Supercars admits to NASCAR talks over Gold Coast exhibition race

Supercars has confirmed that it's in talks to bring NASCAR to the streets of the Gold Coast next year, as first reported by Autosport

Supercars admits to NASCAR talks over Gold Coast exhibition race

The Australian series will look to bring US racing back to the Surfers Paradise circuit as early as next year, with plans to run a NASCAR exhibition race.

The campaign started with Scott McLaughlin doing demo laps in a NASCAR Penske Ford Fusion during this weekend's Gold Coast 600.

According to Supercars CEO Sean Seamer, discussions about the Gold Coast kicked off when NASCAR's executive vice president Steve O'Donnell and vice president of innovation and racing development John Probst visited the Tailem Bend circuit in South Australia back in August.

Seamer has stressed that the plans are preliminary and that the formal discussions are still young.

"It is still very early days," said Seamer. "We don't want to get carried away, but those guys came down and met with us in August.

"We committed to having a more open and regular dialogue [with NASCAR], and we have spoken to DJR Team Penske and we are gathering information on how we might be able to get cars out [to Australia] and when we might be able to get cars out."

From an operational perspective there would be challenges with a calendar clash.

The 2019 Gold Coast falls on October 27 and clashes with a Cup series playoff race at Martinsville, although the Xfinity series is not racing that weekend.

"Obviously they have got a lot of cars in rotation along with engines, so we will work through all that with them," added Seamer.

"Is it a combination of main game [Cup], Xfinity or Trucks? All that needs to be worked through.

"It is still really early days.

"The first thing was let's get one out and running [with the demo] this weekend and see what it looks like and goes like and gauge the reaction.

"If it all goes well this weekend those conversations will keep going on."

Seamer is set to meet with both NASCAR and Penske during a personal trip to the United States over the Christmas period, but the series has played down a decision deadline.

"It is early days, [there is] positive intent and there is a lot of interest," he said. "How it works operationally and [we] make it happen is going to take a lot of time to work through.

"We would rather we get it right before we go and announce it." The potential for a NASCAR deal has piqued the interest of the Queensland government, which has been a big backer of the event since it hosted Champ Car races.

Convincing NASCAR could potential be key to maintaining or growing government support for the event in the future.

"We've had very productive conversations between Supercars and Tourism Events Queensland and I give this assurance, I want to see this event continue to grow," said Queensland's minister for innovation and tourism industry development, Kate Jones.

"We know that Supercars is a race product, but we also know there are many fans out there that would love to see NASCAR added."

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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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