Canada Race Track News

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Track News and Announcements

  • Canadian Motor Speedway on course in Fort Erie: After more than seven years of planning and hundreds of meetings across Ontario, construction on the $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway has finally started. Bulldozers have arrived to the 823-acre site in Fort Erie just off of the Queen Elizabeth Way, between Gilmore and Bowen roads. Construction fencing has gone up as crews begin work on the first phase of what is the largest, private sector-driven project in the towns history. The racing complex is expected to be completed and host its first race by 2016. Funded by off-shore interests from Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, Canadian Motor Speedway is being designed in consultation with top NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, who has been advocating for the project since its earliest days. The three-quarters of a mile oval track  designed similarly to the NASCAR-sanctioned track in Richmond, Va.  is expected to be a huge draw and economic boost for Fort Erie. The nearest NASCAR and Indy-level tracks to Fort Erie are in Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes region and the Detroit suburb of Brooklyn. Besides the main track, the complex will be home to a 2.5-mile road course that will bring in drivers through a series of tunnels. A major hotel, retail and restaurants are planned. The infield may also host large scale concerts. The main grandstand will hold 65,000 race fans but could be expanded to a 100,000-person capacity.()(10-9-2013)

  • Fort Erie speedway gets green light: The decision was worth the wait say proponents of the Canadian Motor Speedway. Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin was informed Thursday morning that an appeal made to the Ontario Municipal Board regarding the Canadian Motor Speedway was denied, clearing the way for the $400-million project to move forward. "It's been a long time and a long journey and we're finally glad the decision has come forward," said Martin. "Our next step is meeting with Azhar (Mohammad, executive director of the speedway) to get his team together and the documents together to move forward with the project and put shovels in the ground." The decision came almost three months after the environmental group Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society made the appeal following the OMB's original decision in favour of the speedway late last year. The OMB needed to determine whether or not there were any planning or land issues in order for the speedway's groundbreaking plans to move forward.(Niagara Falls Review)(6-7-2013)

  • Fort Erie Speedway gets a partner: The Canadian Motor Speedway, a $150-million world class motor sports and entertainment development to be situated on 820 acres of land in Fort Erie, has entered into partnership with Aecon Group Inc., one of Canada's largest publicly traded construction companies. The announcement was made by the project's executive director and partner, Azhar Mohammad, and Teri McKibbon, chief operating officer for Aecon. "We look forward to working with Aecon as a partner to ensure our development is built to the highest standards," said Mohammad. Aecon, as the project's construction manager, will oversee the entire 820-acre development by identifying qualified local construction resources, administration of construction program activities, and management of contractors. It will ensure a timely completion with the targeted cost. "We are thrilled to be working with Canadian Motor Speedway and pleased to bring our expertise to the development of this world class racetrack," said Teri McKibbon, Aecon's chief operating officer. The speedway project is adjacent to the QEW within minutes from the Canadian/U.S. border at Buffalo and 15 minutes from Niagara Falls. The core of the project consists of a standalone 1.6-kilometre, Jeff Gordon-designed signature speedway.(Fort Erie Times)(5-28-2013)

  • Canada race dubbed Chevy Silverado 250: The only Canadian stop for the Camping World Truck Series and the first ever NASCAR event to be held at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park will be billed at the Chevy Silverado 250. Just a 20 minute drive from General Motors Canada headquarters, the branding initiative coincides with the launch of the all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado. Formerly known as Mosport, the historic Canadian race track (and one of the world's fastest) annually hosts the American Le Mans Series and is a one time Formula One venue. After recently switching owners the track has undergone a massive renovation in the off season. Upgrades include an expanded pit stall area to accommodate a NASCAR event, on-track upgrades with larger paved runoff areas, a modified front-straight and a massive new complex to house media and VIP events. On hand for the announcement, track co-owner Ron Fellows did not rule himself out from participating in the upcoming race, telling media that he hasn't "eliminated that as an option." Fellows is a long-time racer, and an accomplished on at that, having won the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times. In his NASCAR history Fellows has two wins and three poles in the Camping World Truck Series, as well as four wins and two poles the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The Chevy Silverado 250 will take place the weekend of August 30 to September 1. (AutoGuide.com)(4-29-2013)

  • Canadian Motor Speedway gets green light in Fort Erie: On Monday, the Ontario Municipal Board rejected all appeals against the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie, opening the door for groundbreaking on a $400 million, 65,000-seat facility near the Peace Bridge. The land  in a town that recently lost live horse racing and slots  has been purchased and it's believed the major investors are from Kuwait. Construction is expected to take 18 months. Speedway officials say they will try to attract NASCAR and other auto racing events, as well as rock concerts. Four-time NASCAR champion #24-Jeff Gordon is designing the Fort Erie project's 1.6-kilometre (approx 1 mile) banked oval track and a 4.2-kilometre (approx 2.6 mile) road course. It would be the largest track in Canada. Plans call for 60,000 grandstand seats, 5,000 club seats and 80 suites.(Toronto Star)(1-20-2013)

  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park added to 2013 Truck schedule: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is thrilled to announce that it has been included on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2013 schedule on Labour Day Weekend (September 1). This will mark the first ever Canadian stop for the truck series. This Labour Day weekend race will also mark the first time in 13 years that a Camping World Truck Series race will take place on a road course. The historic significance of the track in Canada, combined with its thrilling 3.957 km road course makes Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the perfect place to make truck series history. "We at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are thrilled to be able to bring the Camping World Truck Series to Canadian motorsport fans," said Myles Brandt, President and General Manager of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. "We're looking forward to creating an unforgettable experience for both fans and drivers alike this Labour Day weekend as we mark yet another milestone in the history of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park." "We're excited to announce the addition of a world-class facility like Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for 2013," said Steve O'Donnell, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for NASCAR. "We're looking forward to working with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as we introduce the truck series to our great fans in Canada. Their enthusiastic response to our sport has helped grow its popularity in Canada significantly throughout the years."(Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.com)(11-16-2012)

  • Canadian Motor Speedway for Fort Erie approved: The Canadian Motor Speedway is a go! Fort Erie has received Ontario Municipal Board approval to build the $400-million racetrack and entertainment complex which promises to be a world class facility that will attract visitors from all over North America. Fort Erie mayor Doug Martin is ecstatic. After months of nothing but bad news for the south Niagara town, Martin is thrilled with the OMB's decision. "It's great news for the town! It was something that we were anticipating as to one of the cornerstones of rebuilding of the town of Fort Erie, with the challenges we've had." After have the OLG slots taken away, and the decimation of the horse racing industry in Fort Erie, he anticipates the Speedway will be a catalyst for development in the area which will means more jobs and a stronger local economy. The Canadian Motor Speedway boasts a mile-long paved oval with seating for up to 65,000 people; a 2½-mile paved course for motocross, BMX and snow mobiles; a 74-acre commercial complex that includes restaurants, shops and hotel; a 71-acre parking and camping area; and a 66-acre business park. Martin doesn't wasn't to speculate just yet about NASCAR coming to this side of the border but he hopes the track will be something that is attractive to the racing organization. Work could begin by late Fall, with an anticipated opening in about two years.(610cktb.com)(11-6-2012)

