Fox NASCAR Insider
In the days following the Atlanta – Chicago Street Race, much of the discussion revolved around whether the event would return to the streets of Chicago in 2024.
But as one of NASCAR’s biggest events approaches in years, conversation turns to the impact that the success of that street course race could have on the program next year and beyond Chicago.
“The possibilities are more or less endless,” said four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, executive vice president of Hendrick Motorsports. “If we can do a street race in downtown Chicago, where can we go? What can we do now?
“It certainly comes at a good time when you’re watching TV talk shows [for 2025 and beyond) and trying to build the sport and what the future looks like.”
A street course in another city is somewhat unlikely for next year as NASCAR probably would want to focus on Chicago, assuming that the city does not opt out of the final two years of the deal by giving NASCAR the required 180-day notice.
Even with the rain for the July 2 race, the buzz the event created most likely will have other cities wondering if it is possible on their streets. The race was the most-viewed Cup telecast since this year’s Daytona 500.
NASCAR likely will want to capitalize on the momentum, including New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen winning in his Cup debut — a feat that likely only enhanced talk about the event internationally, where street circuits are more common.
It might not be until 2025 or later when the impact is truly felt. NASCAR likely will have its 2024 schedule finalized in the next couple of months.
“It has to have an impact just because if you look at it, it really felt old school to me as you walk into the hotel and you talk to people and the buzz in the city, and they did an excellent job of laying out the racetrack and the way that that it all functioned,” said Cup veteran Kevin Harvick.
“It was a great event and promoted really well. And so I think it just gives you a lot of flexibility to go and do things in the future at really any city that that you want to that’ll have you.”
NASCAR has talked with the Meadowlands to see if it would be feasible to set up a course that would have the New York City skyline as a background but so far the logistics of how to do it among other events scheduled for the area have proven too difficult to get a deal done.
Brad Keselowski, a Cup team owner and driver, indicated he isn’t thinking about which U.S. city could have the event.
“The biggest thing for me is last week opens up International more than anything else,” Keselowski said. “I don’t see doing that type of event any other place in the United States.
“But internationally, it will probably open some things up. And if we were to go race internationally, specifically on a different continent, I think we prove that there’s an opportunity to do that.”
The next step internationally might not be a street course. Industry personnel have indicated that they have been told to get their passports ready to race in Canada as early as next year. NASCAR’s Xfinity Series raced on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the same course as the Formula 1 cars from 2007-2012.
A Canadian Grand Prix spokeswoman confirmed that they have had preliminary conversations with NASCAR regarding a Cup race in Montreal and those conversations have been “ongoing for quite some time.”
“I’m 100 percent all for going back,” said Xfinity Series driver Justin Allgaier, who won the 2012 race. “I think it would be a fantastic race. I love that style of track.
“People questioned the layout of Chicago last week, and the Cup race was phenomenal. … I think Montreal would even have a better quality of race. As far as like having extra passing zones. I think the new Cup car would suit that racetrack very well.”
While NASCAR has raced internationally at Canada and Mexico with its Xfinity Series (and trucks in Canada), its international ventures in Cup have been few and far between. They staged an exhibition race in Japan from 1996-98.
“Montreal would be a phenomenal race for us,” Allgaier said. “Internationally, we have to grow, right?
“Whether that is Montreal or somewhere else. … With SVG [van Gisbergen] A win in Chicago will give us an opportunity to gain a bigger presence internationally and will be huge for the sport. We certainly have options. We just have to make the best use of it.”
NASCAR’s international presence has also grown in the past month thanks to the Hendrick Motorsports-NASCAR partnership at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The “Garage 56” program – an innovative vehicle program – placed a Cup car in that competition, a unique vehicle compared to the sports cars competing in that race.
“The best part about this is that there is tremendous global interest in NASCAR at the moment,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR chief operating officer. “We saw it at Garage 56. Ben [Kennedy] And I had many meetings with many different countries and many different continents that wanted to race.
For running overseas, the question would be one of logistics. Now that the next gen cars are being assembled by suppliers who provide parts and components, it will be possible to send the parts and components abroad and assemble the cars there.
Whether this will be easier than shipping entire cars overseas remains to be seen.
Denny Hamlin said, “To do this in the middle of the season would certainly be tough.” “But NASCAR and the teams are going to have conversations about when is the best time, whether it’s an exhibition or a points race, something like that.
“But I certainly think it’s on the horizon for NASCAR to think about what happens next.”
Teams don’t want to break the budget by scheduling events abroad, but it looks like Garage-Paddock? – Is ready.
Two-time Cup champion Joey Logano said, “If you tell the racers you’re going to race somewhere, they’ll figure out how to get stuff there.” “Raiders are a different caste.
“I think you can put these people in any industry and they will find ways to be successful.”
And after his experience last week, Logano, like many, feels he’s ready to try.
“After we see this, let’s go somewhere,” Logano said.
It looks like O’Donnell is almost ready to do just that.
O’Donnell said, “I think all of us in NASCAR are confident that we can take the Cup Series with us wherever we go.” “I know how much we ran [in Chicago] Will sell and be accepted globally.”
thinking too much
NASCAR changed pit lane speeds to green at Atlanta, which did not receive much testing during the event.
Because NASCAR allows drivers to pit in Turn 3, it increased the pit lane speed limit from 45 mph to 90 mph until drivers reach the traditional pit lane exiting Turn 4. two laps behind if he had to pit under green.
Quaker State 400 Highlights
NASCAR called the Quaker State 400 due to rain, resulting in a victory for William Byrne at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
With seven cautions in the rain-shortened 185-lap race, drivers never had to make a green flag stop unless they were already in trouble.
But it was a good step forward and hopefully it will make a difference in future events.
in the news
— Six drivers will test a new short track and road course on the Monday and Tuesday following next week’s race in New Hampshire. Christopher Bell, Harrison Burton, William Byron, Justin Haley, Ryan Preece and Eric Jones will test where the lower wing is shaped to create lift when the car is in clear air, but not when the air beneath the car during traffic the flow changes. The driver will have more downforce and will therefore be better able to overtake the car in front. Goodyear will participate in this test to see which tire compound works best. No changes will be made this year with an aggressive goal of starting the 2024 season.
NASCAR has a new pace car driver in the Cup Series. Kip Childress has left his role as assistant series director of the Cup to become executive director of the CARS Tour, with Jesse Dolevoet taking over. Dolevoet was assistant series director and drove the pace car in the Craftsman Truck Series.
statistics of the day
Atlanta Motor Speedway is the first track where William Byrne has won multiple Cup races.
he said this
“To be honest, I don’t understand it at all.” -William Byrne on rain-shortened win at Atlanta
Bob Pockrace covers NASCAR for Fox Sports. He has covered motorsports for decades, including the last 30 Daytona 500s, with tenures at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpoke breedSign up for more Fox Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pokras,
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