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NASCAR could possibly race internationally as early as 2024

NASCAR could start racing internationally as early as the 2024 season while interest in the sport is rapidly increasing over time.

Austin Konenski
NASCAR: Cup Practice
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR held its annual “State of the Sport” address on Friday, November 4 where a variety of different topics were discussed by both Steve Phelps and Steve O’Donnell.

However, one topic, in particular, stood out as it could be an indication of what is going to happen in the sport’s future.

NASCAR receiving interest to race outside of the United States

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Nov 6, 2022; Avondale, AZ, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) leads from Kyle Larson (5) as they exit turn 2 during the NASCAR Cup Series championship race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Alex Gould/The Republic Nascar Cup Series Championship

NASCAR currently holds 38 events across the Cup Series season with the most notable being the Daytona 500 which takes place at the beginning of each year. However, could another notable event join the list sometime soon?

Phelps discussed the possibility of the sport racing internationally last week.

“We certainly have nothing to announce here. Do we believe there’s interest north and south of the border specifically? Yeah, there’s interest. You talk about Chicago Street Course. Ben Kennedy and Steve O’Donnell, their phones are ringing from cities across the country that are like, We would love to host a NASCAR race at our city. We do have calls coming, as I said, north and south of the border.”

Steve Phelps on the sport receving interest outside of the U.S.

The confirmed interest of places outside of the United States of America wanting to host NASCAR events is a very major situation. It means the sport is growing as new territories want to see the racing exposure on their ground.

As stated above, every single race on the NASCAR calendar is currently held in the United States. The Truck Series most recently raced in Canada but that disappeared with the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the interest from north and south of the border is growing, could this scenario come to fruition for the 2024 season?

“Whether that happens in 2024 or not, I don’t know. What I do know is we’re going to have continued schedule variation in 2024.”

Steve Phelps on when the sport could race internationally

The sport has been bold with its schedule over the last few seasons and this will not change for the 2023 season. NASCAR will hold a street course event in Chicago, Illinois while North Wilkesboro Speedway returns for the All-Star Race.

However, as Phelps said, it is unknown whether an international event could return to the schedule for the 2024 season. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but as of now, there are no answers to that question.

Related: NASCAR looking to improve short tracks and road courses for 2023

NASCAR’s future is incredibly bright as the sport’s interest grows

Syndication: Arizona Republic and NASCAR
Nov 6, 2022; Avondale, AZ, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) and Joey Logano (22) run side-by-side across the start/finish line while being trailed by William Byron (24) during the NASCAR Cup Series championship race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Alex Gould/The Republic Nascar Cup Series Championship

NASCAR was bold to move the Busch Light Clash to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the 2022 season and it did not disappoint. It was an outstanding event that will even make its return for the 2023 season.

The sport has an incredibly bright future due to bold decisions like the Busch Light Clash. For years, barely any changes were made to the schedule but that mentality changed a few years ago.

Now, the Chicago Street Course will be the sport’s next big investment as it is promised to be like no other race in the sport’s history when it relates to the development and hospitality of the weekend.

The people in charge believe the best days of the sport are ahead of them and why should we doubt it? The people in charge are making bold decisions and truly working toward creating an even better environment.

The idea of returning to international venues is another step in the right direction. Significant interest in the sport has grown over time after years of struggling and wondering why this was not working.

Admittedly, the hype for NASCAR was starting to fade in previous years. The spark was not there as much but it has changed. The best days are 100% ahead and it is going to be incredible to see what happens next.