Sources: NASCAR Could Go West After Daytona With '20 Schedule
NASCAR is evaluating a possible change to the start of the ’20 season that would see the series go straight to its West Coast swing following the Daytona 500, a move that would shuffle Atlanta further back in the schedule, sources say. The sanctioning body is in the midst of planning next year’s schedule, and President Steve Phelps has said that he expects there to be some meaningful changes for ’20, though the series can’t drastically overhaul the slate until ’21. NASCAR has been going to Atlanta Motor Speedway after the season opener at Daytona for years, but the track has faced tough weather at times because of its late February date, which can lead to lower attendance. Going to the West Coast after Daytona would give NASCAR a better chance of having warmer weather both for that second race and for a later stop in Atlanta. Sources said the series is indeed now looking into the possibility of going to Las Vegas Motor Speedway after Daytona. SMI owns both AMS and LVMS, and the track operator is involved in schedule planning. NASCAR and SMI declined comment.
WEST WORLD: NASCAR’s current West Coast swing starts after Atlanta and features events in Vegas, Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway near L.A. It is not yet clear exactly where Atlanta would fall in the schedule if the move happens. NASCAR in ’16 struck five-year sanction agreements with its current crop of tracks, but the series still can shuffle dates. NASCAR is again expected to release the following year’s schedule in April-May.