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Cup Series in Mexico and Canada? Steve Phelps Hints at 2025 NASCAR Schedule

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Steve Phelps caught up with Fox Sports’ Chris Myers on Sunday to discuss plenty of topics in the world of NASCAR. In it, Phelps dropped some hints at the 2025 schedule. He said that he “Would be surprised” if NASCAR did not hold races in Mexico and Canada in 2025, and he reaffirmed a commitment to racing in Southern California in 2025. What would this mean for all of these places, and where could NASCAR go?

  • NASCAR was rumored to be going international with their 2024 schedule. However, they held off on that for 2024, but, they seem to be potentially accelerating that process for 2025.
  • Southern California is in a strange spot with Auto Club Speedway getting torn down. The Cash at the Coliseum is the only race in Southern California on the 2024 schedule.
  • Fans are excited about NASCAR potentially moving internationally. They have been speculating about it for years, and Garage 56 ramped up that energy.


NASCAR going to Mexico has been reported as recently as the week of The Clash at the LA Coliseum. Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic reported that NASCAR was considering either Mexico City or Guadalajara to host the next Clash at the Coliseum. We’ll get more into whether that will or will not happen when we talk about Southern California.

Regardless, Mexico has a lot going for it. NASCAR has a series there, the NASCAR Mexico Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series held four races there from 2005-2008. Mexico is also to the south, meaning that races could be held at almost any time of the year.

There are also plenty of purpose-built tracks in Mexico, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City is the most well-known choice. There are tracks that the NASCAR Mexico Series races at such as El Dorado Speedway, Autodromo Monterrey, and Autodromo Queretaro just to name a few. The options are there, the market for motorsports seems to be there, and the time of year doesn’t seem to be a major issue.

The question is, where would a Mexico race slot into the schedule? Could it take a race date from somewhere like Las Vegas in the spring or fall which seemingly struggled to draw good attendance in 2023? Does it take the place of something like the Chicago Street Race in the summer should that race end up having more issues? Is the Clash going to move to Mexico?


NASCAR was rumored to be heading to Canada this season for a large part of 2023, but, nothing ultimately materialized. However, Steve O’Donnell did say in the State of the Sport Address that conversations with Montreal did indeed happen, but, the timing was not right to make the move to Canada.

Just like Mexico, Canada has race tracks NASCAR has raced at before. The Xfinity Series raced in Montreal from 2007-2012 and the Truck Series raced at Mosport from 2013-2019. The NASCAR Canada Series is also there, and the tracks they race at could get a look as well.

The issue will be the time of year for the race. Given Canada’s winter climate, the race would likely have to happen during the summer stretch, but, if NASCAR goes to Montreal, the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix is normally held in June. That means July, August, and maybe September appears to be the time NASCAR needs to strike.

Throughout the summer, there are a few race dates that seem interesting. The Chicago Street Race could be a spot with its’ uncertain future, and NASCAR’s 3-year contract with World Wide Technology Raceway just outside of St. Louis is up after this year. Richmond is in the summer stretch with 2 race dates in 2024, so, could NASCAR bump Richmond down to just one date per year?

Southern California

Phelps’ comments on Southern California were particularly interesting. He seemingly confirmed that NASCAR would race in Southern California in 2025, but, the where was not confirmed. He did mention the future Auto Club Speedway short track, but, in the past, he has been mum on what the timeline for that exactly will be. Auto Club Speedway track president, Dave Allen, told The New York Times that he does NOT expect to see the track ready for 2024.

The why behind racing in Southern California is also interesting. Phelps did not say it was necessarily to reach new fans but, it was to reach the fans that are already there. He called Southern California NASCAR’s “2nd Most Popular Market” to Chris Myers.

The issue is, without Auto Club Speedway, where is the race track for NASCAR to race at Auto Club Speedway? There are some race tracks in California like Laguna Seca and even Sonoma, but, those tracks are not in the Los Angeles area. In the L.A. metro area, there are a few short tracks such as Irwindale, but, it would take major renovations to the infrastructure to hold a Cup Series race there.

This is why speculation of the Clash moving to somewhere like Mexico may draw some doubt. NASCAR may want to stay in the LA Coliseum for at least another year to make sure they race in Southern California. Obviously, the Auto Club Speedway short track being built does alleviate that issue.

As the 2025 NASCAR schedule rumors heat up throughout the season, we will keep track of all of them. Be sure to follow the Daily Downforce for the latest updates on the 2025 schedule.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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