It’s NASCAR weekend at Road America, but could this be the last time the track hosts the event?
According to Sports Business Journal, NASCAR could soon announce a new street car race in Chicago that would begin next year. As a result, NASCAR has been hinting that it may be open to dropping a road course.
And SBJ points out Road America president Mike Kertscher recently said Road America does not have a deal yet for next year with NASCAR.
The Cup Series returned to Elkhart Lake last year for the first time since 1956.
But NASCAR looks to further shake up its schedule heading into media-rights talks, according to SBJ.
NASCAR execs, including President Steve Phelps and COO Steve O’Donnell, have hinted in recent media interviews that the series is working on one big change for the 2023 Cup Series schedule, and that is believed to be the Chicago street race.
SBJ reported in February that NASCAR remained in talks with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago Sports Commission and others on a street race.
NASCAR has already stated that the goal is to have the ’23 schedule announced by the end of the summer.
After several years of featuring nothing but the same venues, NASCAR started shaking up its schedule in ’21 with moves like going to Road America and Circuit of the Americas, on top of turning Bristol into a dirt track for its spring event.
This year, it added an exhibition at L.A. Coliseum and a race near St. Louis.
Media-rights talks will formally start next year, ahead of a new deal that will begin in ’25.
NASCAR is seeking to impress incumbent and prospective broadcasters by showing that it is innovating and bringing its sport to the next generation, in part by racing more often in cities.
This also comes amid a boom for street races in general in the U.S., as F1 added one in Miami this year and has another coming next year in Las Vegas, while IndyCar added a new street event in Nashville last year.
9 a.m. – MX-5 practice
11:40 a.m. – MX-5 practice
1 p.m. – TA qualifying
2 p.m. – TA practice.
3:10 p.m. – MX-5 qualifying
4:30 p.m. – NXS practice
5 p.m. – NXS qualifying
8:10 a.m. – TA qualifying
9:05 a.m. – MX-5 race
10:30 a.m. – NCS practice
11:30 a.m. – NCS qualifying
1:30 p.m. – NXS race
5 p.m. – TA race
9:05 a.m. – MX-5 race
10:30 a.m. – TA race
2 p.m. – NCS race