Friday December 1, 2023

NASCAR Hits Offseason With International Expansion Under Consideration

  • The NASCAR 2023 season concluded over the weekend at Phoenix Raceway.
  • The racing series wants to hold events in Canada and even outside of North America.
Syndication: Arizona Republic
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NASCAR has never held a points-paying Cup Series race outside the United States — but that might be changing soon.

Ryan Blaney won the 2023 Cup Series championship on Sunday — his first title and Team Penske’s second consecutive — taking NASCAR into its three-month offseason with plenty to sort out away from the track.

The 2024 schedule is already set, but sentiment is growing that NASCAR’s top circuit will race internationally in 2025. Over the weekend at Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR chief operating officer Steve O’Donnell confirmed there was interest in adding a race in Montreal in 2024, reiterating the desire to capitalize on the Canadian market.

And as Formula 1, which is racing in 20 countries this season, continues its expansion in the United States, NASCAR will even look to take its top product to a new continent. “Absolutely,” O’Donnell said during a conversation with Front Office Sports when asked about the idea. “We’re exploring a number of different options.”

NASCAR has international series in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, and held full-points races in its second-tier Xfinity Series in Canada and Mexico, but believes any of its events could thrive internationally. “We want to bring that experience outside of North America as well,” O’Donnell said.

Media Deals Nearly Done

By the time NASCAR gets back on the track in February, it could very well have completed its next set of media rights deals. The CW has acquired rights to the Xfinity Series, but the Cup and truck series remain up for grabs.

Contracts with Fox Sports and NBC Sports expire after the 2024 season, but both partners are widely expected to renew in some capacity. NASCAR president Steve Phelps confirmed that a streaming partner will likely be involved in the next package of deals, which have generated higher-than-anticipated interest.

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