The NASCAR Nationwide Series appears to have an opening on next year’s schedule for a road course.
Why not New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville?
That’s the question on the mind of NJMP general manager Brad Scott, who spoke via telephone Monday from the AMA Pro Road Racing awards banquet in New Orleans before flying back to New Jersey on Tuesday.
“Once I get back into town, one of my immediate goals is going to be to really get aggressive and at least throw out name in the hat,” Scott said. “If there’s an opportunity to host something like that, we’d love to.”
The opportunity could be there because Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last week ended its six-year relationship with the Nationwide Series. That road-course race had been run independently of the Sprint Cup Series.
Nationwide Series official Amanda Ellis said by phone Tuesday that she could not comment in detail on next year’s schedule, which she said likely will be released in a few weeks.
“We constantly have conversations with promoters who are interested in having a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at their track,” Ellis said.
Working against NJMP is the fact that there are several other tracks that offer similar benefits, including one — Road Atlanta — in which NASCAR has an ownership stake. Road Atlanta is owned by the American Le Mans Series, which last month merged with the NASCAR-owned Grand-Am Road Racing Series.
Still, Scott said it’s worth making the effort.
“We just kind of got wind of it last week that Nationwide was looking, with the termination of the contract with Montreal, that they were considering running on (another) road course,” Scott said. “Mid-Ohio and other tracks apparently have been contacted, but we have been known to get aggressive and go after them ourselves, so that’s what we plan to do.”
NJMP has hosted several major racing series, including Grand-Am and AMA, in its five-year history. But Nationwide, NASCAR’s second-tier stock-car racing series, would be the highest-profile race ever for the park.
The track does have a history of hosting stock-car races as the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) has come to Millville the last five years.
“Certainly something of this level would be another opportunity to showcase the park,” Scott said. “So it would be great to have. I’m not sure how realistic it will come together, but we certainly want to put our name in the hat and be considered, and if it works out, that would be awesome.”
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