NASCAR Addresses Future of International Races

NASCAR

Getty NASCAR has plans to return to Canada in the future.

NASCAR has previously competed in international markets but hasn’t done so since 2019 when Brett Moffitt won at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. However, there are still plans to go both north and south in the future.

Ben Kennedy, SVP of Racing Development and Strategy, provided some comments on the future during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. He spoke to host Dave Moody about the 2023 schedule and noted how the uncertainty surrounding the ability to go back and forth across the border played a role in the lack of races in Canada.

“That’s part of the factor, for sure,” Kennedy said. “But whether you think kind of north of the border or south of the border, Mexico, those are two markets that it feels like we should have some national series races in the future. I think we still need to work out exactly what that looks like and where that is.

“Something that we’re going to be looking at, I would say, in the next probably one to two years is trying to figure out what options we have up in Canada. Trying to create a big splash and do something meaningful up there.”


2 National NASCAR Series Have Competed in Canada

Ben Kennedy

GettyBen Kennedy (left) indicated that the Brickyard 400 could return.

There has been a history of NASCAR moving north of the border to compete in Canada. Both the Xfinity Series and Truck Series drivers have made the journey while taking on two separate tracks.

The Truck Series drivers first took on Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2013. Chase Elliott won the inaugural race and then Ryan Blaney followed with a win in 2014. The list of winners at the Ontario track also included Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek, Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, and Brett Moffitt.

The Xfinity Series, for comparison, competed at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal from 2007 until 2012. Six drivers won at the road course, including Kevin Harvick, Justin Allgaier, Marcos Ambros, Boris Said, Ron Fellows, and Carl Edwards.

There is a scenario where one of these two series returns to Canada. No one knows when this will happen, but Kennedy’s comments indicate that there could be multiple international races in the near future that appeal to audiences in both Canada and Mexico.


Kennedy Also Addressed the Future of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The future of international races was not the only topic discussed by Kennedy. He also took some time to address Indianapolis Motor Speedway and whether the Cup Series will ever return to the oval configuration.

The 2023 season will feature the Cup Series and Xfinity Series drivers taking on the road course once again. They will try to complete a race without any controversy after the past two seasons have featured crashes caused by curbing and reckless moves in Turn 1.

“The Brickyard 400 on the oval was always something special and such a marquee event,” Kennedy told Moody. “That when we go back to the oval — and we will go back to the oval at some point — we really want to make it that marquee event that it was. Really want to try to find a way to make that something special in the future when that time does happen.”

Kennedy did not provide any hints about when the Cup Series will return to the oval configuration of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will not happen in 2023, but there is a possibility that the return could take place the following season. Facility owner Roger Penske even acknowledged in late July that 2024 could be the year.

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