NASCAR released the schedule for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season on Wednesday. The 2024 season will start with the Daytona 500, as always. The preseason exhibition race, known as the Bush Light Clash, will take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a third straight year.
The highlight of the schedule is the Cup Series going to Iowa Speedway on June 16. It will be the series' first visit to the Iowa track and NASCAR's first trip to Iowa since 1953. The All-Star race will be held at North Wilkesboro for a second straight year. Changes include Atlanta's first race being the second event on the calendar, the race at Texas being moved to the spring, both Bristol races being on concrete, and going back to the oval at IMS. NASCAR has raced on the road course at Indy instead of the oval for the past three years.
"We've seen the road course play out for a handful of years at Indianapolis," Ben Kennedy, NASCAR's senior vice president of racing development and strategy, said. "And what better way to return to the oval than the 30th anniversary of the Brickyard 400 and really make it something special again?" Kennedy added that he's excited to see how the racing looks on the oval with the current Next Gen cars.
The Chicago street course race will be back next year, taking place during the first week of July. The regular season will now end on Labor Day weekend at Darlington, and the playoffs will begin with Atlanta's second race. Watkins Glen moves into the playoffs, making two road-course races in the playoffs.
Next year, another thing new to NASCAR will be a two-week break during the Paris Olympics. The break will help NBC, who is a NASCAR broadcast partner and will be broadcasting the Olympics.
While there are quite a few changes to the schedule, there are things that NASCAR shouldn't have done. First, they added another road course race to the playoffs. The playoffs already had one road course with the Charlotte Roval. We don't need two road courses in the playoffs.
NASCAR should have gotten rid of the Roval and returned to the oval at Charlotte. Drivers have said they want a return to the oval at Charlotte, but the track's parent company turned that idea down, according to the Associated Press. The drivers are right that NASCAR should get rid of the Roval. We have too many road course races, and the number of road course races needs to be cut down.
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