It wasn't that long ago that NASCAR fans enjoyed watching drivers turn right about as much as they enjoyed seeing a Busch brother win. But, that has changed. Big time.

It used to be that when you pulled into Sonoma, there was a list of, maybe, seven drivers who you know had a chance to win. Now, we have 7 straight first-time road course winners in Wine Country. And, the races (along with those at Watkins Glen) have become among the most entertaining of the year.

So, what changed? Let's start with the Chase which effectively shortened the season by 10 races. Where, one time, guys who weren't good at road courses could start the season knowing they had two races they were not going to be good at, now, they can't afford to begin a year, basically, two races in the hole.

Then, you can throw in double file restarts. Now, the guys battle for the lead get to start side-by-side and nose-to-tail rather than having the leader pull away with slower cars there to block the contenders.

Now, it gets more interesting. With the new Chase and the "win and you're in" format, there are a bunch of guys who will see Sonoma and Watkins Glen as their best chances to pick up a win and, therefore, make the Chase. So, buckle your seatbelt, it may be through gas mileage or just plain aggressiveness, but I fully expect the road course races to get even better.