posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 08:07 PM
the Busch series will hold a race in Mexico City next year nascar has announced
NASCAR to bring Busch series to Mexico City
By JENNA FRYER, AP Sports Writer
August 4, 2004
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- NASCAR will stage its first points-paying event outside the United States in a half-century when the Busch series races next
year in Mexico City, The Associated Press has learned.
A NASCAR official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday the race is scheduled for next spring at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a
2.786-mile road course that currently hosts Champ Car events.
The series also will return after a three-year absence to the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The entire schedule for the Busch series is expected
to be released Thursday.
In going to Mexico City, NASCAR will continue its expansion into new markets. First-year chairman Brian France is trying to bring the top-tier Nextel
Cup series to the New York City market and has expressed interest in Mexico and Canada.
With 36 points races, the Nextel Cup schedule is considered full, so the junior-level Busch series was the logical choice to test a foreign market.
NASCAR officials visited the Mexico City track several times this year, furthering speculation they were close to a deal.
``We are looking hard at Mexico,'' France said last month. ``Mexico is in large measure the gateway to the Hispanic race fans. Mexico, for a lot of
reasons, is an important country, has to be important to us, more so than countries that are further away.''
France said at the time any deal to bring the Busch series to Mexico City would be a multiyear contract.
NASCAR has previously raced outside the United States, most recently staging non-points exhibitions in Japan. A forerunner of the Nextel Cup series
held points events in Canada in the 1950s, but the Busch series has not ventured beyond the borders.
The road race at Watkins Glen International is being added to the schedule to ease the financial burden Busch teams will face in having to build
special cars for road courses. It would be too costly for the teams to build road-course-specific cars just for Mexico City.
The Watkins Glen race is expected to be held in September, the same weekend the Indy Racing League will debut on the road course.