The 2020 NASCAR schedule will be released today; Could include big changes
The NASCAR schedule is typically released around this time of year. Previous releases: 2019 Schedule (April 2018); 2018 Schedule (May 2017).
The 2020 schedule is due to be released today. And it’s a very exciting time for short track racing fans.
In recent years, NASCAR has acknowledged the fact that they need more short tracks on the schedule. That alone is a big change from the previous directions. But, for 2020 it’s not as easy as removing a date and replacing it with a short track.
Track contracts are still in place. That somewhat limits the sanction when it comes to adding new tracks or even smaller things like moving dates around. Typically, when things like that happen, it’s the tracks owners moving dates in their own portfolio of race tracks.
However, NASCAR president Steve Phelps has previously stated that the tracks are open to working with NASCAR. But,m what exactly does that mean for 2020? It sounds like we’re about to find out.
Steve O’Donnell on the 2020 NASCAR schedule
“Regarding 2020, I think we’re looking at this week to announce some cool things,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive VP stated via ‘The Morning Drive’ on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“Steve Phelps has been really honest with everyone in terms of our ability to move races in 2020 with the agreements that we have. I think you’ll see some great cooperation that’s happened with the tracks and our TV partners as we look ahead for 2020.”
The mention of the TV partners there likely hints at more than just a shakeup of track dates. If they just simply moved or replaced a track with another, that would have nothing to do with cooperation from TV partners.
However, if NASCAR was to install mid-week races or even double-header race weekends that would certainly take some support from the TV partners. Both of those things have been discussed for the last two years or so.
Or it hints at more standalone races. Meaning the Xfinity Series, Truck Series and Cup Series aren’t at the same tracks as often as they are in 2019 in prior years. That would certainly require more effort from the TV partners as well.
We’ll find out later today just which one of those it is.
How does NASCAR work on scheduling race weekends?
“It’s one of those things, it’s never done. When we announce 2020, we’re already working on 2021 and beyond. Even when you think you’re done, some curve ball gets thrown your way.”
“It’s also fun. It’s fun to see what we’re able to potentially do. The challenge for us is matching up your three national series. “Matching up your three national series. Making sure you’re able to showcase them on a standalone weekend.”
“Then, the biggest thing is as you look at the calendar, managing those dates that have historically been an anchor to your schedule. Once you plug those in, there’s only so much movement.”
“But, I think 2020 will be exciting for the fans.”
NASCAR Schedule 2021
2020 could be exciting. But, 2021 is where the real excitement comes into play. At that point, a large portion of track contracts will expire, all at once.
Of course, most of those will be renewed to some degree. However, NASCAR will no longer be required to have the ‘ok’ from track owners to make a huge change. At that point, NASCAR can give the fans exactly what they want.
2020 still has potential for something special. If mid-week races are announced, that alone opens the door wide open for NASCAR to add a wide range of new venues.