NASCAR: Is it time to start thinking about a Sprint Cup street race?


Yesterday’s NASCAR Victory Lap parade down the Las Vegas Strip is always a fun part of Champion’s Week in Sin City.

All 16 of this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders cruised the Strip in their loud, bright, 3,400-pound machines and performed burnouts to the delight of onlookers both on the sidewalks and perched above on walkways.

The sight was as far away from the whole “turn left for 500 miles on some Southern-fried oval” image that the casual fan often has of the sport.

And it’s that casual fan that NASCAR is clearly aiming for at this point in time. The way that the new Chase format played out this fall was a good start, but if the sport wants to augment its loyal, longtime boosters with new ones, it’s gonna have to think outside the box a bit.

At this point, we’ve pondered the pros and cons of condensing race weekends, cutting race lengths, and staging mid-week races. And all of those options should be considered.

But allow me to throw another option on the table: A Sprint Cup street race.

Now, perhaps you are different from me. Perhaps you look at all the pictures and videos from yesterday’s parade down the Strip, and you don’t start dreaming of what would happen if new Cup champion Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, and the gang raced in anger through the streets of some urban metropolis.

But I do. And in my opinion, it would be an absolute blast.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best racing in NASCAR either involves short tracks or the two road courses at Watkins Glen and Sonoma. In regards to the style of racing on those latter tracks, NASCAR’s road racing product stacks up very well now against those from other series.

But why not take that product directly to the people? For example, the Glen is in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, which is absolutely beautiful but not particularly near a major city.

How cool would it be to see an A.J. Allmendinger vs. Marcos Ambrose-style battle for the win in a city setting with fans jamming grandstands and walking all along the course? With as good as NASCAR road racing is, a sizable number of the curious newbies in the crowd are going to be impressed – and hooked.

The only big stipulation I’d have to impose on such a prospect would be that it has to be a day race. In other words, don’t try to be like Singapore in Formula One.

That race is the only night-time street race in F1 and in that series, the novelty still works. Here in the U.S., we’ve overdone the night races to the point where their uniqueness has long faded away. Sunlight, not portable lights, please.

Let’s hear what you have to say about this idea. Would you be fine with a Sprint Cup street race, and if so, which city do you think would be best suited for such an event? Leave your comments below, just keep ’em clean.

IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

FLAVOR FLAV POWERS UP: Iconic rapper hangs out with Team Penske

Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.