• The forum has been upgraded. Let us know if you find anything broken. Please don't throw wrenches!

Interest builds around possible changes to NASCAR schedule

FLRacingFan

Team Owner
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
23,847
Points
883
Location
Florida
https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2018/03/19/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/NASCAR-tracks.aspx

With NASCAR approaching the midway point of its five-year sanctioning agreements with tracks, questions persist about whether the sport will significantly shake up its schedule at the next opportunity in 2021.


As the racing series tries to jump-start fan interest, the idea of substituting road courses or short-track races for more common races on 1.5-mile tracks, or even shortening the schedule, has been discussed by insiders seeking change.


NASCAR currently has two road-course races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and, depending on one’s definition of a short track, a half dozen to a dozen short-track races. It’s also adding an oval/road course hybrid this year. But those only combine to comprise about a third of the Monster Energy Series’ 38-race schedule, as many of the races are on 1.5-mile tracks.


While NASCAR is locked into using the same venues through 2020, sources said leaders of the sport have privately begun discussing possible changes to the schedule, whether in terms of length or which venues may be utilized. NASCAR executives declined to comment for this story.


If they decide to mix it up, there will be plenty of suitors, and NASCAR leaders could explore options of new and untapped markets. The Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada and Mexico, are all areas that don’t have a Monster Energy Series race.

One track seeking a larger role is Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario, Canada. The road course now hosts a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, and track executives have been looking into the feasibility of hosting other NASCAR national series races such as the Xfinity Series or Monster Energy Series.


“We are sure NASCAR has lots of race tracks in North America inquiring about races,” Myles Brandt, CTMP president and general manager, wrote in an email. “Given the success of our Chevrolet Silverado 250 Camping World Truck Series event, we certainly have expressed interest in adding additional NASCAR series at our facility in the future.”


Other potential venues include Circuit of the Americas in Austin, which hosts the sole Formula One race in the U.S. The Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway dirt track could be interested in hosting a Camping World Truck Series race. Only one race in NASCAR’s three national series is held on dirt (Eldora Speedway/Truck Series.)


Katja Heim, COTA chief operating officer, said her track would be interested in hosting a Monster Energy Series race, but is unsure if it would be allowed because of the track’s proximity to Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. TMS President Eddie Gossage has consistently said that COTA would not get a race because TMS has contractual protections regarding other races not being held within a certain distance from the track.


“The drivers would love the road course and fans have certainly been asking for it,” Heim wrote. “However, we are keenly aware that there are already two excellent events in Texas.”


NASCAR executives will likely review which tracks are still fit to host two Monster Energy Series races in 2021. The most likely tracks to lose races are seen as being the independents in Pocono Raceway, Dover International Speedway and even Indianapolis Motor Speedway, plus any of the tracks owned by the two major operators that host two annual races but are struggling with them. One example could be Michigan International Speedway, which has been cited during recent International Speedway Corp. earnings reports as seeing declining attendance.


Nick Igdalsky, chief executive of Pocono Raceway, raised eyebrows last year when he told The Associated Press that the track would accept losing its second race.


“We’d love to continue having two. But if one day, if that’s not the way the cards fall, so be it,” Igdalsky said at the time. “We’d still be honored to be part of the show.”
 

FLRacingFan

Team Owner
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
23,847
Points
883
Location
Florida
Personally, I am not too keen on cutting a date from some of the more unique tracks (Pocono, Dover, IMS, Michigan) on the calendar. And I am not sure Ford and Chevy would be too pleased losing one of two home races at MIS. But it's apparent a handful of events need to change to make the schedule more palatable to most fans, so something's gotta give.
 

joe h

Team Owner
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
367
Points
143
charlotte, Chicago, atlanta, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Vegas are 100% of their problems, any solution that doesn’t reduce the number of races taking place at these tracks by a minimum of 50%, is only going to add to their problems.

Chicago, Atlanta, and Kentucky need to be reconfigured, or demolished. Texas, Vegas, and Kansas should only have one race date. Right there they’re losing 6 out of 10 cookie cutters. If they do nothing else, eliminating the three double dates, reduces the number of crap races to 7.
 

