|The wind was crazy fast in Las Vegas; Phoenix expected to be perfect.|
I love the concept of having three straight West Coast races early in the season, but it's not very practical from a west coast fan perspective. When I was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last Sunday I had the opportunity to talk with lots of the fans. There were a couple of parties I met anchored in on the infield with their RV's that will be going to Phoenix this week and Fontana in two weeks. They've taken three weeks out of their lives to live NASCAR -- pretty awesome stuff. I was extremely jealous.
But others I talked to at Las Vegas that don't have the liberty to take off work so long aren't very happy about three straight West Coast races this early. The problem is that NASCAR forces almost everyone to make a destination choice between the three. Where do I go, Las Vegas, Phoenix or Fontana? If the races were spaced out more across the schedule, there would be more people able to attend all three west coast dates. After Fontana next week, the series won't come out west again until late June at Sonoma and then not again until November with Phoenix again.
When I heard multiple fans at Las Vegas tell me this and then I looked around at LVMS and saw less people than ever in the stands, I thought they had some valid points. The wind was hitting 40 mph on Sunday, which may have discouraged some to attend, but there should still be cause for concern. If Las Vegas is having trouble filling the track, with all the city has to offer, there is something wrong with the set-up. The west coast swing thing may sound nice to the NASCAR folks in Daytona making the schedule, and they are saving some fuel with less travel, but it should be called west coast cannibalism.
Okay, that's all I have to say about that. As usual, I'll be watching the race on television, where to be truthful, I actually enjoy more in my older age than being at the race. Phoenix has always been a track I enjoyed watching not just because it's unique, but also because its one of the truest to driver ratings. Drivers expected to do well usually do and that's a big advantage in betting driving matchups.
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