- Statement from Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO concerning New Hampshire being sold: Today’s announcement that Speedway Motorsports Inc. has purchased New Hampshire International Speedway is yet another indication that the NASCAR industry continues to grow and thrive. Capitalizing on NASCAR’s national appeal and growth, the Bahre family created a passionate fan base and developed a valuable venue that has hosted the largest sporting events in New England including 26 consecutive sellouts. The success of NHIS, and the desire of the Bahre family to sell, made the track very attractive to SMI and several other interested buyers. SMI has a highly regarded record for hosting some of the most successful and enjoyable race events in all of NASCAR, and there’s no doubt that will continue. While we don’t have any details about SMI’s plans for NHIS, all sanctions for 2008 have been signed and finalized. As a result, there will be no location changes to the 2008 schedule that was released last month. This is important to the fans, competitors, broadcast partners and sponsors who have already made plans for the 2008 races. Looking beyond 2008, NASCAR will continue to consider requests by any track operator, including SMI, to relocate race dates. Under NASCAR’s “realignment” plan, we have worked with track owners to relocate race dates to meet the needs of our growing national fan base. Ultimately, any change must meet NASCAR’s objectives and serve our fans. The industry owes Bob and Gary Bahre a debt of gratitude for their leadership and commitment to NASCAR. All of NASCAR wishes the Bahre family well during this time of transition. They will always be considered pioneers in NASCAR.(NASCAR PR)(11-2-2007)
- OFFICIAL - SMI buys New Hampshire track, renames it: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:TRK) has agreed to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob and Gary Bahre for $340 million in cash. The agreement was announced today by O. Bruton Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008. To align with other SMI-owned speedway brands, the track will be renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway following completion of the acquisition. The speedway, which opened in 1990 and hosts two Nextel Cup Series events each year, is located about one hour north of Boston in Loudon, N.H. According to the latest census numbers, the population within 200 miles of the speedway is more than 18 million people. The venue is easily accessible via Interstate highways from all metro areas in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Located on approximately 1,100 acres, the multi-use complex is the largest sports facility in New England and features a 1.058-mile oval speedway, with chair-back seating for 92,000 spectators, and a 1.6-mile road course. The speedway hosts the only Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series, and Craftsman Truck Series events held in the six-state New England region. Both Nextel Cup Series races regularly sell out and exceed the NFL Super Bowl in attendance. "This is a wonderful opportunity for our company to grow our business as we continue to invest in this sport and the motorsports industry," said Smith. Smith added that he has offered Bob Bahre the opportunity to remain associated as a consultant with the track that he built. In addition to the major NASCAR races, the track hosts several regional professional racing series, including the NASCAR Grand National Division, NASCAR Busch East Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Amateur series events complete the schedule with SCCA sports cars, motorcycles, World Karting Association go-karts and racing schools. New Hampshire Motor Speedway will join a strong portfolio of SMI facilities. The company also owns and operates Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn., Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.; Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.; and Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. With this acquisition, the company will own race tracks in the West, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest, including four of the nation's top-10 metropolitan markets. The breakdown includes: the sixth-largest market (Infineon/San Francisco); the fifth-largest market (Texas/Dallas-Ft. Worth); the seventh-largest market (New Hampshire/Boston); the ninth-largest market (Atlanta); the 25th-largest market (Lowe's/Charlotte); the 41st-largest market (Las Vegas); and the 92nd-largest market (Bristol/Tri-Cities). Speedway Motorsports, Inc. will promote 13 NASCAR-sanctioned Sprint (formerly NEXTEL) Cup races in 2008 and nine NASCAR-sanctioned Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series events. Combined seating for the seven SMI facilities will exceed 850,000 permanent seats.(SMI PR)(11-2-2007)
- Busch, Trucks Will Not Run at Iowa Next Year: Stock car racing fans will have to wait until at least 2009 for a chance to see a Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series event at Iowa Speedway in Newton. The track's 2008 slate will include return visits by the IndyCar Series and NASCAR's Grand National Division, but the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series will not expand next season, Iowa Speedway's vice president and general manager Craig Armstrong said Monday. "They are certainly looking at us as a prospect for 2009 and beyond," said Armstrong.(Des Moines Register), been told that no major changes or tracks will be added until the Kentucky lawsuit is settled.(9-26-2007)
- California looking for Oct date in 2009: NASCAR officials will release the 2008 Nextel Cup schedule in the near future, and it promises to offer little change. But in 2009, things might be different. California Speedway president Gillian Zucker said there seems to be "some energy around exploring alternate dates" for the Labor Day weekend race at her two-mile oval in Fontana and "we will keep on doing all we can to encourage that." The weather for this year's Sharp AQUOS 500 earlier this month was oppressive with temperatures hovering around 110 degrees. She has said she would like to hold the track's second race in October, which would put it in the Chase for the Championship, and bringing NASCAR's playoff spectacle to its biggest market would make a lot of sense, wouldn't it? Even though the track hasn't sold out for a NASCAR race in quite some time, the speedway again will play host to two Cup races next season, the first being in February and the second on the same steamy weekend in September. Just in case NASCAR officials keep their schedule the way it is, Zucker said she is adding more shady areas on the outside of the track, misters and air-conditioned places for fans to hang out before the race.(Orange County Register)(9-20-2007)
- Name change, new race date for NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is announcing the following points of interest regarding the 2008 NASCAR Weekend at LVMS:
Tickets for the 2008 NASCAR Weekend are slated to go on sale Monday, Aug. 6. Neon Garage passes (which in 2008 will include pit access), pre-race activities passes and Lucky 7 preferred parking also will be available that day. Race fans may order tickets by logging onto the LVMS website at www.lvms.com and clicking on “Tickets” or by calling 800-644-4444.
