SBJ/February 13-19, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Global RallyCross to hold 5 races at SMI tracks

Global RallyCross and Speedway Motorsports Inc. have reached an agreement that will see the series take five of its events to SMI-owned racetracks this year.

Global RallyCross grew out of the X Games and features action sports stars like Travis Pastrana and Brian Deegan racing each other in compact cars on tight courses that feature jumps and other obstacles. The nascent motorsports series will hold races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The Las Vegas race will be the only stand-alone event. The Charlotte, New Hampshire and Atlanta races will take place on the same day as NASCAR Nationwide Series races, and the Texas race will take place on the same weekend that the track hosts the Izod IndyCar Series.

Financial terms of the deal were not available. SMI will promote the events and pay a sanctioning fee.

“When we started this thing, we never dreamed we’d be running with the big boys,” said Brian Gale, Global RallyCross founder and president. “Getting in front of the NASCAR crowd brings our brand and youth culture to a new audience.”

The deal is the latest in a string of moves by a member of the NASCAR industry to tap into a sport with ties to the X Games. Michael Waltrip Racing last year partnered with Pastrana, and Joe Gibbs Racing hired supercross champion James “Bubba” Stewart. NASCAR and its stakeholders have been focused on appealing to young people in the last year, and the partnership with Global RallyCross offers SMI a new way to attract young fans.

Tentative plans call for Global RallyCross to put its paddock outside the SMI tracks and hold the races inside the facilities.

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