Acs

Team Owner
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
1,622
Points
243
I think they'll probably take dates from Martinsville, Bristol, Richmond and Pocono and add dates to Chicago, Kentucky, Homestead and a repaved Atlanta. Because sponsorship and other bull****. Loudon lost a date to Vegas for the same reason.
 

Larsonfan1995

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 30, 2016
Messages
2,558
Points
343
Bulldoze Texas, Kentucky, and Chicago. Instead, run COTA, Eldora and Milwaukee
 

AndyMarquisLive

Short Track Fanatic
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
63,078
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Dover losing one date would probably be that track's demise sadly, which is why I hope they keep two dates. Fun track which produces great racing and has some fantastic facilities. Location is excellent too.

I could see NASCAR eventually ending the Indianapolis experiment. That could result in a second Kentucky race but I seriously hope not. Obviously, Iowa's due for a Cup race.

On the lower schedules, I think Gateway's lobbying for an XFINITY race. They're invested in this. Maybe they'll go after a Cup race when these contracts are restructured. Not my favorite track but it would be a great market for one.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Trucks went back to Memphis International Raceway soon. And I know New Jersey Motorsports Park is lobbying for a Truck Series race which is part of why they got a K&N race. I would not be surprised if they eventually get one. They've hosted ARCA and the old Grand-Am series before.
 

aunty dive

Team Owner
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
19,309
Points
883
There doesn't appear to be much of substance here. It looks like just another speculative article, chock full of the usual 'mights' and 'maybes' but nobody saying anything definite.
There's nearly three full seasons remaining on the contracts with track owners.

If we think they'll take much in the Cup Series away from said owners, we be dreaming. A re-shuffle at best.
 

joe h

Team Owner
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
367
Points
143
I think they'll probably take dates from Martinsville, Bristol, Richmond and Pocono and add dates to Chicago, Kentucky, Homestead and a repaved Atlanta. Because sponsorship and other bull****. Loudon lost a date to Vegas for the same reason.
Yeah, the dip****s in the glass tower at Daytona are so out of touch, nothing will surprise me anymore. They may very well be in the planning stages of shutting down martinsville and darlington.
 

AndyMarquisLive

Short Track Fanatic
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
63,078
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
There's nearly three full seasons remaining on the contracts with track owners.

If we think they'll take much away from said owners, we be dreaming. A re-shuffle at best.
The article states a lot of this discussion is about what happens after those contracts. There's an immense amount of pressure to make significant changes to the schedule when those contracts expire, so we'll see. The article pretty much states changes will come at the cost of the independent tracks, so that's not a good sign.
 

KodiakRusty89

Team Owner
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,292
Points
323
The only thing that seriously might be happen is the end of the Brickyard. The optics have become horrendous. Hell will freeze over before the Rose Bowl starts drawing 15k people. If things don't get turned around with the date change I think it's cooked.

Dover's spring date switched to early May which should help its attendance. Having Pocono and Dover back-2-back weeks never made sense to me given the two tracks proximity to one another. I can't see Pocono losing a date because of its location and the fact it still draws well relative to the rest of the circuit.

I would be favor with some sort of deal with the tracks maintain 1 traditional date and a second date is dependent upon their rotation in the chase. So basically every track gets a second date every other year.
 

DIDIT

Old School Fan
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
2,891
Points
343
Location
Stuart, Fl Winter, anywhere the rest of the year
Michigan, Texas, Phoenix and Pocono need to drop a race. Brickyard needs to be gone. That frees up 5 dates for something new. I would say replace with Iowa, COTA, Canadian Tire Road Course, and a Thursday night show at either Eldora or Knoxville and another Thursday night show at a short track.
 

Charlie Spencer

Short tracks and road courses.
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
19,300
Points
883
Location
Lexington, SC
The only thing COTA has going for it is it provides an alternative to Ft. Worth that's still in Texas. I don't see stock cars being very entertaining there. It's worth trying if NASCAR can get it on the schedule for a two-year trial.
 