  • Nationwide Series remaining in Canada? UPDATES: The Nationwide Series has perhaps not left Quebec, Canada for good, it could end up in Trois-Rivières, and, starting next year. Discussions were initiated, according to sources, with representatives from NASCAR to maintain a Canadian race on the schedule. The mayor of Trois-Rivières has appointed the chairman of the Grand Prix, Dominic Fugere to conduct these talks. Also, there was some discussion of holding a Nationwide Series race at Mosport next year, but the track does not currently meet the crieteria necessary for a NASCAR race. NASCAR has not disclosed the Nationwide schedule in 2013, which suggests that negotiations are ongoing with various promoters.(Montreal Journal, article in French, translated with Google Translate at edited)(10-24-2012)
    UPDATE: There is a big announcement scheduled for Thursday in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. City officials, along with GP3R CEO Dominic Fugere will announce the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series to the city's annual GP3R Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres. The race will be held on the Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, a 1.521 mile street course. It will be the first-ever street course race for the Nationwide Series. Last year, IndyCar's Firestone Indy Lights and NASCAR's Canadian Tire Series were the co-headliners in Trois-Rivieres.(Frontstretch)(11-1-2012)
    UPDATE 2: The Government of Quebec supports the efforts of the leaders of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in their attempt to attract a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 2013. The Minister for Tourism, Pascal Bérubé, confirmed the news at a press briefing Thursday. The Director General of GP3R Dominic Fugere will travel to Texas this weekend with a small delegation, including the mayor of Trois-Rivières, in an attempt to convince NASCAR the facility is able to accommodate a NASCAR race. "We are early in the process, but it is one minute to midnight, recalls Fugère. I know all the tracks where the Nationwide happens and I can tell you that we have nothing to envy to those places. In a radius of 160 km, there are 5.3 million people and 22,000 hotel rooms, which is much more than Martinsville, Virginia, a city that receives nevertheless a step in the Nationwide Series."(LaPress.ca)(11-2-2012)

  • Latest on Canadian speedway project: The land has been purchased, the proposal is in, and just a few small government hurdles separate the Canadian Motor Speedway from becoming a reality. "It is a 65,000 seat venue that will be built right off the QEW here in Fort Erie, and it'll have a one mile oval track and a 2.5 mile road track in the middle. And we're hoping to attract some significant races here to the Town of Fort Erie, and this will be expendable to over 100,000 people," Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin said. And though nothing has been discussed or signed, the goal is to attract names like NASCAR to Fort Erie. Fort Erie is now waiting to hear back from the Ontario Municipal Board with final approval. The estimated economic impact on Fort Erie of the track would be roughly 400 million dollars. The project also has a big name on board, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, who is "designing the speedway." If everything is approved this year, a groundbreaking is expected shortly, with a year and a half of construction and an inaugural race as early as summer or fall of 2014.(wkbw.com)(10-20-2012)

  • No Nationwide race at Montreal in 2013: NASCAR will not return to the Circuit Gilles Villeneueve in Montreal next season, ending a six-year run for the Nationwide Series. Promoter Francois Dumontier announced Friday the end of the agreement, which had been operated on a year-to-year basis. NASCAR said it wanted to return to Montreal, but could not work out a sanctioning agreement with Dumontier's promotion group. NASCAR hopes to still be racing in Canada next season, possibly with the Truck Series. One potential venue for NASCAR is Mosport International Raceway in Toronto. NASCAR also plans to fill the void left by Montreal in its 33-race schedule, which has yet to be announced. NASCAR's preference is to explore new markets where it's not currently sanctioning national series events.(Associated Press)(10-5-2012)

  • More Canadian races in the future? This weekend's annual Nationwide race in Montreal might be just a taste of what's to come north of the border for NASCAR. Since 2007, the Nationwide Series has visited the famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road circuit. Every year, rain or shine the event draws one of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds of the entire season. The success of the race has sparked speculation more of NASCAR's top divisions may compete in Canada in the not too distant future including the Sprint Cup Series. Ron Fellows is now co-owner of what was once known as Mosport International Raceway, a storied motorsports facility in Ontario that includes a 2.5-mile road circuit as well as a half mile oval track. Fellows has made it clear he would like nothing more than to bring a NASCAR Nationwide and/or Camping World Truck Series race to what's now known as Canadian Tire Motorsports Park sooner rather than later. "We've talked to NASCAR and yes while we weren't able to put it together for 2012, we're pursuing something for our 2013 schedule," said Fellows. NASCAR CEO Brian France was in Montreal in recent months to meet with Circuit Gilles Villeneuve officials and speculation is the sanctioning body would consider adding a third road course to the Cup schedule and take the series international. But the question is where would the date come from? NASCAR will not add another weekend to the racing schedule. In order for Montreal to host a Sprint Cup event, another track will have to lose one. Therein lies the roadblock for NASCAR to bring its premier circuit to Canada.(CBS Sports)(8-15-2012)

  • Stock-Car Montréal looking to for grant to retain Montreal Nationwide race UPDATE: Racers on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve dive into the physical, twin-turn Senna Corner praying that they'll emerge at the exit with the same number of parts on their cars as when they entered. It's with a similar cautious optimism that NASCAR promoters hope to hear an encouraging word from the provincial government this week about a request that will keep the sport in Montreal for another five years. Stock-Car Montréal, a subsidiary of giant U.S. track owner and race promoter International Speedway Corp., wants a $500,000 Quebec grant to keep the NASCAR Nationwide Series running on the island circuit of Jean Drapeau Park. The federal government is said to be willing to pony up an equal sum for 2012, the two bodies then presumably writing an annual cheque of that sum for the balance of a long-term, probably five-year contract. This Thursday marks the closing of Stock-Car Montréal's exclusive negotiation window with Jean Drapeau Park. As of Friday, any race body or promoter could speak with the park about securing the site's second race weekend - Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix is the other.(Montreal Gazette)(6-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Canada's only NASCAR race might be in jeopardy. The Quebec government on Wednesday rejected developer Francois Dumontier's request for $1 million in government assistance, half each from Quebec and Ottawa, to help offset an anticipated $1.6 million deficit. "The developer has not satisfactorily proven to the Department of Tourism that it would be profitable for them to invest in the event," Isabelle Lord, spokeswoman for Tourism Minister Nicole Menard, said. This funding shortfall likely means August's Nationwide Series race will be the end of NASCAR racing at the Gilles Villeneuve track on Montreal's Ile Notre-Dame. The city of Montreal's contract with International Speedway Corporation and its promoter expired June 30. It is the only such event in the country.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-7-2011)

