Should NASCAR Hold a Drift Event Annually?
The NASCAR season might be the most paid attention to series of auto races in America each year, with even drift enthusiasts acknowledging the sport’s popularity. But NASCAR’s season is missing one key element to auto racing, with that being the presence of a drift event on its schedule. For NASCAR to truly be a test of racing ability, should it add one drift race to its schedule each season?
Most NASCAR races consist of racing around an oval, with competitors turning left throughout the majority of each race. There are few exceptions to this, with road course races like that at Watkins Glen being what typically breaks up the monotony that most courses impose. A great way to break up that monotony going forward would be to add a drift race to the schedule at one point or another.
NASCAR often refers to their drivers as being some of the best in the world, and understandably so. To drive as fast as their drivers do without incident on such a consistent basis is some of the most impressive driving imaginable. However, for NASCAR drivers to truly be considered some of the best drivers in the world, testing another facet of their abilities via drifting would be an entertaining and revealing test.
Plus, it’s not like NASCAR drivers are completely inexperienced with drifting. There have been plenty of instances of NASCAR competitors working with drift competitors to where a standalone NASCAR event would be possible. Joey Logano famously spent time with Vaughn Gittin as they drifted together in Charlotte, drawing attention from the racing media in the process.
Even NASCAR’s own website has highlighted some of the get-togethers between their racers and those who compete in the drifting circuit. Erik Jones and Formula Drift’s Ken Gushi got together on the West Coast to do some drifting for a feature that was published by NASCAR. So it’s not as if NASCAR is against drifting, and adding an event to their schedule would make all of the sense in the world as a result.
A potential NASCAR drift race wouldn’t even need to be a part of the playoff system that the sport has created. It could be an exhibition race that was televised at one point or another during the season, featuring some of the best up and coming NASCAR drivers even. Given the need to utilize more drift-friendly equipment to put on a good show, it would make sense that such a race wouldn’t count for any points. But the mere presence of an event like this on NASCAR’s annual calendar could make it a sport that is more enjoyable to fans of all kinds of racing.
While NASCAR racing and drift racing typically don’t go hand in hand, something like a NASCAR drift exhibition could be something that all racing fans could enjoy for one night out of the year. With so many specialized forms of racing out there, doing something to unify the racing community as a whole could be exactly what the sport needs.