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NASCAR Going Global: What Would a “Champions League” Even Look Like?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR is looking at a brand new global racing series. According to Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal, NASCAR’s Chief International Officer, Chad Seigler, is to create a “Champions-League”-type of NASCAR Series where drivers from all of NASCAR’s international series can come together. Stern also reported that NASCAR is looking into a “Uniform chassis” for all NASCAR series, should this happen.

You Need to Know

  • According to Stern, Seigler said that the series is in its’ “Early stages.” Stern also noted that NASCAR is looking at adding more international series down the road.
  • NASCAR going international has been rumored since Garage 56 debuted at the 24 Hours of Le Man. Reportedly NASCAR was considering a race in Canada in 2024, but that ultimately did not happen. Stern did say that NASCAR is “Reviewing its international options for 2025.”
  • Fans debated which car that NASCAR could run in the potential series. Some looked at the Xfinity Series car as an obvious choice, while others looked at the international series or even the Next-Gen car.

Which “Uniform Chassis” Should NASCAR Use?

NASCAR has two big options for which “Uniform Chassis” to use. They can choose to take a chassis from a current series that would be used in all series, or they could develop an entirely different chassis specifically for this new series. Both sides have benefits and detractors.

Take a Chassis From a Current Series

If NASCAR were to take a chassis from a current series, that would eliminate a lot of time developing a chassis because it’s already on a race car in one of their series. They could take a chassis from, for example, the NASCAR Cup Series and implement it in other series for their regular season. This means the cars they drive in the regular season are the cars they drive in this new “Champions League” style series.

However, it also means that many series would have to redevelop their race cars across NASCAR’s global series. NASCAR cannot take one chassis from one series into this “Champions League”-style series because the series with that chassis would have a massive advantage. This redevelopment would be a massive undertaking, and, not every series would like to completely redevelop what they already have. Therefore, NASCAR has a second option.

Develop a Separate Chassis

NASCAR could choose to go the route of the SRX. What the SRX does is manufacture a spec race car that every driver uses. This evens the playing field for all drivers across all disciplines of motorsports. NASCAR could choose to do this as well.

This would take a major burden off of the teams because they do not have to develop new cars for their series. In this instance, NASCAR would make separate race cars solely for this “Champions League”-style series. That does mean NASCAR would be spending a lot more time researching and developing a chassis from scratch though.

How Would An International “Champions League”-Type Series Work?

Another thing to consider with this is how this type of series would even work. Who would qualify? Where would they race? When would it take place?

Qualification

What soccer Champions Leagues across different continents normally do is take the top finishing teams from different domestic leagues and put them into the Champions League. Different leagues get different amounts of teams based on how good the league is. That basic model could probably work for NASCAR.

NASCAR can take the top 2 or 3 from each series and have them compete. NASCAR could bring in more drivers from different series depending on the size of the series, how many races each series runs, or whatever factor they choose.

NASCAR also has to factor in which series they bring in. Do they include Trucks and Xfinity from the United States or do they just go with Cup? Do they include the second division of the Euro NASCAR Series or just go with the top division? These are all questions that need to be answered.

Tracks and Locations

When it comes to tracks and locations, NASCAR has to use tracks that are used across all of their international series. This means tracks like Daytona or Talladega are likely out because there are no tracks like that outside of the U.S. Each series does run on road courses, so, road courses would almost certainly be a mainstay.

It may be a road course-heavy series given how few ovals there are outside of the U.S. As far as where to go, that depends on when they run the series. If it’s during the Cup Series season, that opens up anything in the northern hemisphere because that is their spring/summer. If it is during the Cup Series offseason, NASCAR may have to look in the southern U.S., Middle East, or even in the southern hemisphere.

Time of Year

Soccer Champions leagues have their games during the week in-season. This allows teams to play their domestic games on the weekends. NASCAR could try that, but that would result in a crazy travel schedule for drivers and teams. Imagine trying to make an international trip in the middle of the week before coming home for a race next weekend.

If NASCAR moved it into the off-season, that makes for interesting off-season racing for fans. However, as we just mentioned, tracks in the north may be limited in what races they can hold. That could mean some drivers get little to no break between seasons as well. NASCAR has to consider that.

This is a bold idea, but it is still a long way off if it even happens. There are plenty of questions that still need to be answered, and it will take time to answer them.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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