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Hamlin: Tap the Brakes on Xfinity Twisties

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, September 16 2022

The Xfinity Series has eight road races. How many are too many? (File photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

BRISTOL, Tenn. – NASCAR’s 2023 national touring schedules show the Xfinity Series with eight of its 33 events on road/street courses and Denny Hamlin said that’s too many because the sport was built on oval track racing.

“While I love to see where we’re going with our schedule on the Cup side, going back to the old historic tracks, especially for the All-Star race (North Wilkesboro), we … have to start to taper off some of these road courses that we’re running,” Hamlin said Thursday during a media zoom conference.

Next year the Xfinity Series will race at Circuit of the Americas, Portland, Sonoma, Chicago Street Course, Road America, the Indianapolis Road Course, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte ROVAL. That’s the most road/street courses for any of NASCAR’s three national touring series. The Cup Series 2023 schedule boasts six with Portland and Road America absent from stock car racing’s top tier events. The Camping World Truck Series contains only two road course races on its schedule – COTA and Mid-Ohio.

Hamlin noted the road course/street races in the Xfinity Series don’t help drivers develop for the Cup Series because the cars in the two series no longer brake or shift the same. 

“The techniques which you use to be fast on the road courses are the same no matter what the car, but I’m really not sure that’s where we should be headed,” Hamlin said. “It just seems like the good racing has been on the ovals and that’s what we are. 

“Not many people tune in to watch IMSA races. You have to be good at what you’re good at and we’re good at short track, big track, contact oval racing. That’s who we are, and we don’t need to venture too far off from what we are and what our roots are.”

Since Hamlin made his NASCAR Cup debut in 2005, he has acquired one road course victory. That came in 2016 at Watkins Glen.


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, September 16 2022
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