This week’s trip to Circuit of the Americas is a shining example of what NASCAR has been aiming to do the last half-dozen years or so.

First, it’s a venture into a brand new, very large market.  The crowd the first year was going to be insane except for the torrential rain.  (Let’s try not to wonder why the first race on the Chicago Street course suffered the same fate.)

It also took NASCAR into rarely visited territory, adding, not only a road course to the schedule, but one that’s internationally recognized.  One that also hosts Formula One in the same calendar year.

NASCAR was in an acknowledged rut.  Stuck in going to the same tracks on the same weekends year after year.  This is an example of how they’ve started to push the envelope and has led to other routine-breaking ventures like the Clash at the Coliseum and the Chicago Street Race.

I like the changes.  I think NASCAR is a lot more interesting because of it.  And, I believe it’s beginning to show up in the audience numbers.