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The Cities that Deserve a NASCAR Cup Series Race

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR is looking to expand to different markets across the country, but, they also need to consider which markets will support NASCAR. Plenty of markets across the country watch NASCAR on television, but, they do not have a race, at least not yet. Which markets deserve a NASCAR Cup Series race?

  • For this list, we will look at television markets that currently do not have a NASCAR Cup Series race. Markets who have hosted the Cup Series in the past, but do not currently, are eligible as well.
  • The primary factor used will be TV ratings in different markets. Consideration will also be given to how they have shown support for NASCAR at races in the past. We will also consider how close current NASCAR race tracks are to these markets. If there are too many tracks surrounding the market, then we will consider that market filled.
  • Fans from different markets often ask for NASCAR to come to their city. As NASCAR looks to expand, the markets become very interesting.

Greenville, South Carolina

According to Forbes.com, Greenville, South Carolina was just behind Charlotte and Greensboro for the highest household rating in the 2024 Cup Series season. Greenville had a 3.9 average rating during the 2023 season.

The closest track to Greenville is Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is about two hours away, and Greenville has a history in NASCAR as well. Greenville-Pickens Speedway hosted 28 Cup Series races between 1955 and 1971. Unfortunately, the future of this track is uncertain.

However, the track is a half-mile long, so, it is big enough for NASCAR to race on. Should it not be torn down, another North Wilkesboro-type comeback might be interesting to fans. It would mean a lot to fans in one of NASCAR’s best-performing TV markets.

Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida is typically one of NASCAR’s top markets for TV, particularly for the Daytona 500. In 2022, it was the second highest TV market during “The Great American Race” according to racingnews.co.

The Tampa Bay area also hosts racing during the season. Most notably, they have the IndyCar season-opening St. Petersburg Grand Prix. If NASCAR wants to go street racing, this is one place they can go.

There are no other professional race tracks in the Tampa area, so, they would have to build one for an oval track race. That may hold NASCAR back in the short term, but, in the long term, they may look at this market if Homestead-Miami struggles.

Montreal, Canada

It’s been reported that Montreal, Canada was somewhere NASCAR wanted to go in 2023. However, they deserve NASCAR because of how they support racing. The Formula One Grand Prix sells out every year, and the Xfinity Series races there from 2007-2012 brought in big crowds.

They also have a NASCAR-ready race track in the city. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve hosts the Canadian Grand Prix every year, and it also hosts the Xfinity Series.

It would be the Cup Series’ first foray outside of the United States. NASCAR has been looking international since Garage 56 ran at Le Mans, but, is it a good idea? Will running international do more to expand NASCAR outside of the U.S., or will it decrease its presence in the U.S.?

Buffalo, New York

This may surprise some people, but, according to Forbes, Buffalo, New York, was tied for the seventh-highest household rating in NASCAR for 2023. They had a 2.3 rating for the 2023 season.

There is no race track within 2 hours of Buffalo, with Watkins Glen being the closest. Buffalo is also near the major Canadian markets of Toronto and Niagara Falls. Imagine a summer race around Buffalo in the shadow of Niagara Falls. It opens NASCAR up to a potentially massive new market in Toronto, and NASCAR can bring in Niagara vacationers.

There are a few short tracks in Buffalo, but, nothing that could immediately host NASCAR. They would have to build a new track or renovate an old one. Still, it could be a gold mine of a market.

In the Stands

Different NASCAR fans gave their thoughts on which markets deserve NASCAR races on social media. Here are the best answers.

Tyler Puszczewicz mentions plenty of other markets that deserve Cup Series races.

Johnny Law looks at tracks up towards the North or Northwest part of the country.

Galaxxy is another one who said Greenville, South Carolina.

Wvwraith says that West Virginia should host a Cup Series race.

NASCARnerd wants to see Pittsburgh and Cleveland get a Cup Series race.

What other markets deserve a NASCAR Cup Series race? Join in the conversation on social media!

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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