So, one day after the Indy road course race, what are NASCAR drivers saying? Well, it depends on who you ask, and their age. Not to harp on it too hard, but this year has been a year of divide in NASCAR. A batch of young drivers who have cut their teeth in aggressive racing through the Truck and Xfinity Series. Then you have your veterans, the guys that have been at this for years in the Cup Series.
If you are online at all, you know that fans of the sport debate about ovals and road courses all the time. Drivers also have their own opinions, especially with Indy.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, The Brickyard. It’s a facility up there with the greatest in the world. Why all the fuss on oval versus road, though?
NASCAR Veterans Don’t Care for the Indy Road Course
This may be just as much of a generational divide in the fanbase as it is in the Cup Series ranks.
Almost immediately after the race, Denny Hamlin was on Twitter, doing what he does… stirring up a little trouble. Just one simple hashtag, “#bringbacktheoval” and Hamlin had said all that he needed to say. He’s not alone, either.
Fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch was on board with what Hamlin was putting down. He said that the road course was just a “parking lot” in relation to the prestige of the oval. The Brickyard 400 is something that these drivers want a shot at once again.
Then if you ask three-time Brickyard 400 winner Kevin Harvick, it gets worse. The No. 4 driver says that the fact the road course is being raced instead of the oval is a “disgrace.” He also mentioned that it’s “just another race.”
Brad Keselowski put the cherry on top for the old guard.
“I still want to win it. I still want the trophy. But there’s something special about being on the oval track,” the driver admitted.
Tyler Reddick Takes the Checkered Flag
Of course, all of these objections could have been fixed with a win I’m sure. If you ask Tyler Reddick, the winner of the Verizon 200, then I’m sure he’s more than happy to race on the Indy road course. The decision to mix things up with the schedule and race less ovals has been a move that NASCAR wanted to make to appeal to broader audiences.
Shake that “left turn only” stereotype.
This is going to continue being a thing for a couple of more years. NASCAR seems to be embracing the younger generation, molding these drivers like other sports do with young talent. We’ve got a handful of legends that are in their 40s and won’t be racing for forever. Get used to these young guns, they’re sticking around for a while.
Oh, and let’s be honest. When guys like Hamlin and the Busch brothers were getting into the Cup Series, they were seen as the aggressive young punks in the Cup Series. A tale as old as time. What this does for the sport is give us another storyline to pay attention to as the season ramps up in the finals weeks and months.