Chase Elliott doesn’t seem too thrilled about the NASCAR All-Star Race returning to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, and he’s got a couple reasons for that — one somewhat selfish and one fairly understandable.
For the latter, the 2020 All-Star Race winner recently said he’d prefer the midseason exhibition race to rotate to different tracks around the country.
Several NASCAR driversover the years have also expressed a similar sentiment about the championship race rotating, rather than staying at Phoenix Raceway, which will host the title weekend in November for the third straight year, or at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which hosted that weekend from 2002 to 2019.
But Elliott likened the All-Star Race (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, FS1) to other sports’ exhibition events, like the MLB All-Star Game or NHL All-Star game, which bounce around the country to different venues. And he doesn’t see why NASCAR should be any different.
Chase Elliott has two reasons why the all-star race should move around: Other sports have their all-star races move and he hasn’t had much success at Texas Motor Speedway: pic.twitter.com/xK0pKHJoxX
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 18, 2022
Via FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Elliott said:
“We should rotate. I think that’s what that race was initially designed to do, was to move around and give fans in a different region a special event, like an All-Star Race, which I think is really cool. It’s what other All-Star Games do and other forms of sport.
“And, to get away from Texas, would be a major win for me, so the lesser of my times we visit Texas, the better. And I would love that, so that would be great.”
Since NASCAR’s first All-Star Race in 1985, Charlotte Motor Speedway has hosted almost every one. The race was at the 1.5-mile track in 1985 and from 1987 through 2019. The 1986 race was at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the 2020 race was at Bristol Motor Speedway and Texas hosted in 2021 for the first time.
But Elliott’s right: In addition to treating different areas of the country to the fun and usually fast-paced exhibition race, moving it around could also help create more of a buzz and get fans excited for something different each year. It could help make it more of a novelty event that draws people in and really differentiate it from the other races on NASCAR’s long, nine-month schedule. And, if it rotated, NASCAR could create new and hopefully entertaining race formats tailored to each track.
The selfish part of Elliott’s reasoning is that Texas isn’t exactly his best track.
In last season’s All-Star Race, Elliott finished third behind winner Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski. For points races, he has two top-5 finishes (both in 2016) and six top 10s in 11 starts, but it’s been a little rough lately. Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Elliott has just two top-10 finishes, including a seventh-place finish in Texas’ 2021 playoff race.