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NASCAR eyes Calgary and Montreal, NO! UPDATE #5 NASCAR announced its Craftsman Truck Series 2006 schedule yesterday and there are no Canadian dates.  That puts to rest proposals to bring any of the three top NASCAR series to Canada next season.  Nextel Cup and NASCAR Busch Series have already published their 2006 calendars and neither includes a race for Canada.  Although the possibility was low that NASCAR would bring its Nextel Cup series north, there were several times this past year when series bosses met with Canadian race promoters. 09/10/05 Dear AutoRacing1.com, Please remember that the man writing these Toronto Sun articles, (Dean McNulty), about NASCAR replacing Champ Car in Toronto and Montreal, writes pro-NASCAR/anti-Champ Car articles on a fairly regular basis. He used to write strictly NASCAR columns for The Sun while Dan Proudfoot covered everything else. Now that Proudfoot is no longer there, McNulty still gives huge preps for stock car racing and not much else. He has in fact even written articles before, (about IRL replacing Champ Car in Montreal), stating quotes from people that were not true. The proof was that just a couple days later he had to print another article about it in which the so called quoted people said they had not even talked to McNulty or The Toronto Sun. This so called "professional" will write whatever he feels suits him and NASCAR best, while totally belittling everyone else. Now, I'm not saying that these can't happen, but with Dean McNulty he always tries to make things sound worse for Champ Car than they really are. The sheer notion of 3400lbs stock cars running on the streets of Toronto is absolutely pathetic. If this were to actually happen, myself and many many others would not be watching or attending anymore. Every poll ever taken in Canada shows that Champ Car is still more popular than NASCAR for Canadians. Let's hope Champ Car keeps up their recent successes and stands their ground against NASCAR. Deke McTeer, Twin Lake, MI

09/09/05 This Toronto Sun article says, Molson Breweries has stepped up its efforts to land a NASCAR race -- likely a Craftsman Truck Series event -- in Canada as soon as next season. Three senior Molson Sports & Entertainment executives attended last night's CTS Cheerios/Betty Crocker 200 and have meetings set up today and tomorrow with NASCAR bosses to talk about expansion to Canada.

Steve Smith, Molson's director of operations, said that the sports promotion arm of the brewery giant is going full speed ahead in its efforts to land a major series stock car race.

"It's the worst kept secret in racing that we would like to partner up with NASCAR to promote a race in Canada," Smith said yesterday as he toured Richmond International Raceway's three-quarter-mile track.

Molson Sport & Entertainment president Jo-Ann McArthur has said that plans are already in the works for a CTS race in Calgary.

But news that McArthur is leaving her post at the end of this month, could change those plans.

There have been rumors in the advertising and promotion industry recently that Molson may be getting ready to end its long-time partnership with Champ Car at its two premier racing events -- the Toronto Molson Indy and the Molson Indy Montreal -- and replace them with NASCAR races.

08/30/05 This Edmonton Sun article has more on a possible NASCAR truck race in Calgary. 08/30/05   Molson Sports and Entertainment has become the newest Canadian player in the NASCAR-is-coming-to-Canada game. Molson -- which promotes the Molson Indy Toronto and was the primary sponsor of the Molson Indy Montreal yesterday -- has been in talks for some time with NASCAR officials about bringing a Craftsman Truck Series race to Calgary. Molson Entertainment boss Joann McArthur told the Toronto Sun yesterday that it's her business to be involved with entities such as NASCAR in order to explore any future partnerships that might arise. And that a CTS race for Calgary currently is on the table. "Our discussions with NASCAR (about racing in Calgary) are strictly at the preliminary stage," McArthur told the Sun.   "We are talking to them as a leading entertainment promoter in Canada and it's still very preliminary." They have, however, reached the stage where Molson was host this weekend to both NASCAR officials from Daytona Beach and city and provincial politicians from Alberta.

Asked about the nature of her discussions with the Alberta politicos, McArthur said it was more or less just a meet- and-greet opportunity for both groups.  "Again, it's just very preliminary," she said. "The lines of communications are being kept open."  It is known, though, that Molson would need local political backing to stage a CTS race in Calgary.

Molson has mapped out a potential track that would include the grandstands used for the annual Calgary Stampede.  Sources close to Molson said that the Stampede site easily could be turned into a temporary street course that could handle the 36-truck grid.  Toronto Sun

[Editor's Note:  While everyone was jumping to conclusions that NASCAR was at the Montreal Champ Car race to talk about a race in Montreal, it is quite possible they were simply there to discuss the Truck or Busch race in Calgary that we rumored back in July.  Or were they....read next paragraph]

NASCAR race in Canada most likely 2007:  NASCAR executives will be closely watching today's Indy-car Champ Car race over the Gilles Villeneuve Formula One road course in the heart of Montreal - because track promoter Normand Legault wants to bring NASCAR racing to the track as soon as possible. NASCAR officials point to 2007 as the most probable season to add Montreal, but they say 2006 remains a possibility, and that option could depend on today's race. The Champ Car series has one more year on its contract to run in Montreal, and the course is apparently available for only two race weekends each year, with the June Grand Prix the other. But Champ Car tour owners could sell or trade their 2006 Montreal date to NASCAR or the France family's International Speedway Corp. Winston Salem-Journal

07/29/05 Word here in San Jose is that Molson Entertainment is talking to NASCAR about a Truck race and possibly a Busch Series race in Calgary, Canada. In fact it is more than just talk. Recall that Champ Car chose Edmonton over Calgary, but that Calgary was a very viable option. Our Molson source tells us that Toronto and Montreal are open wheel towns and that NASCAR will sell better in Calgary. That same source tells us that NASCAR told them they would not bring the Nextel Cup series to Canada for 3 to 5 years. We assume ditto for Mexico as they are using their ladder series to prime the pump.
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