logano said Friday that he thinks Sunday’s race will be more of an event than it would be if there was a race at New Hampshire coming up in September.
“I think really going to a race track one time kind of makes sense to me, whether it’s a mile-and-a-half, a superspeedway, whatever it may be, I think if you go to a race track once it makes it more of an event,” Logano said. “I think sometimes when you have two races, this weekend will be a great test to see how that works as Loudon goes from two to one. When you think there are two races and you’re a fan that can only afford to go to one, you’re most likely going to choose the Playoff race here. So it will be interesting to see what the stands look like on Sunday because now it’s an event. You can’t miss this one and have a chance to go to the next one.”
A New Hampshire track executive said earlier this week that ticket sales for Sunday’s race were up slightly from a year ago. A ticket sale increase is good, don’t get us wrong, but a less-than-five-percent increase when a track goes from two dates to one isn’t a huge bragging point.
– Local hotel owner says he used to increase rates by 30% on fall race weekend.
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) July 16, 2018
We’ll see what the crowd looks like on Sunday.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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