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Which Current Tracks Could Gain or Lose a Race Date on the 2024 NASCAR Schedule?

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The 2024 NASCAR schedule is the subject of much speculation and scrutiny nowadays. And this speculation comes not only by the fans, but the tracks themselves. Some race tracks could be in danger of losing a date in 2024, while others could potentially either gain an extra date or be promoted to a points paying in 2024. Which tracks are these?

Gain: North Wilkesboro Speedway

Sure, the All-Star Race itself left a lot to be desired, but the event was a resounding success. Fans showed up and showed out at North Wilkesboro Speedway, and the show that the Open drivers and the Craftsman Truck Series put on showed that the track can still host great racing. Maybe NASCAR could elect to keep the All-Star Race there, but rumors have circulated that the track could be bumped up to a points paying race.

Some may question if this is a good idea for a couple of reasons. One, the track can only hold 30,000 people, which is far below many modern NASCAR tracks. And second, the TV ratings for this race decreased from the previous season’s All-Star Race at Texas. It may appeal to the core NASCAR fan, but does it appeal enough to the general population to justify making such a move?

Lose: Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol’s spring date has been under scrutiny for many years now. A race that once sold out the track and bringing in 160,000 people was forced to close down major portions of its grandstands for the last spring race on the concrete oval in 2019. The night race still brings in a good crowd, but the spring race just was not cutting it.

That is why NASCAR put dirt on Bristol, but that race has been met with controversy. Some felt that dirt was unprofessional, while others felt that another track should have been sacrificed for the concept other than Bristol. Bristol Dirt seems to be a race that has an uncertain future, and whether or not Bristol keeps its second date or not is a mystery, especially given the track’s role in the efforts to renovate the Nashville Fairgrounds.

Gain: Homestead-Miami Speedway

Homestead-Miami Speedway has hosted only one race per year during its’ entire existence on the NASCAR calendar. Now, with the current state of the 1.5 mile product, a case can be stated for an additional date on the calendar. This has not been reported or rumored, but, it could be quite popular amongst fans.

Given the weather in the Miami area, NASCAR could easily justify a spring date and a fall date at the track. This is unlikely given the fact that NASCAR seems more focused on expanding to new venues rather than stacking up on older ones. However, the 1.5 mile racing product could make for an interesting case for Homestead Miami.

Lose: Chicago Street Race

The race this year was met with high praise from many in the NASCAR community. The event itself, however, was hampered by weather. Given the fact that what was promoted was 155 laps of racing and four major concerts, but only 100 laps of racing and one concert actually happened, that’s not a great look.

Many may say that the events needs a second go-around with better weather, but how much pull does that sentiment really have in a city council? It all comes down to the Chicago politicians, locals, and how they feel about the race in their city. It’s a toss-up for now as to whether or not NASCAR will be back on the Streets of Chicago next year.

Gain: Charlotte Motor Speedway Oval

The fan attitude towards Charlotte Motor Speedway oval has gone from at-best apathy and at-worst disgust to, now, excitement. The last two Coca-Cola 600s have been two of the best races the Next-Gen car has put on. The fact that it is NASCAR’s home race makes it all the more popular.

With the current 1.5 mile product, fan sentiment on Charlotte Motor Speedway has shifted, and fans are clambering for more intermediate track races. Who would have imagined that five years ago? With the viability of the ROVAL in question, maybe the Charlotte oval could make a return sometime soon.

Lose: Charlotte ROVAL

The Charlotte ROVAL is a question mark for a few major reasons. First, with as many road courses that NASCAR has now, many wonder if the ROVAL still serves the purpose it once did. The racing product has also been the subject of scrutiny both at the ROVAL and on road courses in general.

That, combined with the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval returning to prominence, means that NASCAR could see a reason to move the fall Charlotte date back to the oval. The biggest caveat is that losing the ROVAL means no road courses in the Playoffs unless NASCAR shuffles the schedule. If NASCAR wants a road course in the Playoffs, maybe that is the one thing that could save the ROVAL.

Gain: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval

NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval was an uneasy marriage for a long time. At the very beginning, traditionalists decried the fact that NASCAR was invading IndyCar’s sacred ground. At the very end, fans decried the lackluster racing and empty grandstands.

Now, with the Next-Gen car, many are wanting to give the oval another chance. Plus, with the fan sentiment towards road courses growing more apathetic, the place of the Indianapolis Road Course on the schedule seems uncertain.

Lose: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course was added for two reasons. First, it gave NASCAR another road course date when NASCAR was looking to diversify their schedule. Secondly, it was meant to reignite interest in a rapidly dwindling event.

The event has devolved into chaotic wreck fests each of the past two seasons, and some fans are just tired of it. Others just do not see the purpose of the event anymore now that NASCAR has other permanent road courses on the schedule, such as Circuit of the Americas and, previously, Road America. Maybe NASCAR will be too afraid of the oval’s potential racing product to bring it back at the expense of the road course, but some fans want it back anyway.

Gain: LA Coliseum

Yes, this is unlikely, but, it is a possibility no matter how unpopular or ridiculous it would be. With Auto Club Speedway out of the schedule for renovations in 2024, NASCAR has a gaping hole in the Los Angeles market. Does NASCAR really want to leave L.A. for a year?

If not, they could choose to make the Clash at the Coliseum as a points race, and push its date further into February or March. This could be wildly unpopular amongst fans, but NASCAR’s options in Southern California are very limited. Maybe it’s a worst case scenario, but this could happen.

Lose: Nashville Superspeedway

Let me start with this: this has nothing to do with NASCAR leaving Nashville as a whole. However, if the Nashville Fairgrounds is renovated in-time, then Nashville Superspeedway’s place on the schedule becomes a question-mark. Would NASCAR rather race at the Superspeedway 40 miles outside of Nashville, or within the city limits at the Fairgrounds?

NASCAR has been pushing for more race tracks in urban areas recently. Case in point the Chicago Street Race, Clash at the Coliseum, or even the recent real estate development outside of Daytona international Speedway. If the Fairgrounds is renovated in time, however unlikely, then the Superspeedway could find itself on the outside looking in.

This is all pure speculation, but these are all things to consider when thinking about the 2024 schedule. NASCAR is poised to make some big changes, and some tracks will come out better than others as a result.

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Joshua Lipowski

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