Race Weekend Central

Tracks Off the 2024 NASCAR Schedule — What’s Their Status?

After several seasons of NASCAR schedule releases that featured major surprises and shakeups in regard to the addition and removal of certain tracks, the 2024 schedules seem relatively status quo compared to those years.

Across all three of NASCAR’s premier series, very few tracks lost their spot on the schedule. With the exception of Iowa Speedway for the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series, no new tracks were added.

So what happened to the tracks that were removed?

Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt

Series hosted in 2023: Cup, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

After three years, Bristol will no longer run its spring race on dirt and will instead go back to the pavement.

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Low attendance for Bristol’s spring race compared to its summer race led NASCAR to add dirt to the half-mile track, in accordance with fans’ wishes for a dirt track on the schedule. The 2021 race was the first time the Cup Series raced on dirt since 1970. However, the race turned into a dust storm due to inadequate track maintenance (a complete reversal of the rain and mud that caused the Saturday Truck race to be postponed to just before the Sunday Cup race).

Even with more track maintenance in future years and even running at night, the attendance was still not where NASCAR or Bristol wanted it to be. Not to mention the cost of bringing truckloads of dirt in and out of the racetrack was likely more than what the track made for the single weekend the dirt would be on the track.

So NASCAR scrapped the dirt project at Bristol. For 2024, Bristol dirt will be replaced by … well, Bristol. The track will return to two concrete races. The spring race will continue to host the Cup and Truck series only.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Series hosted in 2023: Cup, Xfinity

Much like Bristol, dwindling attendance at the Brickyard 400 caused Indianapolis Motor Speedway to decide to move it to the infield road course for 2021. The move was met with praise from fans who were begging for a change to the race. The Xfinity Series had raced on the road course for an additional year, as in 2020, the series raced on the road course while the Cup Series raced on the oval.

The 2021 Cup race delivered, with the curb coming up and a race of attrition at the end resulted in AJ Allmendinger winning his second career Cup race. The 2022 race had just as chaotic of a finish as Ross Chastain took the access road and went from the back of the top 10 to fighting for the lead before being handed a time penalty for such maneuver.

However, attendance for the road course didn’t rise as much as NASCAR or IMS thought it would. The nail in the coffin was the 2023 Cup race that saw only one caution early in the event. Despite Michael McDowell’s dominating upset, fans were reversing course and wishing that the oval would return.

And return it will in 2024. Both the Cup and Xfinity series will return to the oval, while the Truck Series continues on at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in nearby Brownsburg, Ind.

Auto Club Speedway

Series hosted in 2023: Cup, Xfinity

In 2020, plans were announced to convert Auto Club Speedway into a short track and sell most of the land that the 2-mile speedway sat on. However, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed those plans back, as NASCAR and Auto Club both wanted to give fans one more show on the 2-mile oval.

It was really a shock to a lot of people in NASCAR, mainly the fans. The racing in recent years had been really good. The track had five lanes, allowing for great racing and particularly awesome restarts. Even as the Next Gen stumbled off the starting block with its introduction in 2022, Auto Club was one of the few tracks at which it raced really well.

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Yet following the 2023 races, the conversion was still to be seen through, and preliminary demolition had begun. Interestingly, despite removing the grandstands and other things surrounding the track, the racetrack itself wasn’t touched until after the International Olympic Committee announced the new sports that would debut at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

It was believed that motorsports was in consideration to be added, and the delay in tearing down Auto Club led people to believe that it would be the facility in which motorsports would compete if it was added.

However, once it was announced motorsports would not be added to the 2028 Olympics, track demolition officially began.

While NASCAR maintains its desire to convert the track into a short track, there is still some doubt as to whether or not that will actually happen.

The addition of Iowa to the schedule means that Iowa serves as the de facto replacement for Auto Club, as both the Cup and Xfinity series will compete there.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Series hosted in 2023: Truck

After hosting Xfinity Series from 2013-2021, and the Craftsman Truck Series in 2022 and 2023, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will not be a part of NASCAR in 2024.

Despite putting on some great racing, the Truck Series will not race in Lexington, Ohio, this year in favor of a second race at Martinsville Speedway.

Mid-Ohio’s omission from the schedule doesn’t seem to be as bleak as, say, Auto Club’s. Following its racing season, Mid-Ohio completed a full repave of the track.

Track President Craig Rust mentioned that Mid-Ohio hopes for NASCAR to return in the future, therefore leading to speculation that the repave is the sole reason NASCAR isn’t racing there in 2024.

The track will, however, continue to host the ARCA Menards Series in 2024, adding further hope to a NASCAR return in the future. ARCA had served as a support race to the Truck and Xfinity races since 2021.

About the author

Frontstretch.com

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. 

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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Old Fan

What about Road America? The Xfinity races were pretty good there.

Joshua Farmer

Let’s give NASCAR the benefit of the doubt and hope that Autoclub will be an ASPHALT half mile track in the future.

Cccolorado

They can drop that stupid Roval piece of crud anytime, just a boggered up mess from the start.

Charlie

They probably would like to do that, but it’s the environmental regulations and approvals that will choke them to death.

Charlie

That’s the best I’ve seen Fontanna look in 20 years. It was dumb to move the Southern 500 there by France “Jr.” I wouldn’t hold my breath on a short track being built. Enviornmental issues in that County. It was a great business decision to sell to a developer.
Texas should follow suit.

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