NASCAR Will Consider All Ideas for Changes to Sport

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NASCAR is open to wholesale changes for 2020 that could include everything from doubleheaders, midweek races, a tightened schedule, shorter races, and even a potential shared event schedule with IndyCar.

Steve Phelps, named president of the sanctioning body last month, insisted NASCAR can weather its current decline and work out of its downturn. But it’s going to take changes that are being discussed among the sport’s stakeholders.

The first significant change comes next season with a rules package that NASCAR is adamant will dramatically improve the on-track product. The next big fix would be to the 2020 schedule.

“We’ve heard from our fan base that they would like to see more short-track racing, they want to see more road courses, they want to see less cookie-cutter tracks,” Phelps said Sunday. “We are looking with our broadcast partners and with our tracks and with our teams and drivers to get input on what each of them thinks would be an ideal schedule, and then we’re obviously doing fan research.

“Do I believe that everything is on the table? I do.”

Phelps held his first news conference as NASCAR president just hours before the championship-deciding season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Brian France had typically represented NASCAR at the annual event, but France took leave as chairman and CEO following his August arrest on drunk driving charges.

Jim France stepped in as interim chairman and CEO following his nephew’s arrest, but the word “interim” was dropped from his title shortly after the change. NASCAR also replaced Brent Dewar as president with Phelps, and the leadership group for the family owned business is clearly in transition.

“I can’t speak to if Brian is coming back or not,” Phelps said. “I do know that Jim France is our chairman and CEO. I do know that Jim France is incredibly involved in this sport, at the racetrack, off the racetrack. I can assure you that Jim France is talking to a lot of people. He’s talking to Roger Penske and he’s talking to Jack Roush and he’s talking to racetrack owners. He’s talking to drivers. He’s talking to sponsors.

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