Charlie Spencer

Short tracks and road courses.
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
19,300
Points
883
Location
Lexington, SC
Yeah, the dip****s in the glass tower at Daytona are so out of touch, nothing will surprise me anymore. They may very well be in the planning stages of shutting down martinsville and darlington.
M'ville just got lights, and I recall the money is already budgeted for facility upgrades to The Lady in Black. No worries, mate.
 

StandOnIt

Farm Truck
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
40,171
Points
883
Location
yoooklahoma
If they paid attention to the numbers, Nascar should put plates on em for the 1.5's and larger tracks. Of course they would need ear plugs to drown out the screams of WWE from the ol timers.
 

AtomicPunk55

Crew Chief
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
793
Points
63
I am sure every fan has tracks they would like to drop and that they would like to add. I am surprised that shortening the season is being discussed as it makes total sense but the die hard fans squeal at the thought of it. Having a schedule that finishes up no later than Labor Day would be a good move.
 

hidesert cowboy

Team Owner
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
1,225
Points
293
hey I like pocono, I think the races there are a way than say kansas, new hampshire and quite a few other tracks. Why they had to run out and repave texas I don't know. I think they need to just patch up many of these tracks rather than complete repaves. michigan was another track that has never came in all the way since the repave. I never thought that track needed repave either.
 

Snappy D

2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
7,270
Points
693
Im with most posters who didnt find any substance to that article, we've already known that changes are going to be made in 2021. However I will stand up for my home track of Chicagoland being dumped on, seems a great many of you find that track boring. I cant disagree, wish it was reconfigured to be a Rockingham, Wilkesboro, Bristol clone or of that ilk. I also think that of all the 1.5 milers that have a date or have two Michigan and Atlanta need to keep theirs, I find those races exciting. I am also keeping my fingers crossed for a Road America October playoff race, that'd be so exciting for me personally. If a road course is added I hope Road America is it.
 

Formerjackman

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
3,018
Points
343
If they paid attention to the numbers, Nascar should put plates on em for the 1.5's and larger tracks. Of course they would need ear plugs to drown out the screams of WWE from the ol timers.
If they could do it without killing all of the throttle response of the cars, I wouldn't object at all. I don't think we would get the desired results though.
 

FLRacingFan

Team Owner
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
23,847
Points
883
Location
Florida
Michigan, Texas, Phoenix and Pocono need to drop a race. Brickyard needs to be gone. That frees up 5 dates for something new. I would say replace with Iowa, COTA, Canadian Tire Road Course, and a Thursday night show at either Eldora or Knoxville and another Thursday night show at a short track.
Phoenix is probably one of the best tracks on the calendar today. And ISM dumping a bunch of money into it guarantees it won't go away anytime soon.
 

gnomesayin

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
5,633
Points
793
If they paid attention to the numbers, Nascar should put plates on em for the 1.5's and larger tracks. Of course they would need ear plugs to drown out the screams of WWE from the ol timers.
@StandOnIt, you're a great racing fan, but this is a ghastly take. Why do some persist in believing the plates are the ingredient that made Daytona and Talladega popular rather than allure of the sheer size and spectacle of the venues themselves? They were the most popular events on the schedule before the plates too.

There is no magic elixir with plates and pack racing at the intermediates. See the failed attempts in 2015 at a high downforce package meant to create packs at Michigan and Indy that were quickly scrapped after producing awful and unpopular events.
 

gnomesayin

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
5,633
Points
793
I don't agree that there is no substance to the article. It is speculative by nature, but I don't think they made this up. Local TV stations and blog posts can often be taken with a grain of salt. Sports Business Daily is a serious and reputable publication with quality reporters working there. Thank you for posting @FLRacingFan, as I don't pay to subscribe.
 

