High Limit Racing, founded and owned by NASCAR champion Kyle Larson and five-time World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet, is expanding in 2024. The formerly named High Limit Sprint Car Series is adding events and increasing driver payouts while broadening its partnership with FloSports. The midweek race series will evolve into a 50-plus race night schedule across the country and increase driver payouts to more than $5 million.
To support the series, High Limit Racing entered a multi-year media agreement with FloSports, which has taken a minority equity stake in the new venture and will continue to stream live race events while also producing original content on FloRacing, its Motorsports vertical.
“Brad (Sweet) and I literally grew up in this sport and our passion for sprint car racing runs deep,” said Larson. “The 2023 High Limit season went well, but we saw room for growth and more opportunities that were out there to make this division of racing stronger. Not only are we going to continue to run tight, highly entertaining races for the fans, but we’re going to do it while raising purses and making the sport more financially viable for drivers and teams. On top of that, the partnership with FloSports will bring more eyeballs to our events and grow the sport overall. I can’t think of a much better situation for all involved.”
The new season of High Limit Racing will reward drivers with bigger payouts and unprecedented flexibility with no restrictions on the amount of non-High Limit races they can compete in. The series also will set dedicated “off-weekends” to allow teams to continue to participate in sprint car racing’s crown jewel events.
High Limit Racing will award a point fund of $1 million with the champion team and driver winning $250,000. Similar to its 2023 season, High Limit Racing will have a Midweek Money Series within the national tour awarding a separate $100,000 total point fund.
Sweet will compete in every event and pursue his first High Limit Racing championship with the Kasey Kahne Racing NAPA No. 49 team. Larson, crowned the midweek series champion earlier this month, will continue to compete in select events while also pursuing a NASCAR Cup Series championship and an Indianapolis 500 victory in 2024.
“We’re working on a diverse and efficient schedule that will maximize the travel time for our teams,” Sweet said. “With increased purses and the availability for teams to also compete in the sport’s crown jewels that may not be High Limit-sanctioned, High Limit drivers and teams have the highest revenue opportunity in sprint car history, barring The Million in 2023. We’re proud of that and see it as a launching pad for the future of sprint car racing.
“The support of Kasey (Kahne), NAPA, and everyone at Kasey Kahne Racing means a lot to me,” Sweet continued. “We’ve accomplished a lot together and now we’ll go on a new adventure and try to add a High Limit championship to our resume. They’re taking this jump with me and that shows how strong and committed this team is.”
FloSports will support the partnership with original content developed and distributed across FloRacing. The content mix will include both short-form social programming and more in-depth spotlights on the drivers and the key storylines developing throughout the season. Over the course of an 11-race season, High Limit content generated more than 8.5 million views this year with FloRacing motorsports coverage earning more than 142 million views across all branded platforms.
“FloRacing is the go-to destination for motorsports fans delivering premium event coverage and original content to viewers across the globe. The expansion of High Limit Racing and our investment in it reinforces our commitment to the growth of motorsports and delivering it authentically to audiences everywhere,” said Mark Floreani, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FloSports.
To subscribe to FloRacing and gain access to all High Limit Racing events, archived races and content, including the High Limit Room podcast with Larson and Sweet, click here: https://flosports.link/highlimitracing.
The High Limit Racing national tour will kick off 2024 at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Fla. in February and celebrate its inaugural season championship at The Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway in October.
Former All-Star Circuit of Champions events including, but not limited to, the Bob Weikert Memorial and Tuscarora 50 events at Port Royal (Penn.) Speedway, the Dean Knittel Memorial at Portsmouth (Ohio) Speedway, and the annual Rayce Rudeen Foundation race will also be on the schedule in 2024.
The prestigious Eldora Speedway will host High Limit Racing twice with a two-day midweek event in July and a return appearance in September for the 4-Crown Nationals. Eagle (Neb.) Raceway will return with the biggest Midweek Money Series purse at the Eagle Nationals.
High Limit Racing will also have two events in conjunction with NASCAR, one at Texas Motor Speedway in April, and another at Lakeside Speedway, roughly eight miles from Kansas Speedway, in May.
The series will make its West Coast debut in 2024, with events including the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., and the Skagit Nationals at Skagit Speedway in Burlington, Wash.
The full 2024 High Limit Racing season schedule and information on the “High Rollers” team roster is forthcoming. Official sponsors for High Limit Racing will also be announced at a later date. Follow High Limit on X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on all upcoming announcements.