  • Fort Erie race car track pacing along: The Ontario Municipal Board, early next month, will hold a series of hearings connected to plans that will see the $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway constructed in Fort Erie. The hearings are set to commence on Sept. 7. The municipal board approval is one of the final steps developers of the proposed track need before construction can begin. Pending the outcome of hearings, construction could start by early next year. The track is being designed and sanctioned by driver Jeff Gordon. It will be only the second track in North America designed with specific input from a current NASCAR Sprint Series driver. NASCAR has not sanctioned or committed to bringing any races to the track. The complex is slated for an 821-acre parcel of vacant land just west of the Queen Elizabeth Way between Bowen and Gilmore roads. The project is the largest private sector-driven development in Fort Erie's history. The track development is being funded by a Kuwaiti-based investment group. Anchored by race track flanked by a 100,000-seat grandstand, the facility would have a one-mile oval track and a 2.5-mile road course  both designed and sanctioned by Gordon. McMaster University has agreed to use the complex as the base for its automotive design, research and development campus. Officials said the track could employ 100 people on a full-time basis and more than 2,500 people during peak racing season.(Business First of Buffalo)(9-12-2010)

  • Gordon consulting on Canadian track: The proposed Canadian Motor Speedway is in the final regulatory stages before the Ontario Municipal Board and construction could begin in 2011. What has #24-Jeff Gordon so excited is that the planned one-mile tri-oval on 823 acres of land between Fort Erie and Niagara Falls will be only the second race track in North America designed with specific input from a current NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. The first was Iowa Speedway, designed by Rusty Wallace and opened two seasons ago. It now hosts a NASCAR Nationwide series, NASCAR Camping World Truck and an IZOD IndyCar series race. Gordon, in an exclusive interview with the Toronto Sun, said he envisions that kind of track action at CMS - a facility designed to seat 65,000 with the potential to expand to 100,000 - within two years of its opening. Gordon warns, however, that Canadian NASCAR fans shouldn't be thinking that NASCAR will plop a Sprint Cup race north of the border the minute the track opens. But he does think that eventuality is not out of the question somewhere down the road, especially with the kind of support for all forms of auto racing there is in Canada.(Toronto Sun)(8-16-2010)

  • Canadian track another step closer: For years, there has been talks about bringing a major racetrack to Fort Erie, Canada. However, a proposal got one step closer to reality Monday night when the town council unanimously passed the plan presented by a group of developers. The project, which is partially backed by NASCAR star Jeff Gordon and his design team, is called the "Canadian Motor Speedway" and would be the first major racetrack in the country. The investors are willing to spend several hundred million dollars to build the 65,000-seat track, which will include a 1-mile oval track and a road course. The plan now goes before the Niagara Regional Council Wednesday. If it passes as expected, the permitting and zoning process will begin. Town officials say there are about a dozen more steps before the project will get the final okay; however, if all goes as planned, construction could start in months. It's important to note NASCAR has not committed to the site; however, it is the goal of the developers to bring NASCAR, Indy or another high-profile motorsports organization to the Canadian Motor Speedway.(WGRZ.com)(12-9-2009)

  • Canada Speedway project closer to becoming a reality: The idea of a major motor speedway in Fort Erie is speeding towards the finish line. At Monday's regular council meeting, a presentation was made by a representative from Urban and Environmental Management Inc., a consultant acquired by the proponents hoping to build the Canadian Motor Speedway on 823 acres of land adjacent to the QEW between Bowen and Thompson Roads. While at the podium, Richard Brady said his client has a "sense of urgency" with the project moving forward and hopes it can be given approval before the end of the year. Following his presentation about different measures being taken to mitigate concerns about noise and environmental impact, he petitioned council to request a staff report be presented at the next council-in-committee meeting on Dec. 7th.
    Jay Mason, one of the proponents hoping to bring the one-mile oval track and 2.5 mile road course to Fort Erie said this project has been in the works for over five years and it's nice to see it move forward. He said the concerns of residents will not be by-passed and if the speedway is approved, those concerns will be implemented into the plan. With a revised noise study due to be received by the middle of December, Mason said environmental concerns are also very important. Plans for the proposed speedway also involve a research and development centre operated by McMaster University, hospitality facilities, a commercial shopping area, restaurants and more. The project is expected to generate millions of dollars for the Town and will create 100 full time jobs and 2,500 part time jobs. Once approved by the Town, the project will also need approval from the Niagara Region which may occur on Dec. 9th. Jeff Gordon will also be affiliated with the $150 million facility if it is built. The proposal indicates plans to seat 65,000 race fans with the potential to expand to 100,000.(in part from the Fort Erie Times)(11-25-2009)

  • Latest on Canadian Motor Speedway: Emirates Consulting, a United Arab Emirates based-company has proposed to build a high-speed racing facility [Canadian Motor Speedway] with plans to seat 65,000 with the potential of seating 100,000 on 821 acres of land southwest of the Bowen Road QEW interchange [Fort Erie area, Ontario, Canada]. McMaster University has also attached its name with plans for a research and development centre at the site. Currently the land is designated as an agricultural, hazard and extractive industrial zone which requires a by-law amendment from both the Town of Fort Erie and the Niagara Region. After the meeting, council unanimously supported a staff report for informational purposes, essentially moving one of many steps ahead toward final approval. Before any discussion from the mayor and council, the public was given an opportunity to either give comments of support for the project or to speak against it. Ten individuals stepped up to the podium from both sides of the argument. Azhar Mohammad, executive director of Emirates Consulting said after the meeting that people's concerns are legitimate, but they need to be assured that "the best of the best" has been assembled for the planning and construction of the facility, which is expected to be complete by 2011 if everything goes as it is planned. "All our reports have been highly sophisticated and detailed to mitigate those concerns," he said after the public meeting. He understands traffic, air quality and noise are the three primary issues when it comes to concerned residents, but those three things have been heavily addressed in the planning so far and will continue to be until it is approved. "We have worked over the last two years with 85 different Ontario-based engineers that have done nothing but study the modalities of these kinds of speedways," said Mohammad. In the proposal, there are also plans for a water park, retail outlets, restaurants and many other features.(Times of Fort Erie)(9-10-2009)

