- No Nationwide race in Mexico in 2009: NASCAR officials confirmed what most of us had already suspected – that the Nationwide Series won't return to the road course in Mexico City in 2009. Attendance over the four years at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez had been on the decline, but that wasn't the reason given for the change. The date may shift to the recently opened Iowa Speedway, which already hosts the IRL, ARCA and lower-level NASCAR events.(Yahoo Sports)(7-28-2008)
- Cup in Mexico? Team owner Felix Sabates predicts that a track will be built in Mexico over the next five years to attract the Nextel Cup Series the way the Autrodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course has attracted the Busch Series to Mexico City. "There's some areas in Mexico, very wealthy areas in Mexico, with a huge population around it,'' Sabates said Saturday before qualifying for Sunday's Busch race. "I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see something there in the next four or five years.'' NASCAR chairman Brian France said last week at California that the Cup Series isn't looking at Mexico City for the near future. Sabates agrees as long as the only option is a road course, because the series doesn't want to add a third road course with Watkins Glen (N.Y.) and Infineon (Calif.) already on the schedule.(see more about this at NASCAR.com)(3-5-2006)
- NASCAR expected to revisit Mexico in 2007: The return of the NASCAR Busch Series to Mexico City for the 2007 season is virtually a certainty, according to the race promoter. Federico Alaman Gonzalez, the director of sports events for race promoter OCESA, said Saturday that he expects to see the Busch Series back next season at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. He said while the sanctioning agreement remains a one-year deal that must be negotiated annually, his company and NASCAR have a long-term contract to promote NASCAR events and a NASCAR-sanctioned stock-car series in Mexico. As long as there is that promotion agreement, it is likely that OCESA would want to have a race at the Mexico City track. "It definitely will be back next year," Alaman said. "It just all comes from the commitment and the trust that NASCAR has been putting in OCESA and the promoters locally. We're looking at having a very big sport in our country. NASCAR is going to be big in our country."(SceneDaily.com)(3-5-2006)
- Cup to Mexico? in 2006? Pocono to lose a race? UPDATE: The biggest crowd in NASCAR's Busch series history is expected here today for the Telcel Motorola 200. And Fox is broadcasting the race head to head against Tiger Woods in the Doral Open and the ACC finale between Duke and North Carolina, to see how well it will do in the ratings war. If the numbers are good enough - and NASCAR has sizzling ratings this season already - it appears NASCAR president Brian France might turn this weekend into a full-fledged Nextel Cup stop next March. NASCAR's marketing people have pulled out all the stops to make this weekend a success, and NASCAR is a big winner here already, regardless of what happens today. NASCAR is expected to announce a 10-year deal for a NASCAR-Mexico touring series, along the lines of the Busch series. The tour sponsor is not yet known. Busch beer isn't sold in Mexico, but Anheuser-Busch owns 50 percent of the largest Mexican brewer, whose headliner is Corona. Corona was being passed out here to crews at the end of each work day, to ease the pain of traffic on the bus ride home. The track seats 70,000, and as of last week 40,000 tickets had been sold. But this city isn't known for strong advance ticket sales, but rather has a history of event-day walk-up crowds. And yesterday's crowd just for qualifying was a good harbinger. The U.S. ambassador was host to NASCAR teams last night, and Mexican president Vicente Fox was expected to attend, an indication of the high-level politics involved in this NASCAR venture. The Mexican government, according to one report, has a $42 million, three-year contract with NASCAR for promotion of an annual NASCAR race here.(Winton Salem Journal)
AND Asked if he believed the Busch Series' visit to Mexico City was a harbinger of NASCAR's top series adding it to the schedule, NEXTEL Cup regular Elliott Sadler was noncommittal. "We got a little work to do with the race track before the Cup guys come," he said. "We've got to do some stuff with the chicane and stuff like that. Maybe one day, we'll see. I think they want to see what kind of response we get with the Busch cars. We always send the Busch cars to test the market a little bit, and then if it does good, the Cup cars may come."(Ford Racing)(3-6-2005)
Mexico in - Pocono out? NASCAR execs are justifiably ecstatic over this sport's Mexico City debut, and they're wasting no time planning ahead. The international calendar for stock-car racing for the 2006 season is taking shape, and this is a possible scenario, according to NASCAR sources:
* This Mexico City weekend becomes a full Cup race, probably Sunday March 5, 2006.
* The June Pocono Cup race is killed, replaced by the Watkins Glen Cup race, currently held in early August.
