Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host The Rolling Stones during the band’s 15-city North American stadium tour this summer, the track announced Monday morning. The Rolling Stones will play at the speedway July 4.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. ET April 13.
This marks the first time Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted a concert on a non-race weekend. The stage will be set up in the infield behind the tower terrace, which is located along the frontstretch.
NASCAR will race July 25-26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series.
Concerts at tracks on non-race weekends are becoming more common. Dover International Speedway has hosted the Firefly Music Festival since 2012. This year’s festival will take place June 18-21 and include Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon and Snoop Dogg, among others.
Michigan International Speedway will host its Faster Horses Festival July 17-19. This marks the third year for the festival. Among the acts scheduled to perform: Florida Georgia Line, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Dwight Yaokam, who served as the grand marshal for the recent Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway.
Germain Racing sells charter, will exit sport at end of season
Germain said in a statement that the No. 13 team will continue the rest of the season with Ty Dillon as driver.
“Being an owner in NASCAR for the last 16 years has been a thrilling and rewarding adventure,” Germain said in a statement. “From winning two NASCAR Truck Series championships in 2006 and 2010 to competing at the highest level of motorsports in the Cup Series for the last 12 seasons, I have experienced the highs and lows of our sport. I’m extremely proud of what Germain Racing has accomplished at every level and I will be transitioning out of ownership with many memories and friendships. I appreciate the interest and offers made over the last couple of weeks and I am excited to see how the sport continues to grow in the future.
“Thank you to GEICO for their loyalty to Germain Racing for over a decade. It has been a great source of pride for our team to represent their brand on the track. Doug Barnette with Player Management International has facilitated our GEICO relationship since the beginning and I truly appreciate his efforts. Finally, to my employees: building a team camaraderie and creating a family atmosphere has been a highlight of this journey. I will miss each of you.”
Dillon spoke in late August about the challenges facing single-car teams in Cup.
“The model is very tough right now for single-car teams,” he said. “I’m hoping that NASCAR is going to change it and help on it. But it needs to change for one-car teams to be more successful that haven’t already been at the top level of the sport or have an incredible about of money to leapfrog into the top spot. If you don’t have three or four teams to spread the wealth with big name sponsors and a lot of money behind the effort, it’s just not a model that’s going to survive long term.”
Hamlin acknowledged the challenge a one-car team can have.
“I do believe that the (ownership) model will hopefully get better,” Hamlin said before last weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. “Do I think it’s fixed? No, I think there is still some work to be done to make the model a viable business. You want a business that everyone wants to be a part of, not the ones that are fleeting. Certainly, I think NASCAR is trying it’s best to make the teams a little more healthy. I think that outlook toward the future is what’s interesting to me.”
The partnership of Hamlin and Jordan brings one of the most recognizable figures in sports to NASCAR. Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. He became majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets in 2010.
“Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to the races, and I’ve been a NASCAR fan my whole life,” Jordan said in a statement. “The opportunity to own my own racing team in partnership with my friend, Denny Hamlin, and to have Bubba Wallace driving for us, is very exciting to me.
“Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners. The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more. In addition to the recent commitment and donations I have made to combat systemic racism, I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing.”
Jordan becomes the second Black car owner of a full-time team. Brad Daugherty, who also is an analyst for NBC Sports, is a co-owner in JTG Daugherty Racing. Once the charter sale is completed, Jordan will become the first Black majority owner of a full-time race team in NASCAR’s premier since since Wendell Scott owned and raced his own cars in the 1960s and ’70s.
NASCAR issued a statement Monday night on Jordan joining the series.
“We proudly welcome Michael Jordan into the NASCAR family, and look forward to watching Michael, Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace compete in 2021. Michael is an iconic sports figure and celebrated champion whose fiercely competitive nature has placed him among the greatest athletes of all time. His presence at NASCAR’s top level will further strengthen the competition, excitement and momentum growing around our sport. We wish Michael and his team tremendous success.”
Jordan’s entry likely doesn’t happen if not for his friendship with Hamlin and Hamlin’s interest in being an owner.
