For the second time since the creation of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Texas Motor Speedway will lose its playoff race.
Texas Motor Speedway has played host to a playoff race every year in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2005, but that run will come to an end starting in 2024.
According to Motorsports reporter for "The Athletic," Jordan Bianchi, Texas will move its NASCAR date from the Fall to the Spring next year.
On "The Teardown", co-host, Jeff Gluck, brought up the idea of NASCAR moving the Texas race into the spring. Bianchi, quickly confirmed, "It's gonna be in the Spring."
There are a few factors going into the decision in moving the race at Texas Motor Speedway out of the playoffs and into the Spring.
The weather has to be a major factor in the schedule change for Texas. Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway was the hottest race in the track's history with a high temperature of 104° just after the green flag waved. This replaced last year's race as the hottest in the track's history.
— Holly Cain (@_HollyCain) September 24, 2023
Despite the sweltering temperatures, fans showed up for the race. "There was actually a really good crowd here today. I'm not even kidding. There was more people than I would've thought based on the heat and based on Texas," Gluck said on "The Teardown."
Quality of Racing
It is no secret that Texas Motor Speedway has not put on the best races since the track was repaved in 2017. Along with a repave, the track reconfigured turns 1 and 2.
The playoffs should show the best racing, and in the state Texas Motor Speedway is in right now, it is some of the worst. The sport can't afford to keep going to a track that has a lack of passing and excitement.
Texas always had two dates on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, but NASCAR cut its appearances down to the one playoff race in 2023. Additionally, in 2021 and 2022, Texas Motor Speedway played host to the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race. This means Texas Motor Speedway has only had one points paying race in the Cup Series since 2021.
And the race distance this year was cut down to 400 miles from 500 miles for the first time since the track hosted its first Cup race in 1997.
These gradual changes culminating in moving Texas Motor Speedway out of hosting a playoffs race signals NASCAR's acknowledgement that the quality of racing at the track has suffered in recent years.
For a track that lacks the quality of racing, the trackside facilities should make up for that to attract the new and recurring race fan. Sadly, by today's standards for sports stadiums, arenas and race tracks, Texas Motor Speedway also lacks in fan amenities.
"They really have to put some money back into the track facility wise. It's aging. It is very aging. It's showing that it sits most of the year with one race and gets baked in the sun and it feels like not a lot of upkeep," Gluck said. "Someone at the tweet up today was like 'We pay all this money for parking and the parking lots are crumbling. All the roads are crumbling.'" Gluck added.
There seems to be no sense of urgency in upgrading the track facilities, and it is being removed from the spotlight of the playoffs because NASCAR has deemed it not as worthy as many other tracks on the circuit right now.
Texas Motor Speedway will still host a NASCAR Cup Series race in 2024, but it will not be in the playoffs as their event is moved into the spring in 2024.
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