NASCAR president Phelps doesn't expect massive 2021 calendar change

NASCAR president Steve Phelps says he does not expect "massive, wholesale" changes to the 2021 Cup Series calendar

NASCAR president Phelps doesn't expect massive 2021 calendar change

The series revamped its calendar in 2020 and Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said at the time that the "fans and the industry as a whole have been vocal about the desire for sweeping changes".

The calendar change came after drivers such as Kurt Busch had advocated for the return of classic tracks and experimentation to the calendar.

Why criticism of NASCAR Cup calendar can't be counteracted easily

NASCAR has largely been unable to make wide-ranging changes to the calendar until at least 2021 due to long-term contracts with the majority of Cup Series' circuit owners.

Phelps told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that it is unlikely to make wide-ranging modifications to the calendar for 2021.

"I think if you look at the 2020 schedule, we moved things around. The fans, again from the research that we did, by and large, were thrilled with the changes we made," Phelps said. "I think there was an industry buzz.

"The drivers were excited, the teams were excited and, most importantly, the fans were excited. But, we're racing at the same race tracks, the same number at each race track.

"So in 2021, we have new sanctions that we need to do for 2021 that will obviously dictate where we go.

"Will we go to exactly the same number of race tracks, the exact same number of events? We probably won't. I don't think there are going to be massive wholesale changes."

NASCAR's calendar complexity has been made more unclear due to the fact that both International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc, who between them host 31 of the points-paying 36 Cup races, are in the process of going private.

Last month, ISC agreed to a $2billion merger with NASCAR that should be completed by the end of 2019.

SMI announced in April that it had received a non-binding offer from Sonic Financial Corporation to acquire all outstanding shares of SMI's common stock.

Once those respective deals are complete, it could be easier to make more significant race dates, including eliminating or adding tracks.

Phelps said NASCAR still plans to "listen to what the fans have to say" as its future schedules are created.

"This is their sport and we need to make sure that we are giving them what they want," he said.

"So a lot of listening, dialogue, working with our broadcast partners, our teams and our drivers, our OEM partners: 'Hey, where do you want to be, what do you want to see, where would you like to race?'

"So that's the first part of the 2021 piece, a work in progress."

shares
comments
Martin Truex Jr: Hendrick Chicago NASCAR Cup form could be one-off

Previous article

Martin Truex Jr: Hendrick Chicago NASCAR Cup form could be one-off

Next article

Logano on pole for NASCAR Daytona after lightning stops qualifying

Logano on pole for NASCAR Daytona after lightning stops qualifying
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021