NASCAR drops Montreal stop for 2013

UPDATE #3 NASCAR "left town as loudly as a car coasting out of gas, the race promoter surrendering his rights to an event when it became clear to him that he'd forever take a financial bath on it." NASCAR Senior VP/Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell said, "I can tell you it's a bit of a surprise to us. We certainly feel like we've had a great run in Montreal and anticipated being back next year, if not many years beyond that. That was our intention." Montreal Gazette

10/09/12 The NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA 200 at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve "is dead in the wake of failed negotiations" for a Sprint Cup race at the venue by race promoter Octane Group, who also dropped the Edmonton IndyCar race. NASCAR's announcement on Friday that it would not return "comes on the heels of one of Octane’s subsidiaries filing for bankruptcy protection late last month, leaving dozens of creditors across Canada on the hook for more than [C]$5 million."

Octane Motorsports President & CEO Francois Dumontier Friday in a release "blamed NASCAR for the race’s demise, saying that his company had lost money on the NNS race in the past two seasons and could only continue with the promise of a Cup race down the road."

The Nationwide event "annually drew about 60,000 to the Ile de Notre Dame road course." Meanwhile, NASCAR "will be looking to keep its Canadian fans happy and that is good news for Toronto’s Canadian Tire Motorsports Park." NASCAR Senior Dir of Communications for Competition Kerry Tharp said that the series was "very much hopeful it could find another venue" for a Nationwide event in '14. Tharp: "I don't think it will be long before we are back in Canada." Toronto Sun

10/07/12 A reader writes, Dear, Hello I just read on your web site that the Nationwide race in Montreal for 2013 has been cancelled, I know just the place that NASCAR could replace that race on the schedule and that track is Canadian Tire Motorsport Track formerly known as Mosport. In case you have not noticed the facility has gone through major upgrades and the track itself is one of the 10 best tracks in all of North America, and is only 40 mins from Toronto Ontario Canada which has population the same size as Montreal, and it would be a much better race than that Mickey Mouse circuit in Montreal in my opinion, so come on NASCAR and do the right thing and give Mosport the race. Bert Walsh, Kingston Ontario, Canada

With Edmonton gone, now it's time for IndyCar to return to Montreal

10/06/12 NASCAR's Montreal stop, an August staple for the Nationwide tour, will be dropped from the 2013 tour, because of disagreements between promoter Francois Dumontier and NASCAR's Brian France.

Dumontier has been insisting on a Sprint Cup race at his city-center Formula One road course, demanding a promise of a Cup race eventually.

However NASCAR has expressed little interest in that.

What exactly happened behind the scenes isn't clear. France was at the Montreal F1 event in June. The track is allowed by the city to run two motorsports events each season.

The Montreal course may not be that well laid out for stock cars, however the Nationwide tour put on some classic shows there. And NASCAR felt things were well in place for a 2013 return.

However Dumontier has insisted on a Cup event….which might seem a no-brainer for NASCAR, considering the picturesque track is in the heart of a the city of four million, a highly attractive market, with a classy international flavor.

Considering some of the tracks on the Cup tour currently, in less than major markets, giving up Montreal might appear a bad business decision by NASCAR.

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