In 2020, NASCAR will see back-to-back off weekends; But, that wasn’t the only option they had
Following the July 19th race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, NASCAR will head into back-to-back weeks off. The MENCS season will resume on August 9th at Michigan International Speedway.
The 2020 Olympic Games will take place in Tokyo next year. The dates for the games run from Jul 24, 2020 – Sun, Aug 9.
If they wanted to, NASCAR could have gone to the races anyone. However, they would have been forced to take a backseat to the Olympics.
The Olympics will be broadcast by NBC this year. The 2016 Olympic Games hosted by Brazil had a viewership of 16.9m for opening ceremonies. Or in 2012, the UK Olympic Games saw 31.0m viewers for ceremonies.
Note: These are only the American viewers. Roughly 10% of the country sat down to watch the opening ceremonies in 2012.
NASCAR could compete with this. But, why if they don’t have to?
However, the die-hard race fan who doesn’t care about hurdles will still have things to watch. The lower-tier series will still be in action that weekend.
Steve O’Donnell explains the double off weekend
“We could certainly race. But, our fans are very loud when they can’t get their NASCAR on television,” Steve O’Donnell stated via a press conference following the schedule announcement.
“We potentially would have been looking at a CNBC or USA Network for races. We’re confident NBC would have done the best job. But, is that really the best position for our sport to be in during that time of the year?”
“When we stepped back, we thought it wasn’t. We also looked at it as an opportunity to showcase some of our other series with standalone events. Showcasing some of our international platforms.”
Additionally, NASCAR expects to place some of their drivers at the Olympic Games to help promote the sport to the massive TV audience.