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Ken de la Bastide column: NASCAR 2020 schedule is disappointing | Sports

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Was there any reason to get overly excited about the 2020 NASCAR schedule?

It seems like everyone knows that starting in 2021 there could be significant changes in the schedule as contracts with existing tracks come to an end after next season.

But there really was nothing exciting with the 2020 season schedule. In my opinion, the fans were no winners, and several tracks had to be disappointed with their assigned race dates.

Hard to imagine anyone getting worked up about two Cup races at Pocono Raceway on the same weekend in June.

The current two races at Pocono are among the most unexciting events during the entire year so running back-to-back events on the same weekend really doesn’t help.

It also left a number of unanswered questions. Will teams qualify once for starting positions in the two races?

Someone suggested the finishing order in the Saturday race be inverted for Sunday. Now that would be interesting but not likely to happen.

So after racing one year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September to get away from the heat in the Hoosier State, NASCAR moves the Brickyard 400 to the July 4 weekend.

That move was bad enough for IMS, but it also ended the long-standing tradition of the halfway point race taking place in Daytona.

The only real hope for IMS is the Brickyard 400 be made into a road-course event instead of the oval.

Want to help attendance at Indianapolis? Move the Xfinity race back to Lucas Oil Raceway with the truck series and USAC Silver Crown cars.

KrogerFest was always well attended and provided exciting racing. Make the change for the benefit of the fans.

The other unpopular move is taking the championship weekend races from Homestead-Miami, where there was at least the chance of some exciting racing, and moving them to Phoenix.

The Phoenix racing has never been known for the ability to pass, and typically one driver dominants the events.

The Homestead race gets moved to March.

The winner in the 2020 schedule was NBC which got NASCAR to agree to take two weekends off for the Summer Olympics.

Maybe the 2021 schedule will include some new venues, with Rockingham Speedway pitching to make a return.

The Nashville, Tenn., fairgrounds speedway would like a Cup date, but there isn’t enough available seating to cover the costs — which will also be the problem for any hopes of a race on the dirt track at Eldora.

IN OTHER RACING NEWS

Anderson Speedway kicks off the 2019 season at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The Champion Racing Association’s super late models make their annual visit for a 125-lap feature. The newly created Indiana-Ohio Thunder Car series has its inaugural event and hopefully will attract a large number of competitors.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

​Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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