It’s time for NASCAR to improve the racing at Michigan International Speedway.
The speedway has seen numerous improvements over the years, mostly to better the fan experience outside the track itself, but Sunday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 illustrates that the series needs to improve racing at the 2.0-mile tri-oval in the Irish Hills.
One of the main reasons for NASCAR’s explosive growth in recent years has been the competitiveness of the racing. Tradin’ paint, jockeying for position and liberal use of yellow lights and almost identical cars – all make the series the most competitive form of automotive racing in the world.
However, Sunday’s race at Michigan’s 42-year-old track was a snooze. Denny Hamlin led 123 laps out of 200. Only two other drivers, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne, were anywhere near him for most of the race.
Race winner Denny Hamlin said it appeared to him that NASCAR did its best to bunch up the cars, calling what appeared to be a phantom caution for debris on the track with 17 laps to go, for one final restart.
Kasey Kahne, 9 seconds behind, said he saw debris, not without self interest.