Harvick thinks a shakeup to NASCAR schedule would help sport

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) If Kevin Harvick ran NASCAR, he has decided ideas on how to move the sport forward.

The reigning Sprint Cup champion would shake up the current 38-race schedule, which remains largely intact each year with no new tracks added and very little race date variation.

Although he praised the current racing product and noted races at the end of last season either sold out or were nearly sold out, Harvick said Friday the current schedule is ''stagnant'' and fans want more short tracks and road courses in the mix.

''I believe some venues need one race and that the schedule needs to be mixed up,'' Harvick said. ''People like things that change. They don't like stagnant things. In my opinion the most stagnant thing in our sport is our schedule and our venues that we go to. You can beat a dead horse as much as you want, but it doesn't come back to life.''

There's been very little change to the schedule since 2001, except for the addition of Kentucky Speedway in 2012. Kansas Speedway was added in 2001 to the Cup schedule.

Harvick wants Iowa Speedway put on the Cup schedule, and rattled off a list of road courses that would make good venues. He also supported the idea of visiting one random track a year.

''Let's go to the banquet and roll the pills around of the race tracks around the country and have a wild-card race every year,'' he said. ''Really, you could test these venues and see how the market reacts and see the reaction that you get from the market.

''Even if you only have 30,000-to-40,000 people in the grandstands, if you put on a good event for TV and do the things to make it a unique event -- that's really what people want. They want unique things.''

Asked why nothing changes on a schedule that consists primarily of tracks owned by International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc., Harvick smiled and said ''Two publicly traded companies.''

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