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Why is NASCAR Leaving Road America?

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On Sunday, Road America announced that the NASCAR Xfinity Series will not return to the track in 2024. This was met with some sadness from the fan base as Road America is one of the most popular tracks amongst the fan base. Why would NASCAR leave Road America, and what does it mean for NASCAR as a whole?

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Why Would NASCAR Leave Road America?

David Kallman of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal specifically noted the 2024 Olympics in his article, and he even said that NASCAR leaving next year may not be permanent. The 2024 Olympics goes from July 26th through August 11th in 2024. The weekend that Road America was scheduled on this year, was right in the middle of where the Olympics will be on the 2024 calendar.

NBC broadcasts the Olympics in 2024, which NASCAR had taken a two-week break for in 2021. Now, if NBC needs that weekend for the Olympics, why would NASCAR not move Road America to a different date on the calendar? In the end, it comes down to where can they move it to.

Road America is not a race that can be moved to any date on the calendar. It is a track that hosts many different racing series, and it is in Wisconsin, meaning that the weather does not allow a race early in the season or late in the season. So, taking a one-year hiatus from the sport may make some sense.

What It Means for the 2024 Cup Series Schedule

It fuels rumors that NASCAR will take a two-week break during the Olympics. Again, this is what NASCAR did in 2021, and it makes sense given how big of an event the Olympics are for NBC.

It also takes away a potential replacement for the Chicago Street Race should that race not happen in 2024. Many people looked to Road America as an option for NASCAR to go back to in 2024 should the Chicago Street Race leave the calendar. However, this report seems to squash any of those rumors.

However, it does not totally rule out NASCAR’s top division going back to the track in the future. Maybe Road America will return at some point, but it does not seem that NASCAR sees returning to the track as a major priority. Road America is just not as highly valued by NASCAR as other venues for whatever reason.

What It Means for the Milwaukee Mile

One race track that could end up benefitting from this arrangement is a track that sits just one hour south of Road America, the Milwaukee Mile. The Milwaukee Mile hosted its’ first Craftsman Truck Series race in years this season.

If Road America is off the schedule, then what is stopping NASCAR from bringing the NASCAR Xfinity Series back to the Milwaukee Mile? The when may be a point of discussion as the current date would mean taking the Xfinity Series out of Daytona during the current weekend.

However, the current status of the Olympics means there could be some major shifting of the schedule. It may not be out of the question that Milwaukee moves to a different date in the summer to allow the Truck Series and Xfinity Series to run a companion weekend together.

It would make some sense because it would allow Wisconsin racing fans to still get an Xfinity Series race in the area at some point. Maybe NASCAR could bring IMSA to the Chicago Street Race to run as a preliminary event and allow the Xfinity Series to go to Milwaukee instead. Hey, it’s a theory?

Road America leaving the schedule is a surprise to many NASCAR fans, but hopefully, it is only temporary. Could Road America return to the schedule in the near future?

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Joshua Lipowski

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