New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host one Cup weekend next year for the first time since 1996 after its other date was sent to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
So what happened?
Marcus Smith, chief executive officer and president of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns both tracks, said Wednesday it was the “right time” to move the New Hampshire September date to Las Vegas. He cited the city’s worldwide renown and how holding another NASCAR race there will be better for the sport.
“If you think about it, over the last almost 20 years, Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been very successful having one major NASCAR weekend,’’ Smith said. “We believe that it’s a net positive bringing the sport to the entertainment capital of the world in the fall and for a second time.’’
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority states that 96,000 out-of-town fans came to Las Vegas Motor Speedway last year. New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s seating capacity, according to the 2015 SMI annual report, is 89,000. With large swaths of empty seats at New Hampshire for recent races, the move was easy for SMI to make.
After this year, New Hampshire will have only its July race date.
“We’re going to really double down on the summer racing weekend in July this year to make it a phenomenal New England summer destination for NASCAR fans all over the country,’’ Smith said. “We think that race will actually draw more attention and more fans being a standalone.’’
What about that empty September weekend next year?
Smith is looking to have a “spectacular” weekend of modified racing.
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CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won the pole for the Xfinity Series’ Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
With a speed of 182.488 mph, Allgaier earned his fifth Xfinity pole and his first since the March 2013 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Allgaier is joined on the front row by Austin Dillon (181.519).
The top five is completed by Ryan Blaney (181.378), Daniel Hemric (181.324) and Kevin Harvick (181.245).
Christopher Bell will start seventh in his first Xfinity race.
Brad Keselowski and Dakoda Armstrong will start from the rear after not passing inspection in time to qualify.
Click here for full qualifying results.
CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney posted the top speed in the second practice session for the Coca-Cola 600.
Blaney’s No. 21 Ford produced a speed of 188.055 mph Saturday morning around Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The top five was filled out by Erik Jones (187.598 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (187.084), Daniel Suarez (186.838) and Trevor Bayne (186.239).
Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was ninth fastest at 185.567 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th quickest at 185.141 mph.
Kyle Bush recorded the most laps in the session with 48.
Click here for the full practice report.
CONCORD, N.C. — Eight Cup teams will be held 15 minutes during Coca-Cola 600 practice today for failing pre-qualifying inspection on Thursday
Drivers include Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Corey LaJoie and Chris Buescher.
Buescher’s team also loses pit selection for Sunday’s race due to failing pre-qualifying inspection three ties.
Larson and LaJoie’s loss of practice time comes on top of them not making qualifying runs on Thursday after neither of their cars passed inspection in time.
As in many things in life, whether something is worth doing comes down to risk vs. reward.
Such will be the case in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. How much are drivers willing to risk? Will that risk be worth reward, particularly with the additional stage to the race?
On Friday’s NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman jumped into the iRacing simulator and showed the greatest strategies to employ in Sunday’s race, especially with the traction compound up top.
Check out the above video.