Friday, August 24, 2018

XFINITY: Lally says Roval race will be "crazy"

PHOTO: @AndyLally
by William Soquet Guest Contributor
Reporting from Road America

Various figures in NASCAR have offered their opinions on the Charlotte ROVAL. It is rare, however, that you’ll find analysis from someone who is more at home on road courses than oval tracks.

Andy Lally knew he was going to run the Roval race. He announced it in February along with Watkins Glen and Road America. The team? DGM Racing, owned by Mario Gosselin. The organization normally is not a top-tier organization, but various drivers (including Lally) had given the car good runs in the past.

So what did Lally think of the new layout that he is going to run?

“I love it, but I know it’s going to be crazy,” Lally said on the topic of the roval. “I think we’re going to have a bunch of different strategies…it’s going to be smart guys who are just going to lay back and hang until the middle of the third stage before they have a chance to go anywhere, but that’s going to be hard,” he noted just before comparing the race to a hypothetical Mickey Thompson off-road race.

It’s one thing when NASCAR drivers used to ovals say that the race will be eventful, but when a veteran road racer who has seen all types of road courses says that people who stick back will be smart, that’s another story.

In the next breath, Lally cautioned against holding back too far. “That’s the thing about NASCAR racing is you kind of can’t let off…in sports car racing you can find your hole and cruise…but there is no hole here.”

When asked about how other oval tracks would transition into Rovals, Lally said “[on] the mile-and-a-half it’s tough to put in what most people consider a competitive infield road course to run.” His insight validates NASCAR’s process of tinkering with the Roval layout throughout the process in an attempt to get the configuration right, something that has left many figures within the sport nonplussed.

If there’s a takeaway, it’s that Lally’s comments only add to the excitement and hype surrounding the Roval weekend. If the hype is lived up to or not remains to be seen.

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