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NASCAR: Will NASCAR ever return to Road America? ‘Our success is not defined...

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Published Time: 06.05.2024 - 13:40:36 Modified Time: 06.05.2024 - 13:40:36

“Having Cup here for two years did exactly what we wanted it to do,” Kertscher said, referring to 2021 and ’22 races for NASCAR’s premier series. “We were found by many fans that hadn’t previously been here. NASCAR


“Having Cup here for two years did exactly what we wanted it to do,” Kertscher said, referring to 2021 and ’22 races for NASCAR’s premier series. “We were found by many fans that hadn’t previously been here.

“We saw last year, even without Cup last year, our ticket sales almost mirrored those of ’22 even without that key, signature event on our schedule. That really tells us that the fans that found us in ’21-22, they came back. … They clearly like the Road America experience and they found another event to come to with family and friends.”

A two-year run for the Cup Series saw some of the largest crowds in track history. But with a schedule heavy on road courses and an opportunity to be in the heart of the United States’ third-largest market, NASCAR opted to bypass Road America and instead race on the streets of downtown Chicago. That event also was successful.

“Hey, they’re not afraid to try things,” Kertscher said. “If there’s anything they’ve been successful at, it’s trying to do new things, good or bad. There’s a few that have worked well and a few they wish would have been better. From us, we’re happy to be part of it if we can.

“We thought the cars raced well here, especially the Xfinity cars. They put on a lot of great races here. This year with the Olympics and other conflicts, we weren’t able to get an Xfinity race for 2024. We hope that comes back.”

NASCAR’s second division, the Xfinity Series (previously Nationwide) raced at Road America from 2010 to 2023.

With the Paris Games running from July 26 to Aug. 11 – and broadcast by the NBC family of networks, the same as NASCAR – the entire NASCAR calendar is clear the last weekend in July and first in August.

That eliminated two possible dates for Road America, which has a relatively short season and is constrained by traditional dates for its other largest events, IndyCar in mid-June (June 9 this year) and IMSA sports cars on the first weekend of August (Aug. 4) as well as MotoAmerica motorcycles and SCAA June Sprints in June, a major vintage weekend in July and the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in October.

Kertscher also would prefer to avoid holidays. The 2021 and ’22 NASCAR events ran on the Fourth of July weekend.

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