Apr 24, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT
Brad Keselowski had a dream season in 2012, winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
Now Keselowski wants a dream schedule on the Cup circuit – and some of his ideas make sense.
Writing a few days ago on his blog at bradracing.com, Keselowski proposes a number of changes for the Cup slate, including increasing the number of races from 36 to 38 (adding Iowa Speedway and Road Atlanta to the schedule), having 10 “doubleheader” weeks (races on Sundays and either the preceding or following Wednesday), and an eight-week Chase (including two doubleheaders) that would wrap the season up by the end of October.
Oh yes, and let’s not forget Keselowski wants to move the Sprint All-Star race from its traditional mid-May date to after the regular season, to become similar to the NFL’s Pro Bowl scheduling.
“Why is the schedule so sacred?” Keselowski asks. “Everything else has been cut, changed, chopped, and rebuilt. Why not that?”
Keselowski proposes a three-race “western swing” after the season-opening Daytona 500 that would have the Sprint Cup Series visit Fontana, Phoenix and Sonoma in consecutive weekends.
“It would also be good for the people the travel the NASCAR circuit,” Keselowski wrote. “They could come along with us for the West Coast tour. We’d be like the Grateful Dead, with people following us everywhere we went.”
Right, and have tie-dyed firesuits, right? Groovy, Brad-io.
After the West Coast swing, Keselowski would like to see – what else? – an East Coast swing that starts in Homestead, Darlington, Martinsville, Bristol and then out to Texas.
As for the doubleheader idea, it’s intriguing – and something that fans have proposed for years, namely mid-week night races in prime-time on TV.
“Here’s why,” Keselowski said. “Like I said, there’s such a dead stretch in the middle of the season. Turn on SportsCenter on a Summer Wednesday, and what are they talking about? Tim Tebow in training camp? The only major sport that’s in full swing is baseball.”
Tim Tebow in training camp? Uh, Brad, I guess no one told you, but TT is no longer playing football. Just sayin’.
But this doubleheader idea has a lot of merit.
“We race twice a week,” Keselowski wrote. “We start hitting double headers at some of these marquee places that are not that far from each other on the map, and we do it for three weeks in a row. Michigan and Pocono. (Okay, they’re not that close, but roll with me here.) Iowa and Kansas. Dover and Loudon.”
For the record, Brad, you had me at “We race twice a week.”
While it would be hard for race teams, not to mention what happens if rain pushes race day back a day or two, but we still like the concept a LOT.
“During that stretch, everything moves to a two-day show,” Keselowski said. “You practice and qualify on one day, and race on the next. Teams that are running really well would get on a roll. Teams that are running poorly would risk falling into a slump.”
“I want to take a quick moment to point out an added benefit of doing two Cup races a week — it would discourage Cup drivers from driving in the Nationwide as much,” Keselowski said. “To me, that’s a good thing. Right now, Cup drivers have financial incentives to drive in the Nationwide Series. Personally, I also like the added opportunities to keep my skills sharp. But if you’re driving double headers, it’s Cup racing, all the time.”
Check. We like that idea, too, Brad.
Then Keselowski proposes nearly week-long back-to-back stays for summer races at Daytona and Indianapolis, followed by four straight weeks of what have the prospect of being grueling doubleheaders: Kentucky/Atlanta, Pocono/Michigan, Bristol/Road Atlanta and Richmond/Talladega.
An interesting idea, indeed, although we have to question why Brad would put Talladega as the final Chase-qualifying race instead of Richmond.
Speaking of the Chase, Keselowski continues the doubleheader concept by starting the playoffs with back-to-back races at Loudon and Watkins Glen (moving a road course race into the Chase).
After a single week’s race at Chicago, there’s more back-to-backers with Kansas/Martinsville, a single race at Charlotte, a doubleheader at Dover/Texas and Phoenix.
Then, Keselowski proposes to run the All-Star race and vary its venue each year.
But we’re not done. After the All-Star race, there’s a two-week layoff before the season finale at Las Vegas. And as an incentive, the team that wins the All-Star race sits on the pole for the season conclusion in Sin City.
In other words, have a two-week buildup to the championship-determining race like the NFL has with the Super Bowl.
Keselowski admittedly makes some pretty decent points. What do you think? Leave us your thoughts on Bad Brad’s “dream schedule.”
Do you feel all dreamy about it, too, or is it one of your worst nightmares come true?
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
Mar 28, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT
It was a double dose of Force in Saturday’s final rounds of qualifying for the sixth-annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT
Roundup of the rest of Saturday’s action from St. Petersburg.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:20 PM EDT
NBC Sports Group’s “Off the Grid” digital series hits Mexico City, set to premiere on March 31.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:11 PM EDT
Simona de Silvestro happy to be somewhat disappointed with 11th in IndyCar qualifying at St. Petersburg.
Mar 28, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
Takuma Sato puts together a successful qualifying effort for A.J. Foyt Enterprises, ending in fifth and best Honda.
Mar 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
After top-four qualifying sweep, the Team Penske teammates are praising each other rather than trading shots.
Mar 28, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT
Power on pole as Team Penske goes 1-2-3-4 in St. Petersburg qualifying.
Mar 28, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT
Indy Lights’ new era kicks off at St. Petersburg with a new driver and team on top in the series’ new car.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:27 PM EDT
More Will Power on top of IndyCar practice at St. Petersburg.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT
Franck Montagny receives two-year ban from FIA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
Swedish driver reaches both Q2 and Q3 for the first time in his F1 career, and will start tomorrow’s race from ninth place on the grid.
Mar 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Ricciardo and Kvyat both get inside the top five thanks to the rain in Q3 in Malaysia, but Massa and Bottas struggle.
Mar 28, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT
Monaco’s circuit for the FIA Formula E Championship is revealed.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:28 AM EDT
Incident involving Jann Mardenborough’s Nissan GT-R claims the life of one spectator at the Nordschleife.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Dutch youngster scores the best F1 qualifying result for a teenager in 54 years on Saturday in Malaysia.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT
Spanish driver will make his second debut for McLaren from 18th position on the grid tomorrow.
Mar 28, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT
British driver explains the challenge of judging your qualifying lap in the wet after securing pole position in Malaysia on Saturday.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:49 AM EDT
Merhi and Stevens miss the 107% time required to qualify in Malaysia, but are granted dispensation by the FIA stewards.
Vettel hoping for more rain on Sunday after scoring Ferrari’s first front-row start in two years (VIDEO)
Mar 28, 2015, 7:30 AM EDT
Felipe Massa was the last driver to start on the front row of the grid for Ferrari, lining up second for the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix.
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