The NASCAR All-Star Race has been a hot topic of discussion due to a late caution, Ryan Blaney’s window net, and the racing product. The responses have been negative, but 21-time winner Jeff Burton has unveiled a plan to fix the All-Star Race by revisiting NASCAR history.
Burton revealed his idea during the May 23 episode of the “Door Bumper Clear” podcast He explained to the hosts that NASCAR keeps changing the All-Star Race format and rules because they want to ensure that the action on the track is good. He continued and said that the issue is that they are taking the race to the wrong venues.
“You know how to make the race good? Take it to the right race track,” Burton said. “I said 15 years ago that the All-Star Race oughta be at Hickory Motor Speedway. It oughta be at the historic race tracks of NASCAR. It should go to South Boston Speedway. It should go to Hickory Motor Speedway.
“It should rotate through the race tracks that helped build this sport. It should rotate through those little towns that helped build this sport. And if you did that and let [Speedway Motorsports President Marcus Smith] and his team — because you’re taking a race from them — let Marcus and his team promote those races like they do at COTA, you wouldn’t have to have those stupid d*** rules.”
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Burton Also Addressed the Racing Product at Texas
The Next Gen era has helped turn around some intermediate tracks. There have been exciting races at several venues, but Texas Motor Speedway did not have the same level of quality during the All-Star Open and the All-Star Race. The drivers just couldn’t make passes or use tire strategy to put themselves in a position to win.
Burton explained that his idea of rotating the race through the historic tracks would fix this problem. One driver would not be able to take the lead on the restart and build up a three-second lead. Instead, there would be door-to-door action in front of an excited crowd.
“The hope was, hey, we are going to get that at Texas, right,” Burton continued. “But our expectation for an All-Star Race is we think Davey Allison and Kyle Petty across the start-finish line [during the 1992 race] every All-Star Race is normal. It’s not.
“But you will stand a better chance of having that if you did it at a track where you couldn’t get away from each other. And it needs to be at a real short track. And if you did that, you would build energy back into the sport, you would connect to those small towns that you used to be connected to, you would have a major positive influence on those economies, you would build tons of excitement about the sport.”
NASCAR Experimented With 1 Short Track
While the All-Star Race has primarily taken place at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR has moved it to other tracks. The second-ever race was at Atlanta Motor Speedway while the past two races have taken place at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 2020 race, however, was at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR moved the exhibition event to Tennessee due to COVID protocols and put the best drivers on display at a historic short track.
This All-Star Race provided some of the action that Burton discussed when unveiling his plan. There wasn’t a single driver that was able to get the lead and put everyone else in the distance. Chase Elliott certainly controlled the final laps of the third stage, as well as the final stage, but he had to first chase down Ryan Blaney before holding off a late charge from Kyle Busch.
The rest of the field also jockeyed for the best position throughout the race. Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Alex Bowman among others used fresh tires and the inside lane to move past Joey Logano and other competitors.