Shocking development from Montreal today when Octane Management and NASCAR could not reach an amicable agreement that would have kept the NASCAR Nationwide Series in Montreal for the 2013 season.
Out of the six races on the historic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, six different winners emerged. They were all challenging and packed with action from green flag to checkered flag. However to host a race, the promoters and the series must reach an agreement. Octane Management and NASCAR both wanted to keep the event; but any slight difference can affect the outcome.
François Dumontier, head of Octane Management in Montreal, broke the news at the Île Notre-Dame. Apparently the hopes that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series would race at the Canadian venue was one of the major hurdles. The second one was if it was to be only the Nationwide series, Dumontier wanted the event on Sunday and not Saturday. It appears that only two strikes made an out in the negations.
Dumontier commented, "I must admit that NASCAR's final answer is extremely disappointing. We can understand how difficult it could be to modify the Sprint Cup schedule, but we still believe that we deserved higher consideration. Especially since we have often been told that the annual Montreal event was very important to NASCAR.
"We remain convinced that the presence of the Sprint Cup at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve would have brought a much larger crowd, as our track usually generates a spectacular race and with its anticipated success, would have offered a larger recognition at the international level to the series and to NASCAR,"added the promoter.
In a prepared statement, NASCAR stated: "NASCAR appreciates the support and enthusiasm the great fans of Montreal have shown during our six years of exciting racing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It's been a great run for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at this historic venue.”
NASCAR will now select a track to fill the void. There is a good possibility that they will select Road Atlanta. The Georgia track is one of the circuits acquired by NASCAR from the Panoz Motor Sports Group recently.
However for Octane Management, they might already be focusing on hosting a DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) event next year.