The real life game of Monopoly between NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, and Speedway Motorsports has ended, at least for now. The short end of it, The North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham has lost its date, as well as one of the ...
The real life game of Monopoly between NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, and Speedway Motorsports has ended, at least for now. The short end of it, The North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham has lost its date, as well as one of the Darlington races. Their respective races have been moved to second date races at Texas and Phoenix. During the press conference, NASCAR CEO Brian France indicated that the Busch series events that where held in conjunction with Rockingham and Darlington would move as well.
In addition, next weeks Gould's Pumps 200 at the Nazareth Speedway will mark the last time the series will visit the track, as part of the complicated legal settlement, ICS announced that not only did it purchase the Martinsville Speedway, but that it is closing it's facility I Nazareth PA.
In a press release, ISC stated that the closing of Nazareth would assist in the long-term growth of the company.
"By realigning Nazareth's Busch and IRL events to other facilities in our portfolio, we believe we can successfully grow these events over the long term at a quicker rate than in their current venue. "
The same ICS management team runs Nazareth, and the road course at Watkins Glenn, NY. It is likely the Busch cars will return to the Glen, a stop they have not made since 2001.
The 2005 Busch schedule was not released with the Cup schedule. According to Jim Hunter, NASCAR's Vice President of Corporate Communications the Busch schedule is being held up with the sanctioning body is exploring the possibility of running an event in Mexico City.
Many series drivers have mixed feelings about the changes, but overall, it is seen as a positive move for the sport.
Derrike Cope who drives the Advil Ford sees the changes as a natural progression. "Tracks have come and gone almost through our entire history. From one standpoint, losing Rockingham, Darlington and Nazareth is a little sad. But adding races at Texas and Phoenix next year, especially after adding a race at California this year, is the right thing to do".
As the face of NASCAR continues to change, so will the schedule.
The economic impact of a series event is a sought after commodity. In the last ten years seven tracks have been dropped from the series schedule while eleven have added. The competition for dates is a fierce as it is on the track. Busch veteran Jamie McMurry put it all in perspective. " If they can't sell tickets, then you've got to go where they can sell tickets. There's a lot of travel schedule, but you've got to go where the fans are. You can't be stuck in 1970. I'm glad Brian France is taking the initiative and really making some changes."
By: Thomas Chemris