The 2008 Sprint (formerly Nextel) Cup Series event will be known as the UAW-Dodge 400. The proposed purchase of a majority stake of Chrysler from DaimlerBenz by Cerberus Capital Management necessitates the name change.
NASCAR Weekend is set for Feb. 29-March 2 – one week earlier than the 2007 event. The new dates call for the following schedule: Qualifying for both the UAW-Dodge 400 and Sam’s Town 300 will be Friday, Feb. 29. The Sam’s Town 300 event will be Saturday, March 1 and the 11th annual UAW-Dodge 400 will be run on Sunday, March 2.
“Our ticket-renewal process yielded the highest renewal rates that we’ve ever experienced,” said LVMS general manager Chris Powell. “Our Ticket Services group has worked overtime in order to launch public-sale tickets a month earlier than in the past. I want to add that we’ve also had a very successful relationship with the United Auto Workers and its National Training Center, and we look forward to continuing that sponsorship under the name of the Dodge brand. The earlier race date is not new for Las Vegas Motor Speedway. From 1998-2004, NASCAR Weekend at LVMS was the first weekend in March. This date change in 2008 will allow NASCAR to continue the momentum from the start of the season without an open date just two weeks into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.”(LVMS PR)(8-3-2007)
- Same weekend in 2008 for Indy race: Next year's [Cup] race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled for July 27, track officials announced.(Roanoke Times)(7-30-2007)
- Dover confirms 2008 NASCAR race dates will follow tradition on NASCAR's annual schedule: Despite some industry speculation to the contrary, Dover International Speedway officials confirmed that the Monster Mile will host race weekends on May 30-June 1 and September 19-21, 2008. Dover International Speedway has played host to similar dates since 1987, and has hosted NASCAR's premiere series since 1969. The 2008 season will mark the 40th year of racing at the high-banked, one-mile oval. Tickets for the June 1, 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, May 31 NASCAR Busch Series race and May 30 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race will go on sale to the public beginning on Monday, October 1, 2007. Tickets for the Sept. 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Sept. 20 NASCAR Busch Series race, and Sept. 19 NASCAR Busch East Series race will go on sale on Monday, December 10, 2007. NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile on September 21-23, 2007 as the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" races into Dover International Speedway. Race fans who purchase tickets to the upcoming event weekend, or any of the 2008 events, can now add event ticket insurance to their purchases. The new insurance option, provided by World Access, provides greater peace of mind and offers a full refund of the purchase price if the Dover ticket holder cannot attend the event for a number of unforeseen personal, medical or travel reasons. The Monster Mile offers a long list of ticket options including 3-day ticket packages, all-inclusive hospitality packages, early-buy discounts and a variety of payment plans. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call the Dover International Speedway ticket office at 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(Dover International Speedway PR)(7-27-2007)
- MIS releases 2008 dates: NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, now known as the Nextel Cup Series, will return to Michigan International Speedway for two race weekends in 2008. America's premier motorsports series with the country's biggest names in auto racing will celebrate 40 seasons of racing at MIS next year on June 15 and Aug. 17. Michigan International Speedway will not host the IndyCar Series in 2008 due to the inability to secure a viable date. Race fans may see the IndyCar Series race at MIS on Aug. 5. The
high-speed action of the Firestone Indy 400 is held on the series' only two-mile oval and is known for its thrilling and close finishes and wide
racing groove. Tickets are also on sale for the upcoming NASCAR weekend - the 3M Performance 400 Nextel Cup Series race on Aug. 19 and the CARFAX 250 Busch Series race on Aug. 18. The speedway made significant changes to enhance the fan experience at Michigan International Speedway this season, including the refining of outbound traffic patterns and replacement of grandstands in Turn One
with bigger, wider seats with seatbacks. The speedway is looking into other projects that will keep NASCAR racing, as well as other potential events, at the speedway in the future. For tickets to any events or for information about camping or fan hospitality for 2007, please call the track's ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 or log onto the speedway's official Web site, MISpeedway.com.(MIS PR)(7-17-2007)