About High Limit Racing
Founded by NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson and five-time World of Outlaws series champion Brad Sweet, High Limit Racing is a premier sprint car series in the United States. High Limit Racing’s mission is to improve the sprint car ecosystem and create growth opportunities for drivers, teams, and tracks, all while providing highly entertaining, time-efficient events. High Limit Racing events will be streamed on FloRacing. For more information, visit highlimitracing.com.
USAC racing legends Steve Lewis and Chuck Gurney have been named co-grand marshals of the 82nd running of the ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix at California’s Ventura Raceway on Saturday night, November 25.
Lewis, of Laguna Beach, Calif., was one of USAC’s most proficient car owners, capturing six Turkey Night victories with drivers Stan Fox (1990-91), Jason Leffler (1999), Tony Stewart (2000), Bobby East (2004) and Dave Darland (2007).
Nearly every major name driver competed in his legendary “Nine Cars” during his tenure with USAC, racking up 133 National victories. His triumphs include basically every major race in America as well as 10 USAC National entrant titles with drivers Stevie Reeves, Tony Stewart, Kenny Irwin Jr., Jason Leffler, Kasey Kahne, Dave Darland, J.J. Yeley, and Bobby East.
The founder of the sport’s highly acclaimed Performance Racing Industry trade show, Lewis set new standards for excellence in the sport. As a race promoter, he organized lucrative race events at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Orlando, Fla. which offered a $50,000 bonus for any driver who could claim double victories in either.
In 2004, Lewis was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, and in 2006, he was inducted into the Belleville High Banks Hall of Fame in Kansas. He also earned USAC’s coveted Roger McCluskey Award of Excellence in 2009 and was inducted into the USAC Hall of Fame in 2017.
Gurney, of Livermore, Calif, was a stellar performer across the board, and in 1988-89, he was victorious in consecutive years at the Turkey Night Grand Prix wins at Gardena, California’s Ascot Park for car owner Larry Howard.
In USAC’s Silver Crown wars, Gurney earned 14 victories and the 1989 series championship. He scored a phenomenal seven victories in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, plus three wins in the Ted Horn 100 at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds and added 1982 and 1983 Hoosier Hundred victories at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Furthermore, Gurney captured five USAC National Sprint Car wins and his victories in the Midgets include three wins in the Copper World Classic at Arizona’s Phoenix International Raceway in addition to the 1989 running of the Belleville (Kans.) Midget Nationals.
Gurney, the 1983 NARC Sprint Car King and the 1985 USAC National Supermodified titlist has been honored five times by the Motorsports Press Association as its open wheel Driver of the Year, and in 2017, was named to the USAC Hall of Fame. Just recently, Gurney was announced as an inductee to the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, class of 2023.
Agajanian Promotions presents the 2023 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway, which begins on Friday, November 24, with USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship practice, plus USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Car hot laps, qualifying heat races, and the main event. Grandstands open at 3 pm Pacific.
On Saturday, November 25, the Turkey Night Grand Prix final night consists of midget hot laps, qualifying, last chance qualifiers, semis, and the 98-lap feature, plus sprint car semis and main events. Grandstands open at 3 pm Pacific.
Advance tickets, priced from $22-45, can be purchased at www.venturaraceway.com. Additional information is available at 805-648-7223.
BD Motorsports Media LLC will return to promote Utica-Rome Speedway in 2024 and beyond. Racing will take place on Friday nights with Modifieds, Crate 602 Sportsman, Limited Sportsman, Pro Stock and Four Cylinders weekly. The inner oval will again be utilized for bi-weekly Friday night Allstar and Junior Slingshot racing. Special events will be added throughout the season.
Additionally, there will be selected Wednesday night go-kart and Slingshot programs during the summer months on the inner oval.
“We are looking forward to continuing the growth from the past three years,” BD Motorsports Media LLC owner Brett Deyo said. “Utica-Rome Speedway has attracted some of the most talented fields and produced some of the best racing in the Northeast on Friday nights.
“We are proud to carry on the history and tradition of Utica-Rome into the future.”
No significant rule changes are expected for 2024. Modified, Crate 602 Sportsman, and Limited Sportsman will remain on the following American Racer compounds: 48 (right-rear), 44 (left-rear), 38 (right-front), and any American Racer tire (left-front). Pro Stocks will compete on American Racer 50 compound tires exclusively after an early-season burn-off of existing inventory.
Open practice is tentatively scheduled for April 12 with a Season Opener date of April 19. Keep posted for further schedule announcements.
BD Motorsports Media LLC has promoted the Route 5 half-mile oval since the ’21 campaign.