* On the newly opened August 2006 weekend, the Busch series - with any interested Cup stars - will run in Montreal on the Gilles Villeneuve Formula One course on the island of Notre Dame, in the heart of the city of 3.5 million.
* And NASCAR's Truck series enters the Mexico market by running a companion event at Monterrey - the city of three million 600 miles up the road from here, 21/2 hours from the U.S. border, a city called Mexico's richest town - with CART's Indy-car tour in April 2006.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-7-2005)
UPDATE - denied: Managing director of NASCAR International Robbie Weiss said he hoped the Busch Series would return to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2006. Sanctioning agreements have long been made between NASCAR and the tracks on a year-to-year basis, and Weiss admitted that since his last name isn't France, he doesn't make schedule decisions. Weiss did cast aside rumors of the Nextel Cup running here. "If you know our schedule, you know the season, it's just not practical," Weiss said. "They're already 39 events, 36 points events." There is plenty of work to be done in Mexico, but NASCAR is "off to a good start." Competitors indicated to Weiss that the trip was successful for them. "A lot of them came into this not really knowing what to expect, not really necessarily believing in the vision of what we wanted to do here," Weiss said. "I think they all left feeling this is the right course for the Busch Series."(NASCAR.com)(3-7-2005)
- Changes at Mexico track for 2006: This 2.5-mile course will look different for next year's race. First, the front-stretch chicane will be taken out, car owner Felix Sabates said. Second, NASCAR will have the track owners install soft walls at key part of the track; Pemberton has been mapping out the precise areas. Third, the surface itself might need repaving. NASCAR added the chicane to slow speeds at the end of the very long frontstretch. The track asphalt was coming up at spots, so the track was coated with a sealer for the race, which made it slicker. NASCAR might want a more permanent fix for the 2006 race.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-7-2005)
- Could see rain tires at Mexico: There's also a possibility of rain in the forecast on Sunday at Mexico City, meaning drivers might have to race in the rain using grooved tires. "It's been a while since we've used rain tires in an event," NASCAR Busch Series director Joe Balash says. Should it rain on Sunday, NASCAR officials would stop the race and allow teams to change to rain tires, mount red taillights and windshield wipers during pit stops.(USA Today)(3-4-2005)
- Mexico Track to be shortened for Busch race: The track for NASCAR's first race in Mexico next year will be shortened to allow the Busch series cars to manage the tough braking on the road course. A new curve on the main straightaway and a new curve on the second straightaway will cut the track length from 2.786 miles to 2.518 miles for the March 6 race. The Hermanos Rodriguez course has been used by Formula One, Champ, Trans Am and prototype cars, and requires sharp braking after long, fast straightaways. The stock cars used by NASCAR "are not prepared for such hard braking,'' said Ramon Osorio, spokesman for the promoters. The work is to be finished before NASCAR tire testing starts Jan. 15 and would not affect the layout used for the other series, Osorio said.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-15-2004)
- Nextel Cup to Mexico in 2006? NASCAR is coming to Mexico next year and had to be impressed with the 300,000 spectators who turned out over the weekend. The Busch series is set to run the 2.7-mile road course in March, while Grand Am is looking at running with Champ Car as part of a doubleheader next November 6. Grand Am currently has its season finale set for early December. Gerald Forsythe, who spent millions restoring the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez into one of the finest road courses in the world, said he was interested in bringing Nextel Cup to Mexico City, possibly as early as 2006.(Speed Channel/Robin Miller)(11-9-2004)
- Mexico Busch race 'rain or shine'? The NASCAR Busch venture to Mexico City next March will be run rain or shine, and Busch teams will have to be prepared to race in the rain on rain tires, according to NASCAR sources, and their cars will have to be rain-equipped with windshield wipers and defoggers and brake lights. NASCAR this year abandoned its rain-contingency plans for Cup racing. Busch teams haven't raced on road courses in several years so they will have to build new cars. One question that many Cup teams are interested in is if NASCAR will eventually rebadge the Mexico City race as a Nextel Cup race. A number of Nextel crew chiefs have been invited by NASCAR executives to attend the Busch race, heightening speculation.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-25-2004)
- No Mexico for Cup: NASCAR's latest international moves into Mexico and Canada will be boons to the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR chief operating officer George Pyne said Thursday. But the impact on the Nextel Cup Series will not be felt for years, as Pyne reiterated sanctioning body chairman of the board Brian France's contention that NASCAR has no current plan to take its premier division international. "We don't see in the foreseeable future the Nextel Cup Series leaving the United States," Pyne said. "This (international move) is for Busch and Craftsman Truck Series possibilities. We don't think we're meeting the demand here in the U.S. (with Nextel Cup), but we do see the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as series that could go outside of the U.S., no question about that."(NASCAR.com)(8-7-2004)
- 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Sched Announced - add Mexico and Watkins Glen - up to 35 races: The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced its 2005 NASCAR Busch Series schedule, including an international date – a race in Mexico City at the famed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course.