  • Jeff Gordon involved in Niagara Race Track: UPDATE: New details surrounding a proposed $200-million, 65,000-seat international motor speedway in Fort Erie [Ontario, Canada] have surfaced. An article published in the inaugural edition of Professional Motorsport Circuit, an international trade journal, says NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is involved with the project. Gordon's name has been tagged with a signature speedway and a driving school that's part of the proposal. The article was written by Azhar Mohammad - executive director of Emirates Consulting, a Toronto-based subsidiary of Kuwaiti-based investment bank Bayt Al Mal Investment Co., that is financially backing the project. Mohammad could not be reached for comment Tuesday. "After carefully studying the pitfalls and successes of motor-sport initiatives in the North American market for almost two years, (Bayt Al Mal Investment Co.) assembled a high-profile team," the article states. "The team was spearheaded by multi-NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, flanked by Paxton Waters Architecture, Derek Daly Design, and Philips Engineering, and supported by a host of local and international strategic partners." Last October, plans were announced for a motor speedway on lands near the QEW, between Gilmore Road and Bowen Road. Bayt Al Mal, which has been assembling more than 600 acres of land for the project, has done numerous environmental, planning and engineering studies to support its application and has invested several million dollars. The proposal is working its way through the Town of Fort Erie's planning department. Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin confirmed there has been talks with Gordon's representatives. "We have met with them at the region, they have been here," Martin said Tuesday. "Through the proposal that's obviously coming on, we were aware that (Bayt Al Mal) were in talks with Jeff Gordon's (people)."(Niagara Falls Review)(4-8-2009)
    UPDATE: John Bickford, vice president and general manager of Jeff Gordon Inc., verified to The Buffalo News on Wednesday that Gordon is involved in the project. Bickford  who is also Gordon's stepfather  stated via e-mail that while there is a letter of understanding between the parties, there is no signed agreement at this time. Gordon was not available to comment.(Buffalo News)(4-9-2009)

  • Tickets On Sale Friday For The Montreal Nationwide Race: Stock-Car Montreal announced that tickets for the NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 Presented by Dodge will go on sale this Friday, March 20. The NASCAR Nationwide Series returns to Montreal for the third consecutive year at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Saturday August 29 and Sunday August 30, 2009. The Montreal race will be held on an off weekend from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The promoters of this year's NAPA Auto Parts 200 Presented by Dodge have decided not to increase ticket prices for grandstand seating and general admission. Two-day grandstand tickets will still retail from $95 to $165 each, while general admission tickets are on sale at $55 each for two days. Tickets for Saturday admission only are available at $30 each. As of Friday March 20 at 9:00 a.m., fans may purchase tickets for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Presented by Dodge by dialing (514) 397-0007 or ordering their tickets online at www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca.(Stock-Car Montréal PR)(3-20-2009)

  • Stock-Car Montreal signs 3-yr deal: Stock-Car Montreal, a subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), today announced it has signed a three-year lease with the Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal to host major motorsports events on the historic Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. In addition, the management of Stock-Car Montreal announced that tickets to the third annual NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge will be available to the public beginning in mid-March. Premier auto racing returns to Montreal for the third consecutive year on Saturday August 29 and Sunday August 30, 2009. The event weekend will kick off with the roar of the Daytona Prototypes and GT sports cars of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask 16. Then, the stars of NASCAR will battle on the historic 4.3 km (2.7-mile) Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in the NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge. Visit www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca for more information. Stock-Car Montreal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) based in Daytona Beach, Florida. ISC is the leading promoter of motorsports in North America, hosting over 100 major racing events each year.(ISC PR)(3-4-2009)

  • NASCAR says no to Canada track..for now: The promise of a new $172 million, state-of-the-art race track isn't enough to lure NASCAR to Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada., a spokesman for the auto-racing organization said Friday. The group of investors planning a racing complex that would seat 65,000 spectators hopes to bring top-level auto racing to Southern Ontario, but NASCAR won't be part of the project. "Our schedule is extremely full, especially in our top three national series," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston told The News, referring to the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series. "There's really not much, if any, room to add any dates at this time." But local officials say there never was a commitment from NASCAR to bring a race to Fort Erie and the project is an economic engine that doesn't hinge on NASCAR's participation. In fact, one economic-development official involved in the project said NASCAR still could change its mind and bring a race here once they see the success of the finished track. "In the end, NASCAR may be approached, or be approachable," said James A. Thibert, president of the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corp. Officials revealed plans for the project at a Tuesday news conference in Fort Erie, where a Kuwaiti financial company was identified as the lead investor. However, news of the race track began leaking out over the past week or so, and media reports referred to it as a "NASCAR-ready" or "NASCAR-level" track. The facility, as envisioned by local officials and Bayt Al Mal Investment Bank of Kuwait, would hold a one-mile oval track and a 2 1/2-mile, road-course track. It could be expanded to seat 100,000 people, and officials say the complex could host retail shops, a hotel, research-and-development space and other business operations. Local officials point to the construction and permanent jobs the track would create, and they suggest it will boost tourism. Harry Schlange, chief administrative officer for Fort Erie, noted that officials never called it a "NASCAR track." But investors and local officials said the track would be built to the specifications needed to host an auto race at the level of NASCAR, Indy Racing League or another series. They noted NASCAR had said publicly that it wants to locate a race in Canada, and they pointed out Fort Erie's proximity to Toronto and to major markets in the United States. However, Poston said this part of North America already is well-covered by NASCAR races in Montreal, Watkins Glen and Loudon, N. H. Officials said it's no surprise NASCAR is saying no right now. A lot of communities want to bring NASCAR to their tracks, and the organization can't make premature promises, Thibert added. NASCAR faced an antitrust suit over a race track project in Kentucky. Still, Thibert said investors and local officials have been in negotiations with other racing leagues. He said he couldn't identify them yet. "We have all sorts of plans, and all sorts of things in place," Thibert said.(Buffalo News)(10-18-2008)

  • Update on Canada track in Fort Erie: A Kuwaiti investment bank is leading a group that plans to spend $200 million (Canadian) to build a NASCAR-ready race track and entertainment complex in Fort Erie, Canadian officials announced today . The consortium from the Middle East and Canada says it will build the 65,000-seat facility on a 623-acre parcel it has purchased just off the Queen Elizabeth Way in Fort Erie. Investors and local officials say the racing complex will attract new visitors to Ontario, creating 1,200 jobs and generating $34 million (Canadian) in new tax revenue, according to a news release from Bayt Al Mal Investments, the Kuwaiti Islamic investment bank. "The region will receive a huge shot in the arm through increased economic development and tourism," Peter Partington, the Niagara regional chairman, equivalent to the Erie County executive, said in a statement today issued prior to a news conference in Fort Erie. The investment group is building the track to the specifications required to host a NASCAR race, and investors hope to persuade NASCAR's governing body to bring a Sprint Cup Series race to the track. NASCAR officials have said in the past that they want to hold a top-tier race in Canada. About 1,200 people would be hired to build the track, located less than four miles from the border with New York. Another 120 full-time employees would operate the facility. The complex could be expanded from 65,000 to 100,000 seats, and it will contain both a one-mile oval track and a 2"-mile road course. Fort Erie Mayor Douglas Martin has been working with Bayt Al Mal for the past 18 months. The other partners in the investment group were not identified. Martin and economic development officials from the region and the province were in Dubai last week meeting with members of the investment group in an effort to close a deal. Local officials say the investment in the motor-speedway complex will be the first of many linking Ontario to the Middle East. "Bayt Al Mal did their homework, recognized Ontario's tremendous potential and made a wise decision to invest here," said Sandra Pupatello, Ontario's minister for international trade and investment.(Buffalo News)(10-15-2008)

