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7 Bold Ideas for the 2024 NASCAR Schedule

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Joshua Lipowski

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The 2024 NASCAR schedule release is still a ways away, but it is highly anticipated. Steve Phelps previously predicted that the potential 2024 schedule could be “aggressive.”

NASCAR has taken some pretty aggressive swings at the schedule in recent years after fans complained that the schedule had become bland during the 2000s and 2010s. Since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic NASCAR has added races at venues like Circuit of the Americas, North Wilkesboro, and a street race in Chicago.

What are some aggressive swings NASCAR can make to the 2024 schedule, and what will the 2024 schedule be? Let’s talk about it.

1. Chicagoland Speedway will return in place of the Chicago Street Race

As someone who lives just 45 minutes (on a good traffic day) outside of downtown Chicago, I have low expectations for local support of the Chicago Street Race. Splitting Lake Shore Drive in half on 4th of July weekend just sounds like a traffic nightmare. I even listened to a Chicago sports talk host a few weeks ago mention that he is concerned he will not be able to make his normal trips to the Art Institute due to track construction.

The new mayoral administration in Chicago also calls the commitment into question, and I can easily see them finding a way out if the race causes problems in an area that does not really care that much about NASCAR. Where can NASCAR go instead? Many would suggest Road America, but I doubt NASCAR wants to give up on the Chicago market with a three year contract currently in place.

Chicagoland Speedway is a 1.5 mile track already in racing condition with a worn-out surface. Perfect for these next-gen race cars. I predict NASCAR will race two years at Chicagoland Speedway to fulfill that three year commitment, and see where it goes from there.

2. Laguna Seca Replaces Auto Club Speedway

With Auto Club Speedway not being on the schedule at least for 2024, ISC has an open date they would like to keep on the West Coast. They can use this open date to go to a track that NASCAR never has before, Laguna Seca. The weather is a bit iffy in February up in Northern California, however, so why not make some adjustments to the early season schedule.

Richmond has hosted the second race of the season before, so it can be moved to the second race of the season. Talladega moves up to take Richmond’s place, and Kansas moves up to take Talladega’s old slot. In order to make for a summer west coast road course swing with Laguna Seca being close to Sonoma, switching Gateway and the old Kansas date around gives NASCAR a second west coast swing in June.

While NASCAR would like this race to remain on the West Coast, where is NASCAR going to go? This is the best race track available unless they inexplicably decide to make the Clash at the Coliseum a points race. Please do not do that NASCAR.

3. The Brickyard 400 Returns

This would likely produce mixed reactions from fans, but giving the Brickyard 400 on the oval one more chance with the new cars is a worthwhile experiment. Even though putting the race on the road course helped the racing product, it’s just not the same race if it is not on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

The best part about this schedule change is that it would not require a change in date because there is already a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on the schedule.

4. Homestead-Miami Replaces Phoenix as the Finale

NASCAR is a bit limited in tracks that can be used as the Championship race. Unfortunately for Phoenix Raceway, the on-track product with these next-gen cars is just not great on this track. NASCAR wants to have the best possible on-track product for its’ last race, but they also probably want this race to not dissolve into complete anarchy if it was at a short track or a superspeedway.

It’s almost as if NASCAR already had a good place for the finale in Homestead-Miami Speedway. A 1.5 mile track with cars that race their best on intermediate style race tracks. An entertaining show for the last race of the season on a track that will likely not see intentional wrecks that cause ridiculous chaos for the final race. NASCAR likely would prefer the championship race be a testament to skill rather than constant bump and runs.

5. Texas is Removed from the Schedule, and Canada Comes to the Schedule

Texas Motor Speedway is not a popular race track, and the lack of good racing or good attendance there means that something serious needs to happen. Either reconfiguring the track or just replacing it entirely seems to be on the table. Where can NASCAR go?

Instead of going to Texas in the fall during the playoffs, replace it by moving Nashville to the Playoffs instead. Who gets the summer date then? NASCAR travels north of the border to Canada to race at Circuit Gilles Villenueve.

The track produced some incredible races during its’ time in the Xfinity Series, and the Cup guys should produce a great show as well. The track is already FIA Grade 1 as the host of the F1 Canadian Grand Prix, so it is easily NASCAR worthy.

6. North Wilkesboro Replaces Bristol’s Spring Date

Bristol Dirt was definitely a worthwhile experiment, but it seems the novelty has worn off to the teams and the drivers. The track just is not built to be a dirt track, and the spring race was not drawing fans in its later years. How can SMI and NASCAR keep a short track race on the schedule while making it an event fans can turn out for?

Make it the return of points racing to North Wilkesboro. The event was a complete success, and making it the first points race at North Wilkesboro will still sell some tickets. Imagine a 400 lap race with that type of tire fall-off if they tweak the short track package a bit?

7. All-Star Race at Rockingham Speedway

Why not make the All-Star Race a return to a classic track for the second year in a row? That succeeded this year, so it can succeed next year. No official word has been said from NASCAR on Rockingham, but the fact that the track received a similar grant to North Wilkesboro with more facility improvements planned, this could work.

Add to that the next-gen cars racing at a track like Rockingham with multiple grooves and high speeds. This track is better built for the next-gen cars than North Wilkesboro, and it could produce a good show for an All-Star Race.

The Predicted 2024 NASCAR Schedule (*Playoffs)

  • Feb. 4 – Clash at the LA Coliseum
  • Feb. 18 – Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway
  • Feb. 25 – Richmond
  • March 3 – Las Vegas
  • March 10 – Phoenix
  • March 17 – Atlanta
  • March 24 – COTA
  • March 31 – Talladega
  • April 7 – North Wilkesboro
  • April 14 – Martinsville
  • April 21 – Kansas
  • April 28 – Dover
  • May 5 – Gateway
  • May 12 – Darlington
  • May 19 – Rockingham All-Star Race
  • May 26 – Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte
  • June 2 – Laguna Seca
  • June 9 – Sonoma
  • June 23 – New Hampshire
  • June 30 – Atlanta
  • July 7 – Chicagoland
  • July 14 – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
  • July 21 – Pocono
  • July 28 – Richmond
  • August 4 – Michigan
  • August 11 – Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval
  • August 18 – Watkins Glen
  • August 24 – Daytona
  • September 1 – Southern 500 at Darlington*
  • September 8 – Kansas*
  • September 14 – Bristol Night Race*
  • September 22 – Nashville*
  • September 29 – Talladega*
  • October 6 – Charlotte Roval*
  • October 13 – Las Vegas*
  • October 20 – Phoenix*
  • October 27 – Martinsville*
  • November 3 – Homestead-Miami*

Time will tell if this comes to fruition, but NASCAR is looking to take some big swings with the 2024 schedule. This schedule will be likely look very different from the current one.

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Joshua Lipowski

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