NASCAR President Steve Phelps Says He Would Be “Surprised” If There Aren’t Races In Canada & Mexico Next Year

Daniel Suarez NASCAR
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Taking the show on the road.

Of course NASCAR started as a regional sport in the southeastern United States, originally founded for a bunch of bootleggers who wanted to race their souped up stock cars.

But since those early days, the sport has grown far beyond its roots in Charlotte, North Carolina, with races all over the country throughout the 36-race schedule for the NASCAR Cup Series.

And it sounds like next year, NASCAR will be branching out even further.

During an interview on Fox ahead of the (rained out) Daytona 500 yesterday, NASCAR President Steve Phelps gave a hint on what the sport can expect next year as far as races outside of the United States.

As Phelps told Chris Myers:

“I have nothing to announce today, but I would be surprised next year in our ’25 schedule if we didn’t go north of the border and we didn’t go south of the border.”

Of course it wouldn’t be the first time that NASCAR has ventured outside of the United States. The NASCAR Xfinity Series had an annual race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez road course in Mexico City from 2005 to 2008, and from 2007 to 2012 the series also visited Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.

The Craftsman Truck Series has also raced at Canadian Tire Park in Ontario, Canada in the past.

But over the past couple of years, there’s been increasing chatter about taking the sport’s highest series outside of the country, and it seemed like we were going to get a Cup Series race in Canada this year before plans ultimately fell through and Iowa was added to the schedule instead.

It’s still yet to be seen whether these international dates would be regular-season races or exhibitions, possibly replacing the Clash at the LA Coliseum (which seems to have run its course).

And we don’t know where the races would be held either. While there are plenty of road courses in both Canada and Mexico, with NASCAR recently holding its first street course event in Chicago, there’s always the possibility that the Cup Series could decide to skip the racetracks and just build a street course in a major city for maximum exposure.

Of course NASCAR views expansion beyond the United States as important for the brand and growth of the series. But fans are still lukewarm to the idea, worrying that NASCAR is chasing new fans at the expense of those who are already passionate about the sport.

It will probably be months before anything about the 2025 schedule is confirmed, so we’ll have to wait and see if these plans actually end up coming to fruition.

But from Phelps’ comments, it seems like a pretty safe bet that the Cup Series will be headed to Canada and Mexico next year.

And personally I just want to hear guys like Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin try to do a television interview in Spanish.

A beer bottle on a dock

STAY ENTERTAINED

A RIFF ON WHAT COUNTRY IS REALLY ABOUT

A beer bottle on a dock