  • New track proposed in Canada: Tuesday will be a busy day in Niagara. While voters head to the polls, many people in the area will be awaiting word from the United Arab Emirates about plans for a NASCAR-style race track proposed for the west side of the QEW between Bowen Road and Gilmore Road in Fort Erie [Ontario, Canada]. Despite rumours that the announcement would come out of the UAE  where Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin is with Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra Puppatello this week to take part in the Cityscape Expo in Dubai  it's now expected that announcement will come after Thanksgiving. "Tuesday after 3 p.m." read a brief e-mail from Jim Thibert, general manager of Fort Erie's Economic Development and Tourism Corp. who accompanied Martin to Dubai. The propsed $150-million track will have seating for 67,000 spectators, a 1.6-kilometre oval and a street track that would accommodate NASCAR, Indy and Formula One racing.(Niagara Falls Review)(10-10-2008)

  • Montreal NNS race looks safe: Ramsey Poston, NASCAR's managing director of corporate communications, said Friday that the withdrawal from Mexico in the Nationwide Series does not mean the Montreal race is in similar jeopardy. "Two entirely different situations," Poston said. "We went into Mexico four years ago to introduce that country to NASCAR racing, which essentially was an open-wheel culture, if you will. We're incredibly proud of what we've been able to accomplish so far after those four years." Poston said NASCAR Mexico has 14 events on nine tracks and full fields -- 30 cars -- for virtually every race. Poston added that this has paid off with the development of a new generation of drivers feeding into the three national series. "On the Canadian side, it's an entirely different situation," he said. "We already have a well-established fan base here. NASCAR events in the United States and Canada are among the most highest-rated sports telecasts in the country here in Canada. So this is a little different because we're accommodating an existing fan base, where there was just demand to bring the sport and this series to the country. So it's serving an existing fan base and demand, and that's an important distinction." Mexico's loss won't necessarily mean Canada's gain, at least in the short term, Poston said. "We're looking at a number of options, but that doesn't include a second race in Canada for the Nationwide Series at this time," he said.(ESPN.com)(8-2-2008)

  • Montreal Race Tickets on sale: Tickets for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge Nationwide Series event, to be held next August 1-2 at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, are on sale. Boasting a roster of more than 40 drivers, including many returnees armed with track knowledge, and its enthusiastic public, NASCAR's second visit to Montreal promises once more to be a spectacular and action-packed event. Fans may purchase grandstand and general admission tickets for the 2008 edition of the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Presented by Dodge by calling (514) 397-0007. Lines are open every day of the week between 8am and 10pm. Tickets may also be ordered online at www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca.(Stock Car Montreal PR)(1-21-2008)

  • NAPA Sponsoring Canadian Busch Race and Reutimann: Stock-Car Montréal s.e.c. announced that the NAPA Auto Parts 200 will be the official name of the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race on August 4 at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. During the press conference, it was also announced that David Reutimann will drive the #99 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota in the Montreal race.(Stock-Car Montréal PR)(4-16-2007)

  • Montreal Busch Race Tix on Sale: Since 9:00am Monday morning, November 13, 2006, tickets to attend the inaugural Montreal NASCAR Busch Series race are on sale. The Series will run at Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, on August 3rd and 4th, 2007. Fans can purchase tickets in a select number of stands, located in the most exciting portions of the circuit, all bearing the names of legendary NASCAR heroes. The Busch race scheduled for Saturday afternoon will be the main attraction. In addition, spectators will get a special Friday treat: the sleek Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona prototypes. To order event tickets by phone, fans can call (514) 397-0007, 7 days a week, from 8:00am to 11:00pm or order online anytime at www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca.(PR)(11-13-2006)

  • NASCAR Will Make Effort to Get Cup Drivers in Canada Race: "What we will bring to Montreal is a first-class package," [Brian France] said. France said that if that means the sanctioning body might have to sweeten the purse to attract drivers like Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson, then that is what will happen. "We will work with the promoter (Normand Legault) to make sure we have the stars at Montreal," he said. When asked if that meant that NASCAR might use its influence to lean on some drivers to be in Montreal, France answered "yes." He also said that the Montreal already has signed a TV deal that will see the race broadcast in Canada on TSN and on the full ESPN network in the U.S. (Toronto Sun)(10-3-2006)
    AND: France said he hopes to get several Canadian drivers to enter the race, much like the number of Mexican drivers who competed in the first two Busch Series races in Mexico City. France added that he hoped some Nextel Cup drivers would enter the race, which is being held the same weekend as a Cup race at Pocono Raceway. He said NASCAR would not offer extra incentive for Cup drivers to race in Montreal, saying the attraction of Montreal to sponsors would be incentive enough.(SceneDaily.com)(10-3-2006)

  • 2007 Schedule Announced: The 26th season of NASCAR Busch Series competition will begin on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway, include two international stops, and end Saturday, Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 2007 schedule features a second international event on Aug. 4 at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve road course in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. For a third consecutive year, the schedule also includes a race at the Autodomo Hermanos Rodriguez roa course in Mexico City, Mexico on March 4. The NASCAR Busch Series is scheduled for 26 combination events with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2007. The NASCAR Busch Series will race together with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series twice. There are 26 race tracks on the current schedule divided among 21 states, Canada and Mexico. There will be eight NASCAR Busch Series "stand-alone" events: Mexico City (March 4), Nashville (April 7 and June 9), Kentucky (June 16), Milwaukee (June 23), Indianapolis (July 28), Montreal and Memphis (Oct. 27). The 2007 schedule contains some changes in the order of events from 2006:
    • In April, Nashville Superspeedway's race will precede Texas Motor Speedway's event (April 14), a change necessitated by where Easter Sunday falls on the calendar. (The Texas weekend also features a Sunday NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event.)
    • The order of a six-week midsummer string of events has also been altered. In 2007, New Hampshire International Speedway will have a June 30 race, followed on the schedule by Daytona (July 6), Chicagoland Speedway (July 14), Gateway Internatinal Raceway near St. Louis (July 21), O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis and Circuit Gilles Villenueve. The 2006 schedule had a Daytona-Chicago-New Hampshire-Martinsville-St. Louis-Indianapolis order.(NASCAR PR)(10-2-2006)
    See the schedule on my 2007 Schedule page.(10-2-2006)