The event, set for March 6, will be the third race of the 35-race season and the first NASCAR Busch Series points event held outside the United States. It also will mark the return of road-course racing to the NASCAR Busch Series, as will an Aug. 13 event set for Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The NASCAR Busch Series previously had road-course races at Road Atlanta in 1986 and ’87 and at Watkins Glen from 1991-2001.
Mexico has a long history of interest in motorsports and a passionate fan base. A race weekend at the 2.75-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez last year drew a three-day total of 402,413 fans, including 221,011 on race day. NASCAR’s connections to Mexican racing span more than a half century. In June 1950, NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. teamed with Curtis Turner to drive in the first Mexican Road Race – a 2,178-mile race from El Paso, Texas, across Mexico to Guatemala.
Mexican racing legend Pedro Rodriguez participated in six NASCAR events from 1959-71. His best finish was fifth in the 1965 World 600 at Charlotte. Rodriguez and his brother, Ricardo, raced frequently at Daytona International Speedway in the early 1960s with Pedro winning the Daytona Continental sports car event in 1963 and ‘64. Rodriguez again scored back-to-back Daytona wins with victories in the 1970 and 1971 24 Hours of Daytona sports car classic.
Worldwide fan demand, combined with the power of the NASCAR brand and the quality of the competition has fueled interest in NASCAR by broadcasters around the world. NASCAR is now seen in more than 150 countries and in 23 languages. This year, NASCAR’s international broadcast partners will air more than 4,000 hours of NASCAR-related programming outside the U.S. The return of Watkins Glen to the schedule now gives that track a doubleheader weekend, with the NASCAR Busch Series a companion to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event set for Aug. 14.
The 2005 NASCAR Busch Series schedule showcases exciting racing at popular venues coast to coast as well as the trend of pairing NASCAR Busch Series races with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events. There are nine such NASCAR “tripleheader weekends” in 2005.
The 2005 NASCAR Busch Series will encompass 35 events at 27 tracks in 22 states and two countries with 26 events run in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. All 35 events are scheduled to be broadcast on FOX/NBC/FX/TNT.
Proudly sponsored by Anheuser-Busch through its Busch brand\, the NASCAR Busch Series will compete in its 24th consecutive season in 2005, opening February 19 at Daytona International Speedway, as part of a tripleheader weekend including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series’ Daytona 500.
The NASCAR Busch Series moves to California Speedway in the Los Angeles market on February 26, before heading to Mexico City on March 6, followed by momentum-building events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 12 and Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 19. The 2005 schedule includes the addition of second dates at Phoenix International Raceway, which will run its races on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, Nov. 12; and Texas Motor Speedway, which will host its events Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, Nov. 5. The season will conclude, as it has since 1995, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19.(NASCAR PR)
See the 2005 Busch Series Schedule at:
- Mexico race to be announced on Thursday? UPDATE: hearing that the long rumored Busch Series race in Mexico, will be announced on Thursday, August 5th. Not sure if the rest of the Busch Series Sched will be announced.(8-4-2004)
AND will supposedly be the long rumored date of March 6th, also look for Watkins Glen to reclaim a Busch Series race in 2005.(8-5-2004)
UPDATE: NASCAR will stage its first points-paying event outside the United States in a half-century when the Busch series races next year in Mexico City, The Associated Press has learned. A NASCAR official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that the race is scheduled for next spring at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a 2.786-mile road course that currently hosts Champ Car events. The series also will return after a three-year absence to the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The entire schedule for the Busch series is expected to be released Thursday.(USA Today/AP)
AND NASCAR is expected to release its 2005 Busch Series schedule as early as Thursday and it will include the addition of two road course events - at Mexico City and Watkins Glen, N.Y., ThatsRacin.com has learned. The race in Mexico is expected to be held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a 2.786-mile road course that has hosted the CART series, or Champ Car, since 2002.