- 2008 Darlington Raceway Renewal Process Currently Under Way: Renewal letters for next year's Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway were mailed on Friday, July 6. The renewal deadline is August 20. The track "Too Tough To Tame" is currently being repaved. The last time the track was repaved, in 1995, Ward Burton made fast work of the old record by posting a qualifying speed of 173.797 mph, a record that stands to this day. Fans renewing by the August 20 deadline will get the opportunity to drive paced laps on Darlington's brand-new asphalt on their choice of the following dates - March 29, April 5, or April 12, 2008. The 2008 Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend is currently scheduled to include practice and qualifying for the Busch and Sprint Cup Series on Friday, May 9, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 that evening. On Saturday night, May 10, Darlington Raceway will host Cup Series racing for the 59th consecutive year when the green flag waves to signal the start of the Carolina Dodge Dealers 500. For tickets or more information, call toll-free at 866.459.RACE (7223).(Darlington Raceway PR)(7-12-2007)
- Kentucky Cup race? Vegas 2nd race? NASCAR executives may be ready to settle one of those thorny legal situations they face, according to sources who say that a settlement with Kentucky Speedway could be coming — by adding the 11/2-mile track south of Cincinnati to the Nextel Cup tour next season. And there is also an unconfirmed report that NASCAR could be looking at adding a second Nextel Cup event at Bruton Smith’s Las Vegas track for next season.(Winston Salem Journal), so what tracks lose a date?(6-23-2007)
- NHIS to have same dates in 2008, tix still for sale: per an interview with NHIS owner Bob Bahre by the Concord Monitor's Dave D'Onofrio:
Q) Tickets for July at NHIS are still available.
A) Is the sellout streak in jeopardy? You gotta remember, were almost two weeks ahead this year and a lot of people are screwed up on their vacations. I think were down right now to, I'm guessing, less than a thousand. We'll get it sold. We've never advertised before. Never. This year we did to let people know, because one problem we had is that people always thought we were sold out. I said to our guys, get ads in so they know we aren't sold out. Everyone always thought you couldn't buy a ticket, and this year since we've advertised we picked up a lot.
Q) Will the dates of the NHIS races remain the same for next year?
A) It's already set. It's the 29th of June, I believe. We've got the sanction for up here all done for next year. The second race is the same week, too.
Q) Is Loudon at risk of losing one of its Cup races?
A) As long as I'm here, I know there'll never be a date gone. I know that.(Concord Monitor)(6-18-2007)
- Two Races at Pocono in 2008: There will continue to be two NASCAR races each summer at Pocono Raceway. For years, rumors suggested otherwise. On Friday, NASCAR Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell and President Mike Helton met with Pocono founder, Chief of Operations and CEO Dr. Joe Mattioli to iron out details of what is a continuing resolution. "We signed the deal with Doc on Friday," O'Donnell said. "It was for one year like we do at all the tracks." (Express Times)(6-10-2007)
- Dover spring race to April? NASCAR officials are contemplating moving the spring races at Dover International Speedway from June to April as part of a plan to revamp the first half of the racing schedule next season. It's a possibility that Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports Inc., would rather not think about. McGlynn said it's "way too early" to predict what will happen with the spring race weekend. The culmination of this spring's race weekend, the Autism Speaks 400 Nextel Cup race, was rained out Sunday and is scheduled to be made up today at noon. This is the first time Dover's spring Nextel Cup race has been postponed since 1975, when the race was held in May. It would seem that having the Dover spring races in April would be worse. For one, the weather is much more unpredictable than it is the weekend after Memorial Day, when the spring races have been held since 1987. In addition, the track's harness racing season doesn't end until mid-April, and McGlynn said there wouldn't be enough time to get the NASCAR track ready for auto racing by the end of the month. The only alternative in May would be a Mother's Day race weekend, which for the past three years has been held in Darlington, S.C. The annual Old Dover Days takes place the first weekend in May. The Nextel All-Star Challenge is held two weeks after that. Typically, Nextel Cup takes the third week of the season off. NASCAR is considering pushing that first off-week back to the first weekend in June, the spot now occupied by the spring Dover race. "We're looking at ways to fill that hole" in the third week of the season, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "We're looking to run more races before the break." Poston said NASCAR would like to get a consensus from track owners and driver teams before changing the schedule. He said pushing the first break back a few months would keep the momentum going from the start of the season. The 2008 schedule will be released in August.(Delaware News Journal)(6-4-2007)