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Volume 26 No. 139
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NASCAR Not Planning To Alter '21 Schedule To Avoid NFL Season

NASCAR President Steve Phelps has rebuffed rumors that the '21 Monster Energy Cup Series schedule would be pulled back to avoid overlapping with the NFL. Phelps said, "It’s a notion that a lot of folks have talked about. I don't see that happening. If you look at the direction that we went in 2020 for the schedule, by and large the fan base and the stakeholders were thrilled with the direction that we went." Phelps, appearing on FS1 yesterday, said the '21 schedule would be announced around the beginning of April next year like normal and assured that NASCAR is "going to make the changes that we believe are going to create the best racing out there."

Phelps also addressed several other issues facing NASCAR at the moment:

  • On growing NASCAR's fanbase: "We need to continue to engage our current fans and have them do more with us, and we need to get younger and more diverse with our fan base, but not at the expense of the other."
  • On race attendance: “I look at it in two pieces. One is, what can we do to work with our racetracks to put more butts in seats? The other component has to do with capacity. I believe we have facilities that are too large and most of that has to do with the capacity of the facility, not the fact that there are not a lot of race fans there.”
  • On creating the next generation of superstars: "The crop of drivers that we have, arguably it’s the best crop of young drivers that we’ve had in two decades. We have the good fortune to help develop their personalities, help put them out front through different content things that they’re doing or that we’re doing with them that really shows their personality, that shows they’re up on the wheel, and when Sundays come, they actually prove it" (“NASCAR Race Hub,” FS1, 7/30).