  • Busch Montreal race to be announced Monday, schedule to follow? UPDATE: hearing the long rumored Busch Series race in Montreal Canada will be officially announced late Monday afternoon, October 2nd in Montreal. The announcement may include the release of the 2007 Busch Series Schedule.(9-30-2006)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has set a "Busch Series announcement in Montreal" for 5 p.m. Monday, presumably to announce the Busch Series will run in the city in 2007. Scheduled to attend the news conference include NASCAR Chairman Brian France, International Speedway Corp. Chief Operating Officer John Saunders, Groupe Motorise International General Manager Martin Spaulding and Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson. Carl Edwards also is expected to attend. NASCAR likely will release the 2007 Busch Series schedule as well. Schedules handed out to teams last week showed the Montreal event listed for Aug. 4 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course.(SceneDaily.com)(10-1-2006)

  • No Busch Sched Announcement Tuesday? hearing that there will be NO announcement made on Tuesday, September 26,2006 regarding the 2007 Busch Series Schedule or the rumored race in Montreal, no word yet when the schedule will be announced.(9-25-2006)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has delayed its Busch Series schedule announcement, which was scheduled for today in Montreal, Canada. NASCAR spokesman Tracey Judd said Tuesday that with the complexities of holding an international event, some final details needed to be completed but added, "Nothing is in danger. We're hopeful the schedule can be released sometime next week," she said.(SceneDaily.com)(9-26-2006)

  • Busch Series Sched to be announced Tuesday in Canada: NASCAR will announce its 2007 Busch Series schedule at a news conference Tuesday in Montreal, site of a road-course race there next Aug. 4, sources confirmed today at Dover. The race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will take the place of this year's Martinsville Speedway event and will join Mexico and Watkins Glen as road-course races. NASCAR is in the process of giving Busch teams the '07 schedule, a copy of which was obtained by NASCAR Scene. No other new events are on the schedule, though there are a couple of date switches. The first Nashville and Texas races swap race weekends, with Nashville's first race held the day before Easter, April 7, and Texas taking the April 14 date. The switch could also help smaller teams who can now simply travel from Nashville to Texas to Phoenix (April 20). Also, since the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard changed weekends, the companion race at O'Reilly Raceway Park will move to July 28, with the race at Gateway taking Martinsville's spot, July 21. The Busch Series has a 16-week stretch without a weekend off, beginning with the Lowe's May 26 and ending with the Richmond race Sept. 7. That stretch includes Montreal and a cross-country trip to California on Sept. 1. The season opens Feb. 17 at Daytona and ends Nov. 17 at Homestead.(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2006)

  • NASCAR buying CASCAR UPDATE: [after years of rumors...] NASCAR today will unveil a Canadian-based stock car series that will feature a season-long points battle among the country's best drivers and end with the awarding of the Canadian Tire Cup. The Toronto Sun has learned that a deal to sell CASCAR -- Canada's top stock car racing series -- to the France family business that is NASCAR will be made official at a news conference today in Toronto and that Canadian Tire has signed on as the title sponsor. The deal, which has been two years in the making, will see NASCAR sanction a national stock car racing series in Canada on the foundation that has been laid by Tony Novotny and his wife, Linda, over the past 20 years. "It's finally going to happen," Linda Novotny said yesterday. At the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal last month CASCAR also became the first stock car series to race on an active Formula One track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It is the same track where the NASCAR Busch Series will hold its first-ever Canadian race in 2007. Robbie Weiss, NASCAR's international director, is flying in from his Los Angles office to make the proclamation about his company's future in the Great White North and while his office would not reveal why he is visiting Toronto, it's not likely just another glad-handing affair where Brian France gets his hands on some of that Canadian Tire money.
    Speaking of CASCAR, all of a sudden it seems to be the place to be for two of Quebec's top open wheel racing drivers. A week ago Patrick Carpentier, a veteran of both Champ Car and the Indy Racing League, drew high praise for his sixth-place finish after he climbed into the Dave Jacombs Racing #88 Ford for CASCAR's Labour Day Classic at Cayuga Speedway. And this past Saturday at Montreal's Autodrome Ste. Eustache, 19-year-old Andrew Ranger, driver of the #27 MiJack Conquest Racing Lola in Champ Car, drove the same car to a 13th-place finish in his first try in the big sedans. Both Carpentier and Ranger have been paying attention to the NASCAR talk in their home province and both are likely to make bids to be part of the show there next season.(Toronto Sun)
    UPDATE: In support of its initiatives across Canada, NASCAR announced the creation of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Scheduled to launch in May 2007, the series includes a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Canadian Tire  an iconic Canadian brand with strong national presence. The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will operate nationally in Canada with a schedule of 10-12 races (May-October). The series will provide new racing opportunities for teams and drivers from the former CASCAR series. The official NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule, point fund and tracks will be announced at a later date. The series will receive support from NASCAR's extensive resources, including competition, research and development, marketing, licensing and communications. A dedicated staff will operate the series, with NASCAR Canada providing additional support in sponsorship, licensing, marketing and media initiatives. In addition to becoming title sponsor of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Canadian Tire, the most-shopped general merchandiser in the country, will become the official automotive retailer of NASCAR in Canada. Canadian Tire will offer exclusive customer promotions, seasonal marketing programs and national advertising and in-store programs in partnership with NASCAR Canada. As part of the partnership agreement and its continued focus on being first-to-market with new and exciting products, Canadian Tire will explore licensing opportunities, including developing a new line of NASCAR products for the automotive aftermarket.
    TSN, a NASCAR broadcast partner for more than 20 years, will help market the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and draw new fans to NASCAR and stock car racing in Canada. Among these efforts, TSN is developing a monthly magazine-style show that will showcase the many aspects of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. The program will spotlight the stars of the series, race news, updates and highlights.(NASCAR PR)(9-12-2006)

  • Canadian Busch Race Set? Two Canadian newspapers are reporting that a NASCAR Busch Series race will be held in Montreal at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007, with an announcement expected soon. The Gazette of Montreal reported the race will be announced after Labor Day, the first Monday of September. The Globe & Mail of Toronto said the announcement would be made once the Champ Car World Series race weekend was completed, which was Aug. 28. A NASCAR spokesperson said the '07 Busch Series schedule was likely to be announced the second or third weekend in September.(SceneDaily.com)(8-28-2006)

