NASCAR announced its 2013 Nationwide Series schedule today and the 33-race schedule includes, for the first time, the popular Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The 2.4-mile road course will make its NASCAR debut on August 27, giving the series three road-course venues for the upcoming season. Replacing Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve course, Mid-Ohio joins Road America and Watkins Glen International on the schedule.
The schedule includes six standalone events and 27 companion events with the NASCAR’s premier circuit, the Sprint Cup Series.
The Nationwide Series opens the new season on February 23 at the Daytona International Speedway and concludes nine months later at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16.
Said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations, “With Mid-Ohio on the schedule, the NASCAR Nationwide Series has another opportunity to lead the way at a new venue.” With the addition of Mid-Ohio, it marks the sixth time in nine years that the series will run an inaugural event.
Craig Rust, president of the Mid-Ohio venue, was thrilled to be part of the announcement and said that Nationwide Insurance will be title sponsor. Nationwide’s corporate headquarters is located in nearby Columbus, Ohio. The race will be known as the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200.
Once NASCAR signaled its interest, Rust said the arrangement came together in less than 60 days and although the length of the commitment was not stated, he indicated not too many track changes will be made for the debut race but looking ahead, he indicated enhancements would be forthcoming.
Mid-Ohio draws its fans throughout Ohio, ranging from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati with lots of stops in between. Opening in 1962, Mid-Ohio has hosted major race events for years and in the year ahead, the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will be among the many events scheduled.