Speaking of Home Sweet Home, the PR machine of NASCAR's multiple teams, sponsors, and media partners seem hellbent on forcing upon us the schlock idea every driver must have a home track.
At one time, one could argue this was a truism. Drivers who started their careers in late models on the bullrings of America often found themselves back at that track in a next-level NASCAR ride.
Some of those tracks included places such as:
- Fairgrounds Speedway - Nashville
- Birmingham Speedway
- Hickory Motor Speedway
- Soldier Field - Chicago
- South Boston Speedway
- Myrtle Beach Speedway
- McCormick Field - Asheville, NC
- Bowman Gray Stadium - Winston-Salem, NC
- Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds - Spartanburg
- Stateline Speedway - Busti, NY
The home track branding has progressed from illogical to silly to now absurd.
I understand NASCAR wants to showcase the expanded range from which it now draws its drivers.
- The Busch brothers are from Vegas
- Denny Hamlin is from Virginia
- Carl Edwards is from Missouri
- Jimmie Johnson is from California
I was elated when Richard Petty Motorsports visited victory lane again in July 2014 when Aric Almirola won the rain-shortened Coke Zero 400. But I hung my head when I read Daytona was his home track simply because it was a two-hour drive on I-4 from his Tampa home.
Dale Jr.'s home track is obviously Kannapolis Motor Speedway. Right? Wait. I'm pretty sure Cup ... and the X-Series ... and the trucks do not race in Kannapolis - and never have. So I guess it makes perfect sense Jr.'s home track would be Charlotte Motor Speedway an hour or so down the road. Hold on a sec - but then wouldn't that be the case for everyone who lived in the Charlotte / Lake Norman corridor?
Jersey boy Martin Truex, Jr. is unique in that he has at least two home tracks according to the lemmings:
- Dover because Delaware is a few hours from Jersey.
- Loudon because well ... you get the picture.
Even Busc ... I mean Nationw... err X-Series drivers get a home track. Chris Buescher's: Texas Motor Speedway. Number of races on the track: five.
Home tracks aren't limited to just drivers. Teams - corporate entities - equity ventures - apparently claim them too. Roush Fenway Racing's home track is Michigan. I'm not exactly sure why. I'm pretty sure Roush Fenway didn't grow up racing dirt late models or quarter-midgets. Perhaps the company's corporate charter is registered in Michigan. Umm, somehow I doubt that too.
Furniture Row Racing is based in Denver, Colorado. Their home track - logically of course - is Kansas Speedway. Wait. What?? Yes, it seems because NASCAR no longer sanctions a race in Colorado that FRR claims the next closest track: Kansas Speedway. Yes, the track that is 600 miles away with zero attachment to the team's owner, crew or driver gleefully raises its hand and proclaims "Yep, that one's ours!" I think whoever came up with that connection inhaled way too much on a trip to Boulder.