NASCAR officials have visited the facility several times over the past few months. Former series director Brian DeHart made a visit within the past month, sources confirmed Wednesday. Whether the race in Mexico City is a points-paying race or "exhibition" remains unclear. NASCAR has held exhibition races in the past, most notably in Japan and Australia.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-5-2004)
- More on the Mexico Race: NASCAR should have an announcement in the next few weeks regarding a Busch race in Mexico City, which has been the main sticking point of the 2005 Busch schedule. NASCAR also will introduce a 10-year deal to run a touring series at the complex. With plans to race in Canada also in the works, NASCAR could expand its operations to three countries in North America.(Foxsports/Sporting News)(7-26-2004)
- More on the Busch Mexico Race: NASCAR hasn't announced that the Busch Series will race in Mexico City next year, but some team owners' actions speak louder than words. Three owners said they already were making preparations to go to Mexico City for the March 5-6 weekend, an off weekend for the Nextel Cup Series between California and Las Vegas. They privately say the deal is virtually done.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(7-17-2004)
- Mexico Busch race to be announced soon? hearing rumblings that a deal was completed for NASCAR Mexico and the
Busch race in early March 2005..with an announcement looming in the next couple of days.(7-6-2004)
- 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)
- No Mexico in 2005? NASCAR's Mexico City plans for 2005 are expected to be postponed until 2006 because of security concerns, according to NASCAR sources. NASCAR officials want to run a Busch/Truck weekend at the Mexico City road course, in a big push for the Hispanic audience. But the fallout from the Iraq war and other security issues would force the Mexican military to become involved in the venture, sources said. So the entire plan will now likely be pushed back a year.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2004)
- Busch Series to Mexico - March 6, 2005? NASCAR is "seriously considering" holding a Busch Series race in Mexico City next year, a series official said. Officials are looking at running the race on what would be an off weekend for the Cup series. At least one major Busch team expects the race to be held the weekend of March 6 although NASCAR has not selected a date. Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president, said that series officials have had "numerous meetings with the track there. It's an outstanding facility, and now it's just a matter of working out some of the details to figure out whether we can do it and when to do it." If the race was held March 6, it would follow Daytona and California, the season's first two Cup races. NASCAR would hold the race at the 2.786-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez facility in Mexico City. The Champ Car circuit reported a three-day attendance of 402,413 fans last year and a race-day crowd of 221,011 spectators for its event.(Roanoke Times)(5-16-2004)
- more on NASCAR in Mexico? Not Cup...yet: How realistic is the presence of NASCAR in Mexico? Very, according to George Pyne, NASCAR's chief operating officer. "I think not for the Nextel Series, but NASCAR has an interest in the Hispanic marketplace in the United States," Pyne says. "If you look where the growth opportunities are for NASCAR in any sport or business market out there, the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment and is significantly represented in New York, Chicago, L.A., Dallas, Phoenix and Miami. So to expand the sport we need to look at the Hispanic community. We're exploring opportunities to develop a feeder series for Hispanic drivers. If there's an international possibility that would build your domestic opportunities, then it makes sense."(Foxsports/Sporting News)(4-19-2004)
- Watkins Glen date to....Mexico? Pocono to lose a race? UPDATE 2: New rumors surfaced this week in the garage area as NASCAR looks to revamp its schedule for 2005. Now included in the reported plans to add a second race at the Texas Motor Speedway are the rumored plans to add second races at Phoenix, Las Vegas and Kansas City. To make that happen, the Darlington and Pocono raceways would each lose one race and Watkins Glen International would lose its only race. Another hot rumor is NASCAR's interest in permanently moving the road course race at Watkins Glen to a road course in Mexico City.(Augusta Chronicle)(4-3-2004)
UPDATE: While the fate of the France family's Watkins Glen road course in upstate New York as part of the Nextel Cup tour is being debated, there is increasing speculation that NASCAR's Brian France wants to add Mexico City's road course to the NASCAR Truck tour next season. France seems cooling to any plans to take Cup cars to Europe, content to play out marketing plans there instead. But he is reported to be quite optimistic about Mexico City as a potential NASCAR venue, though it is difficult to gauge if there is actually any interest in a Cup race there down the road.(Winston Salem Journal); Mexico? how about Kentucky? or Nashville? or Pikes Peak?(4-4-2004)
UPDATE 2: response to some readers email from Watkins Glen: "Thank you for your interest in the Glen. Let me first assure you that the Cup date at Watkins Glen is here to stay and that we are in no jeopardy of losing it."(4-7-2004)
- More on Mexico: Mike Vazquez, a former co-owner of Hispanic Racing Team, said it is his understanding that NASCAR is attempting to schedule a race from one of its three series in Mexico City for 2005. Carlos Contreras, who ran a partial Busch schedule with Hispanic Racing in 2003, is competing in Mexico, where growing attention for stock car racing has piqued NASCAR's interest.(St Petersburg Times)(4-6-2004)
- 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)