  • Canadian Track to be upgraded to NASCAR Standards: Cayuga International Speedway [currently Cayuga 2000 Raceway] will undergo a major re-construction after the final race of the 2006 season to bring it up to NASCAR standards. An investment group has purchased the 5/8ths-mile oval with the hopes of attracting a NASCAR Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series race as soon as 2008. The finished track will seat 60,000 fans. "The new ownership team has retained the services of Baskervill Motorsports Design, one of North America's premier track designers and builders, and Cooper Construction of Oakville, to start construction of this exciting project in September," a release from the new track owner said. The final race on the old track will be the CASCAR Super Series Hot and Heavy 200 on Labor Day.(Toronto Sun)
    MORE: Baskervill's Motorsports Design team has been retained to design a new, out of the ground race facility in Ontario, Canada, at the site of the current Cayuga 2000 Raceway. The new track, re-named Cayuga International Speedway, will become a state of the art, mixed-use race facility. The Toronto-based owners have asked Baskervill to design a "world class facility."(baskervill.com)(7-12-2006)

  • Montreal in July 2007? Current speculation has Montreal [Canada] getting the Busch Series race on the third Saturday in July that currently is held at Martinsville Speedway. That is the same weekend the Cup teams are in Pocono International Raceway, less than 500 km [approx 310miles] south of Montreal.(Toronto Sun)(6-19-2006)

  • Burton could test in Canada UPDATE NO: Jeff Burton probably will be the driver chosen to test a 750-horsepower Chevy on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve June 19 or 20 [2006]. By then, Canadian Formula One Grand Prix race promoter Normand Legault hopes to have confirmed a summer 2007 race in the Busch Series, a circuit populated by many Nextel Cup stars and by drivers being groomed for the top league. Legault expects to renew an Ile Notre Dame race-site lease soon with the city of Montreal, his landlord. The ink might not even be dry on that document when he announces a NASCAR race. The timing of a mid-June stock-car test would be ideal - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a temporary road course, will be in full race trim for the June 23-25 Grand Prix weekend, and Burton will be a short flight away, having run a Nextel Cup race in Brooklyn, Mich., on June 18.(Montreal Gazette)(5-23-2006)
    UPDATE: Jeff Burton is not scheduled to test a Busch Series car in Montreal as speculated by the Montreal Gazette.(RCR)(5-25-2006)

  • Looks like Busch Series race to Canada in 2007: NASCAR is within a few signatures of coming to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007. The renewal of a 10-year lease for racing on Ile Notre Dame, a contract between the city of Montreal and motorsport promoter Normand Legault, is the final turn to be negotiated, one that's expected to be rounded in the next couple of weeks. And when it is, Legault will announce that the NASCAR Busch Series will unleash 43 of its 3,400-pound Chevy, Ford and Dodge lookalikes for a fender-rubbing, paint-trading race on the Expo 67 island. On May 2, a delegation of seven high-ranking officials headed by Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's managing director of events and operations, flew to Montreal for a five-hour operational visit to the racetrack. Included in the group was Busch Series director Joe Balash, NASCAR vice-president of competition Robin Pemberton, and events, logistics, and timing and scoring officials. O'Donnell hails Legault and his team and calls the circuit "a world-class facility, a challenging course in a unique setting, with access to a great city." He says the track is essentially NASCAR race-ready, save a few things like the lengthening of pit road for 43 cars. That's an easy fix, given that the long pit exit beyond the F1 garages could be modified. As for the tight Senna Corner and Casino hairpin? If you love NASCAR for the wrecks, buy your seats here. "We were definitely impressed with the facility," O'Donnell said from NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla. "Montreal obviously is a great market. There's a possibility for (a race here) as early as 2007."(more at the Montreal Gazette)(5-16-2006)

  • NASCAR visiting Canada UPDATE: A small contingent of NASCAR officials planned to travel to Montreal this week to scout the city for a possible Busch Series race there next season. NASCAR expanded into Mexico last year, and Canadian officials have been trying to get on the schedule. Spokesman Jim Hunter said series officials will tour several different venues, and any expansion would be strictly for the lower-tier Busch Series.(Alabama Live)(5-1-2006)
    UPDATE: A group of Toronto investors has made a bid to buy Cayuga 2000 Speedway near Hamilton and turn it into a NASCAR ready facility that would seat in excess of 60,000. The proposal also involves lengthening the existing 5/8ths mile oval to a mile. In return, the proposed Cayuga owners will get serious consideration for either a NASCAR Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series race when the project is completed. "Apparently this group has already been talking to NASCAR officials," a source close to the deal told the Toronto Sun yesterday. "They were essentially told that if they build it NASCAR will come -- but only the junior series." Another source with connections to the current owners Garry Evans and Brad Litkey said the owners have given the Toronto group two weeks to come up with a deal to buy the facility. NASCAR vice-president Jim Hunter told an Associated Press reporter in Talladega that a small group of NASCAR executives planned to tour Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this week in preparation for a possible race there in 2007. But Hunter also said that while in Canada, the group could tour several other race facilities -- including Cayuga.(Toronto Sun)(5-2-2006)

  • New Oval Track in Canada Proposed: With NASCAR officials talking about expanding into Canada, a group of Canadian investors and developers is looking to build a race track on what is now a Fort Erie golf course. "We've been working at this for about 15 months," James Thibert, general manager of the Fort Erie Economic Development & Tourism Corp., said this week. A group of investors has an option on an almost 1,000-acre site that includes the International Country Club in Stevensville, Thibert said. The proposed seven-eighths of a mile track would have seating for as many as 65,000 spectators. Completion is projected for late 2008. Thibert said he is confident the proposal will work, saying the question isn't "if" but how quickly.(Buffalo News)(12-9-2005)

  • Six National Races in Canada? UPDATE: NASCAR executives are saying they envision as many as six NASCAR races - Truck, Busch and Nextel Cup - in Canada over the next few years, with Montreal being the linchpin. But the earliest that a NASCAR race could be scheduled is 2007. NASCAR is looking at Calgary for construction of a new asphalt track. And Molson-Coors officials, in Richmond this weekend in force, are being courted by NASCAR for its Canadian efforts. Molson, long a major sponsor of auto racing in Canada, could build a new Richmond-size track in that country for a NASCAR race.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-10-2005)
    UPDATE: Canada will not get a NASCAR race in 2006, The Toronto Sun has been told. NASCAR chief operating officer George Pyne, in an exclusive interview with the Sun, said that the logistics of putting one of the major series -- Nextel Cup, Busch or Craftsman Trucks -- could not be put in place quick enough to allow it on next season's race calendar. Pyne did say, however, that Canada remains high on the priority list of places NASCAR wants to expand to. Pyne also said that once it's decided that a race will be awarded to Canada, Montreal is far and away in the lead to host such an event.(Toronto Sun)(9-11-2005)

