SMI official says no ‘imminent plans to request’ realignment of race dates


A senior executive for Speedway Motorsports Inc., said Wednesday that “we don’t have any imminent plans to request any relocations or realignment” of race dates.

Bill Brooks, chief financial officer for Speedway Motorsports Inc., made the comment during a call with investor analysts Wednesday.

NASCAR is working with tracks now to create the 2017 Sprint Cup schedule.

In a letter sent last month to tracks that was obtained by NBC Sports, NASCAR asked that track officials wishing to reshuffle their race dates put requests in writing by March 4.

Dover International Speedway’s sanctioning agreement with NASCAR states that race dates will be determined with track promoters on or before April 1 of each preceding year. The agreement also states that if a track’s date shifts more than two weeks from its current date, the track will be notified on or before April 1.

Although tracks have five-year agreements with NASCAR to host races, those dates still can be moved to other tracks.

While there have been various date changes in recent years — most notably Darlington Raceway’s Southern 500 returning to Labor Day weekend last year — the last time a Cup race date moved from one track to another was for the 2011 season.

Speedway Motorsports moved a date from Atlanta to give Kentucky Speedway a Cup date that year. International Speedway Corp. moved a date from Auto Club Speedway to Kansas Speedway, giving it a second date in 2011.

Brooks said on the call with investor analysts that he was “unaware” of any realignment requests from International Speedway Corp. “or the other participants in the industry.’’

Marcus Smith, president and chief executive officer of SMI, also discussed realignment on the call.

“Where it makes sense, when it makes sense, realigning, which basically means a shift in a date or a given weekend, maybe where it falls in the calendar or even potentially moving a date from one speedway to another, is something that we discuss with NASCAR as the opportunity may present itself,’’ Smith said. “But I don’t expect that you’ll see a lot of that going forward into the 2017 schedule.’’

NASCAR has not said when the 2017 Sprint Cup schedule will be released.