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NASCAR expects two international Cup races, return to Southern California in 2025

The Cup Series could expand across the continent next year

NASCAR Busch Series: NAPA Auto Parts 200
Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

It seems more likely than not that the NASCAR Cup Series will feature races both in Canada and Mexico next season while also remaining in the coveted Southern California market in some capacity.

NASCAR came close to inking a deal to race in Montreal, Quebec at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this summer but just couldn’t get a deal across the figurative finish line before the deadline. Instead, that date went to NASCAR-owned Iowa Speedway, a inaugural event that series officials insist was always in the pipeline anyway.

The Truck Series previously raced at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, more commonly known as Mosport, in Bowmanville, Ontario. That could be an attractive option for series officials as well.

Meanwhile, NASCAR just completed a three-year run of hosting the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. That event became even more important this year because nearby two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana is being partially demolished with the sanctioning body planning to reconfigure it into a half-mile short track and selling off the remainder of its valuable property.

It’s expected that NASCAR will pursue taking the Clash to Mexico in 2025.

Without getting into specifics, NASCAR president Steve Phelps appeared on the Daytona 500 pre-race show on Monday and teased two international Cup Series races for next season.

“I have nothing to announce today, but I would be surprised next year from the 2025 schedule if we didn’t go north of the border and we didn’t go south of the border,” Phelps said.

He also anticipates the series remaining in Southern California in some capacity.

“The southern California market is extremely important to NASCAR, in fact, it’s the second most popular market we have right next to New York. Racing in southern California, we’re not gonna miss a year,” Phelps said. “And then I think the other piece too because we are committed there, where Auto Club Speedway is out in Fontana, we kept a 100-acre parcel, to build a track there.”

It’s extremely unlikely that the renovated Fontana will be ready for next season. The nearby half-mile short track in Irwindale isn’t likely to host such an event either.

Perhaps NASCAR could pursue a companion event with IndyCar on the Streets of Long Beach.

IndyCar: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There’s also Kern County Raceway, which doesn’t have the capacity, but does have room for temporary seating and the expanded footprint to hospitality.

Kevin Harvick is also a significant part of the leadership group at the track owned by longtime racing notable Tim Huddleston.

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter. 

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