StandOnIt

Farm Truck
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
40,171
Points
883
Location
yoooklahoma
If they could do it without killing all of the throttle response of the cars, I wouldn't object at all. I don't think we would get the desired results though.
It was done tongue in cheek, but fans? they come out of the woodwork for those races. By far the most popular are the restrictor plate races. And the WWE of Martinsville? ya can't beat it
 

Charlie Spencer

Short tracks and road courses.
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
19,300
Points
883
Location
Lexington, SC
However I will stand up for my home track of Chicagoland being dumped on, seems a great many of you find that track boring. I cant disagree, wish it was reconfigured to be a Rockingham,
I would beat a path to any track that was reconfigured as a high-banked abrasive 1-miler with a slight kink on the front stretch.
 

Charlie Spencer

Short tracks and road courses.
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
19,300
Points
883
Location
Lexington, SC
I don't agree that there is no substance to the article. It is speculative by nature, but I don't think they made this up. Local TV stations and blog posts can often be taken with a grain of salt. Sports Business Daily is a serious and reputable publication with quality reporters working there. Thank you for posting @FLRacingFan, as I don't pay to subscribe.
SBD is a reliable outlet, but there's nothing new about this article. It's a rehash of every 'Wait for 2021' story since the current agreement was signed. Tell me one thing you learned from it, something you didn't already know.
 

KodiakRusty89

Team Owner
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,292
Points
323
hey I like pocono, I think the races there are a way than say kansas, new hampshire and quite a few other tracks. Why they had to run out and repave texas I don't know. I think they need to just patch up many of these tracks rather than complete repaves. michigan was another track that has never came in all the way since the repave. I never thought that track needed repave either.
Pocono's racing has become good again with the return of shifting. I think in general the track is looked upon favorably after a few lean years of iffy racing and so-so safety features. I know the drivers love it. It's always been the "People's Track" in the Northeast compared to Loudon and Dover imo. Pocono and Watkins Glen have been able to maintain a loyal, almost cult like following. Talladega, Darlington, Bristol and Martinsville have a similar feel in the South imo.

I would hate to see anything happen to Michigan. It's proximity to Detroit has always been import to NASCAR. I know they've really been hit by the attendance decline worst than others which comes into play. It's a shame too. I've been there for the August race 3 times ('03, '04','16) and went I went recently it was amazing how "different" it is. The seats I sat in 10+ years earlier in turn 4 were long gone.

The biggest issue with the schedule is the fact there's too many 1.5'ers tri-ovals. I actually like Homestead aka Old Atlanta. Building those things was a monumental mistake. They're more of an eyesore than the Vet, Riverfront, Busch, Three Rivers etc were to football and baseball. Well maybe not, but it's close. And that's coming from someone who attends the Kentucky race.
 

gnomesayin

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
5,633
Points
793
SBD is a reliable outlet, but there's nothing new about this article. It's a rehash of every 'Wait for 2021' story since the current agreement was signed. Tell me one thing you learned from it, something you didn't already know.
That's a fair question. Some of the article's suggested possibilities have been bantered about elsewhere, yes. Adam Stern's reporting of what "insiders" are telling him is vague, but I am going to trust based on past work that he takes his job seriously, and that his sources aren't the equivalent of us yapping about what we'd like to see if we were king for a day.

For me personally,

1. I had not previously seen Michigan mentioned as a likely candidate to lose a second date. Pocono and Dover, yes.

2. I hadn't seen the shorter schedule thing mentioned in an actual news article.
 

AndyMarquisLive

Short Track Fanatic
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
63,078
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Pocono's racing has become good again with the return of shifting. I think in general the track is looked upon favorably after a few lean years of iffy racing and so-so safety features. I know the drivers love it. It's always been the "People's Track" in the Northeast compared to Loudon and Dover imo. Pocono and Watkins Glen have been able to maintain a loyal, almost cult like following. Talladega, Darlington, Bristol and Martinsville have a similar feel in the South imo.
Pocono is the most underrated track in NASCAR. I know long runs there can get procedural, but more often than not, it produces excellent racing and memorable moments. It's also very unique.

Pocono could produce 10 consecutive races with 50+ lead change and photofinishes and the fans would still claim it's the "worst period track period ever period."
 
Top Bottom