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Volume 23 No. 18
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NASCAR is weighing some midweek dates

NASCAR is studying the possibility of midweek races, one of 15 to 20 initiatives the sanctioning body is evaluating with industry stakeholders.

NASCAR has said it is studying initiatives to improve the race-day experience and determine the look and feel of the sport’s future. Brent Dewar, NASCAR’s chief operating officer, has said the initiatives range from some that could be carried out in a few months to others that would require several years. Other ideas that have become public include one to reduce the size of pit crews — a measure that was ultimately rejected — and another to reduce some race weekends from three days to two.

Like the two-day race weekend measure, the midweek race idea is still being studied. Supporters say midweek races would diversify the schedule and potentially get the sport away from hypercompetitive weekend television windows. It’s unclear whether the proposal is part of an effort to shorten the season.

Jon Miller, NBC Sports’ president of programming, said midweek races are among several things the network is reviewing with NASCAR. Outside of rare events, NASCAR typically holds races across its series on weekends.

“They’re always looking to figure out the best way to do the season,” Miller said. “We’re having conversations with them about possible midweek racing. We like the idea of road racing and think it’s pretty exciting. So we’re working with them on those fronts.”

Miller added “that’s what’s great about dealing” with NASCAR, adding: “We can sit in a room, throw out some ideas and have them take them back and consider that inside their walls.”

NASCAR did not comment by press time.

A source said a move to allow midweek racing, if approved, couldn’t go into effect until 2018, since the race times for 2017 are already locked in. Races under consideration to be held during the middle of the week were not known.