NASCAR CEO Phelps downplays talk of racing in Australia
By Kelly Crandall | RACER.com NASCAR correspondent
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said the August trip officials took to Australia was exploratory and downplayed the idea of racing there.
“It was really more of a sharing of ideas,” Phelps said of the visit. “So, I think much was made of that or more than actually was there.
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The delegation on the August visit included NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell along with John Probst, vice president of innovation and racing development. The two visited the series’ inaugural visit to Bend Motorsport Park and had a dialogue with individuals from the Supercars side.
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has been outspoken about NASCAR running exhibition races on the Gold Coast, telling Speedcafe.com that their series was “committed to having a more open and regular dialogue” with NASCAR.
During Sunday morning’s traditional season-ending State of the Sport address, Phelps was asked about Australia as well as the interest of taking NASCAR’s national series international.
“What that looks like in the future, I’m not sure,” said Phelps. “Are we open to exhibition races? I think we are open to exhibition races, and we’ll certainly work with our race teams to look at that. International is a very important area for us. We think its incredibly fertile ground for us as a sport.
“We’ve got successful series in Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Could I see other grassroots racing series around the world? I can. We’re on television in 185 markets in some form or fashion. It’s an important growth area for us.”
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