MONTREAL - AUGUST 4: The drivers entered in the NASCAR Busch Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 pose for a group portrait before the start of the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve August 4, 2007 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon Says NASCAR Racing Abroad Would Grow the Sport

The NASCAR Cup Series has had plenty of discussions about the future possibility of racing outside of the United States. The most recent possibility has been that NASCAR was looking to run at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.

NASCAR has had races outside the country in the Xfinity and Craftsman Truck Series. Xfinity featured races at the Montreal road course (2007-2012) and in Mexico City (2005-2008), while the trucks used to race in Ontario at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (2013-2019).

As for the Cup Series, they twice ran exhibition races in Japan in the 1990s. This raises the question: Will the Cup Series actually get a scheduled race outside the U.S.?

It won't happen in 2024. But Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman and a NASCAR Hall of Famer, sees the possibility of NASCAR racing abroad in the future.

He addressed the topic this week on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

"I know there have been conversations about Montreal, and I'm not sure if it's going to happen or not," Gordon said. "But I would love to see us be international, not international like overseas, because we've done that in Japan, and if that happens again, I would like to relook at how we go about it. But, you know, I don't know that actually grew the sport. But I think there are a lot of fans in Canada, a lot of fans in Mexico and South America, that we are not tapping into that would grow the sport and put a lot more eyeballs on it. I would love to see it whether it's next year or the year after that."

Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller and Jenson Button proved that a NASCAR Cup car can race at Le Mans earlier this year, so what's to say racing overseas can't be accomplished?

Gordon is right about trying to get NASCAR races in Canada or Mexico. They proved they could do it in the Xfinity and Truck series, so why not get a Cup date?

It would really help the sport, especially with it dropping most of the road course races it had added in the past four seasons, including moving away from the Indianapolis Road Course and Road America. A true road course such as Circuit Gilles Villenueve could put on a great Cup race.