SBD/October 8, 2012/Events and Attractions

Montreal Nationwide Race Promoter Pulls Out; NASCAR Seeks Canadian Replacement

NASCAR is leaving Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but might return to Canada in '14
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, according to Dean McNulty of the TORONTO SUN. 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, 10/6). In Montreal, Dave Stubbs wrote 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, 10/5). 
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