NASCAR: ‘Major’ 2024 schedule change to be confirmed

Iowa Speedway, NASCAR (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Iowa Speedway, NASCAR (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /

Iowa Speedway is rumored to be the replacement for the Auto Club Speedway on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, with an announcement expected on Tuesday.

Iowa Speedway is one of the handful of tracks at which many NASCAR drivers and fans have long hoped to see the Cup Series race, and now they may get that chance.

The 2024 schedule is expected to be finalized on Wednesday, and while quite a few races and race dates have already been confirmed, there is still quite a bit up in the air.

Given what we already know, including the two-week summer break due to NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in Paris, France and the removal of Auto Club Speedway from the schedule as it undergoes a transition to become a short track, some sort of change is inevitable.

According to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds has called a news conference for Tuesday morning to discuss a “new major sports event” for next year. It is believed that this new event will be the inaugural Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway.

As Pockrass mentioned, it was rumored that the Cup Series could look to go international with a street course race in Montreal at Canadian Grand Prix venue Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but that likely will not come to fruition in 2024.

Iowa Speedway, which opened in 2006, has never hosted a NASCAR Cup Series race.

The four-turn, 0.894-mile (1.439-kilomeer) Newton, Iowa oval has, however, hosted 20 Xfinity Series and 13 Truck Series races. No such races have been contested since 2019, as it was removed from the calendar in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19-related changes to the schedule.

The track hosted Xfinity Series races from 2009 to 2019, with two per year from 2011 to 2019, and it hosted Truck Series races during the same span, with two per year in 2012 and 2013.

Despite its removal from NASCAR national series schedules, it has continued to host ARCA Menards Series races, having missed only the 2014 season from 2006 to 2023.

Among confirmed full-time Cup Series drivers for next year, 19 have won at least one race at the track.

IndyCar has also raced on the oval every year from 2007 to 2023, minus 2021. When it returned to the schedule in 2022, it hosted a doubleheader, just as it did in 2020 as a result of other races being removed from the schedule. It hosted a doubleheader again in 2023 and is set to do so again in 2024.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

There are expected to be a number of other changes to the Cup Series schedule from 2023 to 2024, but Iowa is expected to be the only new track. Other changes largely revolve around race dates, so don’t make any plans quite yet.