Based on the weepers at Loudon this past Friday, the 23-year-old asphalt is showing its age. There have also been rumblings of Sprint Cup returning to a dirt track. This smells like a chance to kill two birds with one stone. I propose converting New Hampshire Motor Speedway to a dirt track.
If we have learned anything from ARCA at Du Quoin and Springfield, it's that one-mile, low-banked dirt tracks work well. Unlike the aforementioned tracks, Loudon already has a pit road, infield medical center, and permanent garages.
This would not be a perfect solution for the track. It could lose revenue from sources such as club racing and motorcycle road racing. The Loudon Classic would have to survive as a mixed surface event. The Whelen Modified Tour would have to give up its dates. Locals may complain if their houses are covered in dust after a race.
The track could attract new forms of revenue. The venue would be appealing for flat-track motorcycle racing. Dirt sprints, late models, and modifieds could make use of the track. The size of the venue could prove to be a boon for rallycross.
Racing would be less likely to be delayed for weather because dirt tracks can tolerate a light rain, pending if they've been watered beforehand. In the event of a downpour, there would be no waiting 6 hours while the jet dryers run: the race would be called quickly. Electronics may require waterproofing.
Aside from the loss of the modified races, not much would change for the current NASCAR weekends. 300 laps is about the longest a dirt track can last before ruts become a disruption. Expect all practice and Nationwide Series qualifying sessions on Friday, Cup qualifying (impound) and the Nationwide race on Saturday, and the Cup race on Sunday.
The initial resurfacing would probably save NHMS some money, but upkeep on the track would probably cost a lot more than asphalt.
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