Information regarding point fund distribution from the 2023 season will be distributed in the coming weeks.
Utica-Rome Motocross rejuvenated this season and will continue to operate in ’24.
Even when he was a driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr had drawn the plans for his post-retirement life. Launching Dirty Mo Media in 2013, he has expanded the company into one of the most followed entertainment mediums in the sport. The simple beginnings started with the weekly podcast titled Dale Jr. Download, which has now become one of the top motorsport podcasts in America. Continuing to expand the boundaries of the company with deals outside and inside NASCAR, Junior created a strong and stable product for NASCAR fans.
Unfortunately, his successful journey in media has now hit a snag that threatens to earn him the wrath of fans. In a recent outcome of opinions, fans gathered to express their displeasure with the path that Junior was taking his company.
Dirty Mo Media’s wheels set off rolling a decade back with the combined efforts of Dale Jr and Mike Davis, his long-term friend, and JR Motorsports’ communication director. Davis serves as the president of the outfit and as a co-host on the Dale Jr. Download podcast. Up until 2022, Dirty Mo Media had just four shows including The Dale Jr. Download and Door Bumper Clear. However, their partnership with leading podcast studio Cadence13 last year brought forth a broader expansion and vision.
Junior had said in the wake of the partnership, “The first big step was putting Mike in a position so that he could execute his vision, make important hires, and begin building new shows that he and I want to make.” While the new dimension of Dirty Mo Media brought to the table a host of interesting initiatives like the Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin, it has also received a lot of flak in regards to the increased advertisements that it casts.
“Does anyone else wish DJD would go back to the old format?
Old format meaning, one weekly show with an in-depth guest interview. The episodes with Jeremy Mayfield and Greg Biffle were fascinating. I just feel like the episodes this season are all of over the place…a lot of Mickey Mouse content.”
Considering that Cadence13 is a company that specializes in creating and “monetizing” audio content, the ads make sense from a business perspective. But little does that appeal to the massive fanbase of Dale Jr’s programs.
Reddit fans demand that Junior’s show goes back to its old self
Dirty Mo Media is just one of the several businesses that Junior owns and his sister, Kelley Miller runs. Interestingly, the company is funded entirely by the Earnhardt-Davis partnership and doesn’t appear to be planning to raise capital from other sources. With a greater vision in their minds, the duo could possibly push into major TV production in the future. But that will be possible only in the event that Junior acts on the complaints of his members.
Expressing their annoyance at the sponsorships that Davis reads out very often in the middle of podcasts, a fan wrote, “Honestly sick of the ad reads that Mike needs to make a conversation out of.” Another listener observed the effect of Cadence13 and said, “Denny’s show too. They have really monetized the Dirty Mo shows lately.” In Junior’s Corner, he has created one of the most listened-to podcasts in NASCAR. But all the good work that he did over the decade faces the risk of being torn down. Detailing the inconvenience that the advertisements cause, a fan wrote,
“This! When I put a podcast on I’m usually doing work around the house. I want to be able to push play and listen. Having to stop what I’m doing once every 10 minutes to skip 6 minutes of ads has made this season nearly impossible to listen to. Same for DBC.”
With more comments pouring in along the lines of “Dirty Mo Ad Service”, one follower saw the brighter side of things. He replied, “This year feels like an experiment. It has its pros and cons as to be expected. They’ll regroup and tweak some things.” Hopefully, the fan’s optimism turns out to be a reality.
Though the prolonged and frequent advertisements are matters that can be resolved in a gist, more worrying is the opinion that the shows have gone down in quality. With a fan writing, “Don’t get me wrong I love Jr, but having 2-3+ shows a week with little to no substance gets very boring after a while.”, the actions needed from Dale Jr were pretty much put in the clear. Hopefully, the Dirty Mo Media team will get on the problems of listeners sooner rather than later and retain its goodwill.
Jeff Gordon: Teams Must Create Stronger Connections with Race Fans
At Racers Forum, Jeff Gordon explained that he would like NASCAR teams to be able to rally fanbases regardless of who is driving for the teams much like how fans in other sports rally around their favorite team regardless of who the players are. Brad Keselowski and Heather Gibbs also weighed in on the subject.
Be honest. If you're a die-hard New England Patriots fan, did you follow Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or did you stay loyal to your lifelong team?
While there are certainly always some outliers, the vast majority of New England Patriots fans stayed fans of their favorite National Football League franchise. In the world of stick and ball sports, this is the norm.
While the players constantly change, fans stick with their team.