  • Truck Race in Calgary? UPDATE: NASCAR officials are reported to be studying the possibility of scheduling a Truck tour race at a proposed new track in Calgary, Alberta, as part of their new Canadian strategy. And NASCAR executives have stepped up public-relations operations in Toronto, bringing in top Cup drivers such as Jimmie Johnson and Bobby Labonte in recent weeks to promote NASCAR's entry into the Canadian market. One possibility is a Truck race on Toronto's temporary street course.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-7-2005)
    UPDATE: Canadian beer giant Molson talking with a premier American racing series about staging an event in Calgary [Alberta, Canada] to be held at the Stampede Grounds. Molson has met with NASCAR and local officials about staging a Craftsmen Truck Series race on the grounds. The CTS is NASCAR's third most-important series behind only the Busch and Nextel Cup. The potential venues in Calgary for a CTS race are the Stampede Grounds and Race City Motorsport Park, with the former seemingly the most likely, according to sources. A temporary roadcourse circuit winding through the Grounds is the front-runner, but the idea of converting the horse track at the Grounds has been floated. A new horse-racing facility is slated to be built north of the city for an April 2007 opening. First off, Molson, NASCAR, the Stampede Board and the mayor's office confirmed there was a meet-and-greet held in Calgary in July during the Stampede. It was, however, a very informal meeting, said all involved, including NASCAR CTS manager of communications Owen Hearns. "It's no secret we've been looking at Canada for years," said Hearns. "But in terms of anything specific, there's nothing really to say at this point."(Edmonton Sun)(8-31-2005)

  • The Latest on NASCAR Busch race in Canada: French-language reports from Canada say that Normand Legault, a Montreal track promoter who was at Indianapolis last weekend, was talking optimistically about a deal with NASCAR for a race at Montreal's downtown Formula One course next season. Presumably, such a race would be under the Busch tour logo but with extra Nextel Cup drivers in the field. According to one unconfirmed report, an announcement could be made within the next two weeks.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2005)

  • NASCAR Fact Finding Mission in Canada MORE: NASCAR is planning a fact finding mission to Canada in the next three months to determine the feasibility of holding either a Busch Grand National and Nextel Cup race north of the border. George Pyne, NASCAR's chief operating officer, says the stock car sanctioning body will visit Toronto and Montreal in the next 30 to 90 days with the goal of finding a suitable venue. A NASCAR spokesperson says while series executives visit Canada from time to time, they don't have a definite timeline for a possible race there.(TSA.ca)(3-23-2005)
    MORE: TORONTO HAS leap-frogged Montreal to become the leading candidate to land a NASCAR stock car race as soon as 2006. A group of NASCAR executives met Tuesday in Daytona Beach, Fla., to map out an expansion strategy that includes a meeting in Toronto sometime this spring with Myles Brandt, president and general manager of Ontario's Mosport International Raceway. Brandt confirmed that NASCAR bosses are serious about a race at Mosport's four-kilometre road course in Bowmanville, just 78 km east of downtown Toronto. Robbie Weiss, NASCAR's top international executive, told The Toronto Sun earlier this week that an existing road course -- like the one at Mosport -- could be a target for the world's most popular stock car series in 2006. Brandt said yesterday he already has had meetings with Weiss and other NASCAR officials about Mosport. Mosport got a political boost for its NASCAR bid yesterday when Durham Regional Council voted to throw its support behind efforts to land a race at the local track. While the motion did not include a dollar figure for any financial support for Mosport's bid, Brandt said it was a step in the right direction. (Toronto Sun)(3-24-2005)

  • NASCAR Canada Plan hit a Snag? NASCAR's Canadian plans may have hit a snag, with word from Montreal promoter Normand Legault and the Champ Car series owners that they've got another year on their contract for an August Indy-car race on Montreal's Formula One course, which could preclude NASCAR from racing at that track in 2006. The city of Montreal allows two race weekends a year on the course. One is the June Formula One event, which attracts about 120,000 fans. The second has been the late August Indy-car event, now on the Champ Car tour. NASCAR, or one of its sponsors, might thus have to buy out the Legault-Champ Car contract if the stock car series is to play on that course in 2006. But NASCAR has other Canadian options, mainly a street-course race in Toronto or a run at the venerable Mosport track. Mosport is 50 miles east of Toronto and 300 miles southwest of Montreal.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-12-2005)

  • Truck Race in Canada? NASCAR officials spent last Sunday touring racetracks in Canada, looking for a place to hold a Craftsman Truck Series race. Two issues are holding up a possible tour date north of the border. First, NASCAR uses leaded fuels, and Canada has a strict unleaded policy. The second issue involves the tires, though garage sources aren't clear what the problem is. Insiders were confident a deal will be worked out.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)

  • Mexico? Australia [can I go?] Canada? in the future for NASCAR UPDATE: NASCAR's search for new markets for Winston Cup racing could take a decidedly unexpected twist - think Mexico City and Australia. Car owner Jack Roush says that an early January Cup race in Australia would be perfect timing, since the weather's great, and he likes Canadian and Mexican options, too. While the Indy Racing League would be the obvious choice to replace CART at those venues, NASCAR sources say that the stock-car sanctioning body - which, after all, runs one of the world's most popular auto-racing series - may be approached by sponsors to consider running races at Mexico City and in Australia in CART's stead. Two such Winston Cup races could perk the interest of NBC and Fox, who haven't been making money on the sport they're paying $400 million a year to broadcast. Two venues closer to home, with more logical markets, are Vancouver, British Columbia, and Denver [street courses for Cup cars?].(Winston Salem Journal)(8-4-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham confirmed Tuesday the sanctioning body is exploring the "long-term possibility" of holding a Busch or Truck series race in Mexico, likely in the Mexico City area. NASCAR has expanded beyond the continental United States before but only with non-points "exhibition" races held in Japan in 1997 and 1998. "People in Mexico are intensely interested in NASCAR and Mexico borders areas of the U.S. also with a lot of fan interest," Branham said. "It should come as no surprise there would be interest in holding a race in Mexico considering the tremendous growth of the sport." In its third year of distributing its programming overseas, NASCAR started the 2003 season with an expanded global reach including television broadcasts in more than 100 countries in 21 languages each week. "We are working hard to drive more worldwide exposure and attention to NASCAR and we are pleased with the early results our international television partners are seeing in their local markets," said Paul Brooks, NASCAR's vice president of broadcasting. Asked specifically if the 2005 season was a possibility for a NASCAR event in Mexico, Branham said there was not established timetable.(Thatsracin.com)(8-5-2003)


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