Ryan Blaney Takes First Win On NASCAR’s New “Roval”, Jimmie Johnson Bumped From Points Chase

This weekend marked a first for NASCAR, as well as a first for a young up-and-coming ...

This weekend marked a first for NASCAR, as well as a first for a young up-and-coming driver in the top-tier stock car racing sanction. After taking just a minute and a half to watch this video, I can say with some measure of confidence that both will stand as “the first of many”.

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It’s no secret that NASCAR is struggling to reconnect with it’s deflated fan base. While the sanctioning body has certainly tried to make wholesale changes to spark interest, especially among younger fans, they just can’t seem to find the magic bullet to pull in fresh fans. Taking the show to a “roval”, a cross between a road course and an oval track, may not immediately seem like the answer, but there’s no denying the exciting brought about by the new format.

Pulling a page from the world of 24 hour endurance racing, NASCAR transformed Charlotte Motor Speedway in to a roval, putting the drivers in a position of “adapt or get left behind”. There’s no denying the race was much more exciting, and will hopefully lead to other similar adaptations throughout the season, which is dominated by 1.5 mile speedways, with only 2 road courses remaining on the schedule. The roval combines the best of both worlds, especially for the fans, who get the pleasure of watching a road course event and still get to see the whole track, unlike a typical road course, where spectators are limited to one small area for the event.

As the field came through the final turn, race leaders Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr slid around, with Johnson unintentionally bumping Truex after spinning out himself. This opened the door for young Ryan Blaney to whip right through the drama and drive to the finish line to take his first career NASCAR Monster Energy series race. By spinning and eventually coming in 8th, Johnson was eliminated from the points championship.



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