Richard Petty/Creative Commons

NASCAR legend Richard Petty was “the king” before retiring from the track in 1992.

What he thinks of his sport is worth taking note of.

When it comes to the Circuits of the Americas race, he apparently doesn’t think much of it.

‘Worse Than What it Was on TV’

From Yardbarker, “The race in COTA was anticipated to be a treat for fans as multiple drivers were in contention for the victory ahead of the weekend. Despite such expectations, the race was filled with bits of action around the track but was mediocre at best according to multiple drivers. However, the race was not up to the mark in the views of Seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty, who later stated that the race was pretty bad in terms of entertainment.”

All sports is ultimately entertainment. Without an entertaining product, you lose the fans. When you lose the fans, you lose the sport.

The story continued:

The 68-lap race at COTA was a caution-free race since 2019. Moreover, William Byron started from the pole and led about two-thirds of the race in a dominating fashion at COTA. This insisted Richard Petty voice his opinion regarding the bummer of a race that COTA was and was much worse to experience the race in real than on television.

I guess if you’d have been there, it’d have been worse than what it was on TV… That track does not lend itself to a good cup race. The track’s too long. If they shortened it up a little bit, it might be a little bit better, but you know like you said, we get to go back to Richmond [this Sunday]. At least if you are sitting in the grandstands, you’ll be able to see all the cars. Richard Petty said in his Petty Race Recap on YouTube.

‘Not very exciting’

“The double-centurion elaborated that the track layout at COTA is not very exciting,” the story noted. “Moreover, the track is quite long compared to short tracks like Bristol, Richmond, etc., which reduces the driver’s ability to focus on a single section of the track and makes the racing quite stale.”

So, in that knowledge, it seems Richard Petty has a point about COTA.

One that should be respected, at a minimum.

Elliott Agrees, Sort Of

Petty isn’t the only notable name ragging COTA. Chase Elliott ripped the 2023 run – one he witnessed from the TV booth rather than his car.

It’s Elliott’s contention that drivers are better than the display that was put on last year:

“I hope it is different, just from my perspective, not being in the race (last year), I thought it was just really embarrassing, to be honest. I just remember, like just not wanting to watch. I was like, is this what we look like all the time? You know, I could just imagine myself being from other forms of motorsports and watching that thing, I would be like, it’s just not the integrity of the product, it was just bumper cars.”

We’ll have to wait to see if he agrees with Petty on the 2024 version.