Hamlin said last weekend that he has been interested in ownership “for a while.
“I still don’t know how long my driving career will go,” Hamlin said. “There are several different sides of management or what not that I would like to be a part of when it comes to NASCAR and the sport itself. It has to be the right opportunity and if it’s not the right opportunity, the right time then I won’t do it. Everything just has to line up perfectly for me to even remotely consider it.
“I do believe that the (ownership) model will hopefully get better. Do I think it’s fixed? No, I think there is still some work to be done to make the model a viable business. You want a business that everyone wants to be a part of, not the ones that are fleeting. Certainly, I think NASCAR is trying it’s best to make the teams a little more healthy. I think that outlook toward the future is what’s interesting to me.”
This is the second team to be sold this season. Leavine Family Racing sold its charter and assets to Spire Motorsports. That gives Spire Motorsports two charters for the 2021 season.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps was asked before the playoffs about a driver owning another team. He said it would be allowed.
“The short answers is yes, but they would need to abide by our guidelines that we would be satisfied that is notjust a shell for a fifth team,” he said.
Jordan has been a long-time motorsports fan and supporter of Hamlin. Nike’s Michael Jordan Brand first had a deal with Hamlin in 2011, putting Jordan’s “Jumpman” logo on Hamlin’s firesuit.
The Jordan Brand grew more than 50% in China for fiscal year 2020, approaching $1 billion in annual revenue, John Donahoe, president and chief executive Nike, Inc., said in an earnings call with investor analysts June 25.
Jordan attended the 2019 Cup championship race in Miami in hopes of celebrating a Hamlin title. Jordan also attended the 2014 title race and was among the first to greet Hamlin after he exited the car that day after failing to win the championship.
“I’m a big racing fan,” Jordan said. “Started off when I was a kid. Grew up watching (Dale Earnhardt Sr.), Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, which was the original 11 that I remember. Now I’m good friends with Denny Hamlin. We go way back. He’s a season ticket holder at the (Charlotte) Hornets (owned by Jordan). I spend a lot of time playing golf with him.”
Asked by Dale Earnhardt Jr. about any interest in becoming a NASCAR team owner, Jordan said: “No, I’ve got a lot on my plate. I love being a fan. I still understand the sport, but in terms of ownership, nah, I think I’m just going to sit back and watch it and support from afar.”
The 26-year-old Wallace is in his third full season in Cup. All 105 of his starts in NASCAR’s premier series has been with Richard Petty Motorsports.
“Bubba has shown tremendous improvement since joining the Cup Series and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level,” Hamlin said in a statement. “He deserves the opportunity to compete for race wins and our team will make sure he has the resources to do just that. Off the track, Bubba has been a loud voice for change in our sport and our country. MJ and I support him fully in those efforts and stand beside him.”
Wallace previously stated he had offers from Richard Petty Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing.
This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.
The NASCAR Cup Series will compete at the Circuit of the Americas road course in Austin, Texas, next year while the All-Star Race will have a new home, The Athletic reported Monday.
The changes reported are:
Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to host a Cup race in 2021. That date would come from one of the two Cup weekends Texas Motor Speedway hosts.
Texas Motor Speedway would get the All-Star Race, replacing the weekend sent to Circuit of the Americas.
NASCAR declined a request for comment from NBC Sports, but a spokesperson said it is “looking forward to announcing the 2021 schedule in the near future.”
The Circuit of the Americas is a 3.426-mile, 20-turn road course that opened in 2012. It hosts Formula 1 races and began holding IndyCar events in 2019.
With Circuit of the Americas, the NASCAR Cup Series could have as many as five races on road courses next year: Watkins Glen, Sonoma Raceway, Charlotte Roval and the Daytona road course, which is scheduled to host the Busch Clash in February.
NASCAR’s All-Star Race was held at Bristol Motor Speedway in July this year after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented it from being held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte, another Speedway Motorsports track, had hosted the All-Star Race every year but one since the event’s introduction in 1985.
According The Athletic, the All-Star Race is expected to be held later in the year instead of its traditional spot the week before the Coca-Cola 600 in May.