The 2023 season is only halfway over, yet the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is already stirring up controversy. Whether it's just fans talking or even NASCAR itself, the lineup of races is a hot topic.
Most fans are hoping for a return to Road America in Wisconsin, or even the possibility of bringing back events at Chicagoland and Kentucky. Nothing is set in stone to this point, but that doesn't mean something new isn't on the horizon. Rumors suggest Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, as a possibility.
NASCAR has already shown how it wanted to change the schedule when it added the Circuit of the Americas in 2021 or took the Busch Light Clash to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This year has had plenty of new venues, with a return to North Wilkesboro for the All-Star race being a hit and hopes for the track to remain on the schedule being very much alive. Next month's Chicago Street Race is still very much a question mark in the future, with the city not quite liking all of the major venues and streets being used by the racecourse.
So, who better to ask about the outlook for future schedules than a two-time Cup series champion?
Joey Logano discussed the topic on his recent episode of "Behind the Wheel with JoLo" on the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel. He thinks a good way to add variety to the schedule is make sure no track hosts more than one race.
? ?I think no racetrack should have more than one race.? #NASCAR
Defending champ @joeylogano thinks increased variety on the Cup Series schedule should be a focal point for 2024 and beyond.
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) June 8, 2023
"I think a couple of things. For one, no track should have more than one race," Logano said. "We've seen that spreading out the love is good for the sport. We've proven that. So many times here recently. We went to Road America — oh my goodness, the place was packed."
Logano then said it isn't fair for some fans to have to travel so far to see a race.
"I always say this all the time: It is asking a lot for fans to travel a long ways away to go watch a race," Logano said. "If you have to travel three or four hours to go to a race, then there are hotel rooms and .... then all of a sudden it's expensive, along with the race tickets and all of the other stuff that comes along with it. It's asking a lot."
He used the example of the Gateway race in Illinois on May 29, about 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis — giving fans a great chance to come to a race in an opportunity they hadn't had prior to 2022.
Attendance is what it comes down to. Say a certain track hosts two races a year, but the grandstands are half empty. What good is that racetrack if no one wants to come to it? A perfect example is Michigan International Speedway, which used to have two Cup series races a year. It wasn't getting fans to come, so the track has greatly reduced its capacity over the last 20 years. That says a lot about a track that once had a capacity of 125,000 people.
Logano definitely makes a good point, but it remains to be seen how the final schedule will come together.
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