Uncertain Chase Elliott Drops ‘Too Small’ Verdict as Bowman Gray Rumors Intensify

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FORT WORTH, TX – SEPTEMBER 24: Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet) looks on during Saturday morning practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 race on September 24, 2022 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NASCAR’s recent takeover of the iconic Bowman Gray Stadium has sparked speculation about running a Cup Series event at the 0.25-mile short track. The community has been buzzing about what a potential Clash or All-Star event would look like at Bowman Gray. Some are in favor of NASCAR moving the Clash from the Coliseum to the historic track, while others have voiced their reservations about such a move. Joining the latter group, Chase Elliott went on to explain his doubts about running races at the newly acquired race track by NASCAR.
Chase Elliott is not a fan of events like Busch Light Clash at a short-track venue
One of the biggest reasons why there are rumors regarding NASCAR’s plan at Bowman Gray is because the track’s contract is coming to an end. Also, after this season’s rain-infested event in Los Angeles, there was a growing demand and suggestion that NASCAR should very much move the Clash event away from the Coliseum come 2025. And with Bowman Gray now in the picture, people have started to connect the dots.
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Sharing his views about the prospect of racing at Bowman, Elliott said, “I had an East race there one time, maybe twice, I thought it was similar to the Clash. Probably not my favorite event just from the standpoint its really small for these big cars. At least in the east cars, the front and rear bumpers weren’t quite as robust as they are now, so little bit of contact would kind of destroy your whole day.”
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The HMS driver feels that the Next Gen cars wouldn’t fare well on such a small racetrack. “These things are pretty strong, obviously a lot of bumping happens at Coliseum, and you kind of get away with that. So I guess from that standpoint it would be better but I think those places are a little too small for our cars.”
However, it is indeed tricky to understand NASCAR’s intention of acquiring the historic race track. Given that they are looking to expand beyond its traditional fan base.
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What is NASCAR trying to achieve with its takeover of Bowman Gray?
The Clash event is a unique prospect that allows NASCAR to tap into new markets. The idea was to introduce the sport to as many new audiences as possible. And they have been able to do just that, with the new charter deal onboarding streaming giants like Amazon Prime, rolling out the Netflix docuseries, and pushing out new content through its social media. It does look like NASCAR is very much striving towards new markets and audiences.
However, with Bowman Gray’s takeover, it looks like NASCAR wants to use its history and roots to push out its narrative or sporting product to its new viewers. The resurrection of the North Wilkesboro Speedway is an example of that. So it won’t be a surprise to see national series events return at the quarter-mile track in the City of Winston-Salem.
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What are your thoughts about NASCAR’s recent move to take operational control of Bowman Gray, and will an event like Clash or All-Star be a success at the venue?

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