Nextel Cup Series in Mexico? Stay Tuned

In this article, Felix Sebates says it makes more sense for the Nextel Cup Series to race in Mexico than NY City. Team owner Felix Sabates predicts that an oval track will be built in Mexico over the next five years to attract the Nextel Cup Series the way the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course has attracted the Busch Series to Mexico City.

"There's some areas in Mexico, very wealthy areas in Mexico, with a huge population around it,'' Sabates said Saturday before qualifying for Sunday's Busch race. "I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see something there in the next four or five years.''

"We have to go international,'' Sabates said. "If we don't go international we're going to die. I shouldn't say die, but we're not going to grow. I beg to say that it may not be in my lifetime, but in a lot of young people like [driver] Reed Sorenson's lifetime, we'll be running in Europe.''

"You have the sponsors paying gazillions of dollars to run these venues,'' he said. "To put a track in New York is not going to generate anymore than it's already doing because the national television exposure will count anyway.

"If you put a track in New York City, it may improve your attendance a little bit, but it's not going to be like if you put a track in England or Germany. A lot of these companies want to be involved with the international crowd.''

Sabates said the support of Mexico millionaire Carlos Slim and his family is the X-factor, noting they helped get Sunday's purse to a Busch Series record $2.4 million.

"They're not in it for the money,'' Sabates said. "They want to do something for the country. They're very, very sincere. They don't make any money on this. They pour all the money back into this thing.

"They would have a bigger purse here if NASCAR would have let them.''

With that kind of financial support, Sabates said Nextel Cup can't help but come to Mexico.

"They're looking at it,'' he said. "Somewhere between the States and Mexico.''

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