DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – While NASCAR reaches the middle of the 2019 season at Daytona International Speedway, the focus of the sport is on the upcoming seasons.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps raised many of these issues in a meeting with reporters this weekend.
# Phelps said he did not expect races to be dropped from the 2021 schedule.
# Phelps said the sport continues to look at the shortening of races, but found that there must be a balance in race lengths.
# Phelps said it was a fair statement that there would not be a new manufacturer by 2022.
Related to the number of races scheduled for 2021 The timetable, which is expected to be announced around April 1, Phelps said: "In my current understanding, we will not reduce the number of races in 2021. I would say again that it is on the table, but part of it must be done with our broadcast partners. I would suggest that you want more NASCAR content and more NASCAR races as this will affect the ratings. Do I think we have a reduction in the number of races? I would say that this is unlikely in 2021.
Regarding the shortening of races, Phelps said: "We shortened some races. Is it something we are looking at? Yes, we'll look at that. We balance the length of the races. There are many fans who say, "I'm fine with the length of the race." There are other fans who say, "You know, I wish they were a bit shorter." We try to find the sweet spot. But it's something we pay attention to and what we test.
Commenting on the rollout for the Gen 7 car, Phelps said, "I'd say we're on the way to launching a new chassis and body style in 2021. When this engine follows is a question. There are people in the industry who would say, "Hey, why do not you just imagine a car?" Are we well on the way to having a body and chassis in 2021, which we currently call Gen 7? The answer is yes. Do I think we will meet this deadline and keep it? I think it's likely that we will do that. We have a lot of stakeholders in this garage who have to make sure they feel as good as we do, where the car is and when it should be presented. If I had to guess if it would be 2021 then I would advise it.
Phelps was asked if a new car and engine would come if there was no chance for a new manufacturer before 2022 to make a fair statement. "