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NASCAR 2024 Schedule Rumors: Texas to the Spring

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Joshua Lipowski

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Another NASCAR schedule rumor has come from a rather unlikely source, IndyCar schedule rumors. Nathan Brown of the IndyStar reported that one of the hang-ups regarding scheduling the IndyCar race at Texas is the potential date for the Texas NASCAR race in 2024. The rumor, according to Brown, is that Texas is looking at NASCAR weekend to the springtime.

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Why Would They Move It?

According to Brown, Texas Motor Speedway is not sure they like running in direct conflict with the Dallas Cowboys in the fall. Texas has run spring races for the vast majority of its existence, so it’s not like it’s a completely new concept.

Between 1997 and 2019, Texas ran a race during either late March or early April plus the All-Star Race in the spring of 2021 and 2022. The only reason Texas did not run a spring race in 2020 is because of the pandemic.

If Texas is down to one race per year, then they need to find a date to best suit getting the highest TV ratings and the best crowd. The Playoffs, while very prominent in the NASCAR schedule, do not always bring in the highest TV ratings because of what those races are competing with in terms of ratings. Just take a look at the Bristol TV ratings from this past weekend, which registered less than a 1.0 Nielsen rating and 1.562 million viewers.

As strange as it may sound, it may be worthwhile for Texas Motor Speedway to return to a spring date, and NASCAR and the TV partners would probably go along with it. Texas Motor Speedway is not the most popular race track amongst the fans, so, NASCAR is probably not against putting the track in a date that is less prominent on their schedule. It seems it could work out for everyone, but there is one major detractor.

The Issue of COTA

Nathan Brown also reported that NASCAR is eyeing March 24th for the COTA race in 2024, which is the same weekend it was held in 2023. COTA seems like it will stay on the NASCAR schedule for the foreseeable future, and, with TMS down to one points date, it has taken the proverbial place the Texas spring race once held.

If this rumor actually becomes reality, that could create a major conflict between COTA and Texas Motor Speedway. The two tracks are three hours apart, but COTA now serves a large Texas market where Texas Motor Speedway is the only track for, Houston. Houston is much closer to COTA than it is to Texas Motor Speedway, and how many fans in that area can justify going to two races in the span of a couple of weeks to a month?

It is entirely possible that putting the two races so close together could have a negative effect on the crowd for both events. Now, this could be overblown because the two tracks are three hours apart after all, but it is still something to consider.

What Could Replace it in the Playoffs?

The fun thing to talk about with this race date is which track could replace Texas Motor Speedway in the Playoffs. Keep in mind, that Texas is an SMI-owned race track, so an SMI track would have to replace it.

Nashville Superspeedway

Nashville Superspeedway has embraced NASCAR since its’ return in 2021, and the weather would be great in late September for a Playoff race. The issue with this would be finding a track to take that summer slot, but it could also serve as a date NASCAR could use to push some races back so that they can do their two-week Olympic break in late July/early August.

Atlanta Motor Speedway

It would be very easy to just swap the spring Atlanta date with the spring Texas date on the 2024 schedule, however, there are a couple of things to consider. First off, the weather is a consideration with the race being potentially held in mid-March. Secondly, having two superspeedways in the Playoffs may be a bit much, but having two in the same round would be very controversial. At that point, Talladega would need to be moved somewhere else on the schedule.

North Wilkesboro Speedway

North Wilkesboro Speedway is a track that has been rumored to be getting a points date, so, why not give it a date in the Playoffs? North Wilkesboro used to host a fall race throughout most of its history, so it can host a race during that time of year. However, there would have to be some significant shuffling because the All-Star Race would need a new venue, and an SMI venue would have to give up a points date. Maybe one Bristol concrete race could be an All-Star Race with another being a points date?

Texas moving to the spring is an interesting rumor that many were not expecting to hear. It further fuels that the 2024 schedule will be an interesting one, and one can only wonder what will be on it when it comes out.

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Joshua Lipowski

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