Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

The Brickyard 400 is Back, What Does That Mean for the 2024 Schedule?

Article Contents

Article Contents

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts

To the surprise of no one, NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that the Brickyard 400 would be returning, but the date is the thing we are focused on. While the 2023 road course race was held on the second Sunday of August, this race weekend will be held on July 20th-21st. This means that there are going to be some more shifts on the 2024 schedule, so, what is going to change on the 2024 schedule?

Why Would they Move the Race?

The glaring reason they would move Indianapolis from mid-August to late July is because of the 2024 Summer Olympics. The 2024 Olympics go from July 26th to August 11th, 2024. The end of the games is currently scheduled for the Sunday that held the Indianapolis Road Course race in 2023.

It is not a major shift in terms of the Brickyard 400. Yes, it is the earliest that the race has ever been held given that it is the third Sunday in July. However, it has generally fluctuated between late July and early August throughout its’ history, so, it’s still a summertime race just like it always has been. The impact will be felt on other tracks on the schedule.

Now, it is worth noting that NASCAR held its first race back from the two-week Olympic break the day the games ended in 2021. It is entirely possible that NASCAR and NBC are okay with holding a race that weekend, but they just do not want it to be a “Crown Jewel” event. Regardless, this shows that this date swap has a major impact on how the 2024 schedule will look.

How does this Effect the 2024 Schedule?

This move affects more than one race track on the 2024 schedule. Indianapolis takes the slot of another traditional NASCAR venue, and it highlights how NASCAR will handle the summer Olympics.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

First off, it means that New Hampshire Motor Speedway will have a new date on the 2024 schedule. The date that Indianapolis is taking is the date that New Hampshire held on the 2023 schedule, so, New Hampshire will have to move. The where is the major question for New Hampshire?

One easy solution would be to move New Hampshire to the traditional June Sonoma weekend. Sonoma Raceway has been rumored to be moving to the West Coast Swing early in the season to counteract the loss of Auto Club Speedway. New Hampshire could also slot into the third weekend of June, which held the one and only off-weekend in 2023. Either way, New Hampshire keeps a summer date, which is consistent with its general history.

Pocono Raceway

Pocono Raceway’s current date sits on the first weekend of the Olympics, and NBC will likely not want a NASCAR race of any kind on that weekend. That means Pocono has to move if NASCAR keeps it on the schedule. It is incredibly unlikely NASCAR does knock Pocono off the schedule, but, it is an independently-owned race track. Therefore, anything is on the table with Pocono, but, in all likelihood, the track will just have its date moved.

Pocono has held both June and August races before, so, NASCAR could choose to put Pocono as the race the day of the end of the Olympics. NASCAR could also slot Pocono around where we theorized New Hampshire could land in late June.

Richmond Raceway

Richmond’s 2023 date sits right in the middle of the Olympics in 2024. This race is likely going to have to move, and where is a big question. Richmond already has a date in April, so, a June race would probably oversaturate that time of year. Remember back when Michigan and Pocono each had two races, six weeks apart in the middle of the summer?

One solution that has been thrown around is a potential doubleheader weekend for Richmond in the spring, but nothing has come of that. It’s possible Richmond could slot somewhere later in August if a track like Watkins Glen moves into the Playoffs with the Roval potentially being gone. That could allow Texas to move out of the Playoffs back to the spring as the rumors have said. Then again, maybe Richmond loses a date in 2024 given the fan sentiment towards that track has not been as kind in recent weeks.

Michigan International Speedway

If the 2021 schedule is the model to go off of, Michigan likely retains the same date in 2024. It is situated on the last day of the Olympics, which is when NASCAR returned in 2021. Maybe Michigan moves to accommodate another race like Richmond, but, what is the point of that?

Michigan seems to be just fine in the August slot it currently holds, and, it’s a track with little flexibility in terms of race dates given its geography. It is in Michigan, so a spring or a fall race is just not an option. Michigan should stay, but, who knows?

The Brickyard 400 return is a big reason to celebrate for many NASCAR fans. However, the ramifications are bigger than many may expect.

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts