Possible NASCAR road course additions: No. 3 – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
In the months leading up to the release of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, there were many rumors regarding the potential addition of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to the Cup Series schedule as the replacement for Auto Club Speedway.
A deal between the sport and the Montreal venue ultimately couldn’t be reached, and NASCAR instead added Iowa Speedway to the schedule to serve as Auto Club’s replacement. However, it is entirely possible that negotiations will resume and Montreal could find itself with its first ever Cup Series event in 2025.
In recent years, NASCAR has not been quiet about its push to add international races to the Cup Series Schedule. And as things stand, Montreal remains one of the top candidates for hosting such an event.
From 2007 to 2012, the Xfinity Series raced at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and the events often generated very strong interest, despite the fact that the Xfinity Series is a minor league series. Additionally, the track often put on an entertaining racing product which produced several surprise winners, including Boris Said and Ron Fellows.
Coupled with the growing trend of international drivers making starts in Cup Series road course races, the opportunity exists for several international drivers — perhaps some Canadians — to make appearances in Montreal.
Although international races can be a challenge for race teams from a logistical standpoint, an event in Montreal would be among the easiest, thanks to its relatively short distance from the Charlotte, North Carolina home base of most teams.
It is becoming more and more evident that it is just a matter of time before an international race is added to the Cup Series schedule, and while there are many options from which NASCAR can choose, it’s still a safe bet that Montreal remains at the top of the list, despite the failed negotiations this past summer.
Road course racing has been an essential part of NASCAR for decades, and thanks to NASCAR’s recent push to spice up the schedule, several new courses have recently found themselves on the Cup Series schedule. It should be expected that NASCAR will continue to add more in the coming years.