In a recent poll on the Mojo Motors Facebook page, fans we’re asked, “What’s the most boring track used in the Sprint Cup Series?” There were over 800 responses with the majority of critiques falling on the road courses – Sonoma and Watkins Glen. Almost every track was called out and those included Darlington, Martinsville and even Bristol.
In some NASCAR circles, calling out those legendary racetracks is blasphemous, but calling out the road courses is a popular pastime amongst fans. The same goes for courses longer than 1.5 miles because massive gaps between the leader and rest of pack can sometimes form. Keep reading to see what made the list as the most boring NASCAR tracks.
Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas (1.5 miles)
Texas is considered a “cookie-cutter” track because it’s extremely similar to Charlotte and Atlanta. As a result, race fans consider all three of these to be extremely boring. As Ed Hinton wrote in this ESPN column a couple years ago, “cookie cutters were built more for monetary than competitive reasons — so that maximum numbers of seats, at maximum prices, could be built with direct sight lines toward the start-finish lines.”
Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (2 miles)
Similar to the Texas, Charlotte and Atlanta cookie-cutters, Auto Club Speedway could be considered a cookie-cutter track along with Michigan. Both tracks were built by Roger Penske and the only real difference aside from seat capacity are the seasons each track experiences. Unlike Michigan, Auto Club Speedway has a real attendance issue and lost one of their two races on the schedule.
Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania (2.5 Miles)
Pocono has been called the “Frankenstein” track because despite having the length of a super speedway, it has three turns and each turn is modeled after another track. Turn 1 is inspired by Trenton Speedway (no longer open), turn 2 is Indianapolis, turn 3 is Milwaukee mile. Despite getting panned by Mojo Motors fans on Facebook, Pocono raceway is known for unusual cautions caused by wildlife. There was a chicken that ran onto the track in 1991 and a deer Neil Bonnet hit so hard during practice that one of its legs became a permanent fixture in his grille.
Watkins Glen International in Glen, NY (2.45 miles)
Watkins Glen is a road course and that alone makes it controversial because some drivers don’t think right turns belong in NASCAR. It’s why some NASCAR teams will bring in what they call “road ringers” and Boris Said has a cult following even despite nearly killing fellow driver David Ragan. Here’s the video.
Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, CA (1.9 Miles)
Like Watkins Glen, Sonoma Raceway is a road course and this means it’s loathed on the NASCAR circuit by fans and drivers, alike. Dale Jr. said in this interview that Sonoma is a “a real hard track to get around – it has a lot of turns and stuff.” It’s surprising, though, since Sonoma is as famous as the short tracks for, “bumping, grinding and blown tempers” according to this ESPN article from last year.