Tuesday at Racers Forum, Jeff Gordon says he would like to see race teams invest more in their individual brands in an effort to create their own loyal fanbases that stick with their team regardless of which drivers are behind the wheel.
"Joey Logano I heard say this the other day and it kind of hit me, and I was like, 'I love this.' In all other sports, the teams are kind of what the fans are all drawn to. I'm a [San Francisco] 49ers fan, and no matter who the players are, I'm going to like the players on that team," Gordon explained.
Gordon feels if the race teams can connect with the fanbase directly that it will help not only the teams, but the sport as a whole if a massive wave of popular drivers all decide to retire around the same time, like what happened in the late 2010s.
"Joe Montana, of course, was one of my heroes, and I loved him because he was a 49er. When he left the 49ers and went to the Kansas City Chiefs, I was like, 'eh, who's the new quarterback?' I think we have a role as race teams to build our brand up, maybe not as much as the star power of the driver, but in a way where drivers -- and we've seen this recently with Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jr., and myself, several big drivers that have huge fan followings stepped away from the sport, and I think it had a big impact on the sport. Because the fans seem to not have a connection to the team as strongly as they did to the driver," Gordon stated.
When you've seen how things run in every other sport, the thought of race fans rallying around their favorite race teams just makes too much sense. It's almost strange that the drivers have outweighed the teams over the years in the eyes of the fans.
Gordon did clarify that he doesn't want to minimize driver star power, as he still feels that ultimately they are the stars of the show. The four-time NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning driver and current Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports explained that he simply doesn't want fans to stop following the sport when their favorite driver hangs up their helmet.
Heather Gibbs, co-owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, believes the answer to building fan bases around specific race teams in the sport lies in showcasing the full team to the race fans. And her team has certainly been practicing what she preaches.
Joe Gibbs Racing has done a phenomenal job of showing off its talented rosters of pit crews in recent years through social media video features, and the team is among the first in the sport that have publicly announced contract extensions for its pit crew members.
"I would say for me, especially having the youngest driver in the field, who doesn't necessarily want all of the attention, that you've got so many other players on the field," Gibbs explained. "I think the personality of our pit crews has really taken off. There's so much diversity, they come from so many different backgrounds. Most of them didn't grow up saying, 'I want to change tires for a living.' Some of these guys don't know anything about NASCAR, they're phenomenal athletes. I love their storyline. I think they're so much fun and can draw in a whole different audience and maybe take some of the pressure off."
Gibbs' take is a unique angle and one that makes a lot of sense as the pit crew is integral to whether a team wins or loses on Sundays. And as she said, it could help alleviate the pressure of needing to rely on driver star power to build a team's fanbase.
Brad Keselowski, driver and owner of RFK Racing, says that the investment in building driver star power was once an initiative of primary sponsorship partners. Nowadays, that burden rests more and more on the shoulders of the race teams, and with how the sport is currently laid out it has become a massive gamble for teams to invest heavily in building a specific driver's brand.
"Right now, there isn't a really good ROI (return on investment) for the teams to invest -- it takes a long time to invest in driver star power unless you have some inherent -- you think of Chase Elliott who had the ability to build off of a name and brand, but most drivers don't," Keselowski said. "That takes a significant investment from someone.
"In years past, that used to be the partners. I look at a guy like Rusty Wallace, and you look at the Miller Beer company and what they did for him to build his brand. That was a big investment over a lot of years. Same with Jeff [Gordon] and DuPont. He certainly earned it with wins to go with it, and those two connect into something very powerful. I think our partners are less willing to do that than they were in years past, so that really puts the burden on the team to do so. And I think that's a huge burden for them, and to that point, if a driver leaves, it's a big loss in that investment, which is not great. And they don't get anything long-lasting value out of it."
Keselowski's point is a great one. Look at the recent example of Tyler Reddick and Richard Childress Racing. RCR invested in Reddick when no other teams would give him an opportunity. The team gave him a championship-winning opportunity in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and then made the decision to move the driver to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time.
After a couple of seasons of knocking on the door, Reddick exploded for three wins during the 2022 season. Reddick was then lured away from RCR and joined 23XI Racing in 2023. Keselowski says if you invest a ton of capital into building a driver's brand, and then they choose to leave, it's a tough situation.
"If that driver leaves and goes to another team, that's just a complete loss," Keselowski explained. "That's my way of saying that we're not fully aligned, at this time as a sport to fully capitalize on driver star power. And because we're not aligned that creates a lack of really true incentives and we're not getting enough movement there. But I think it's really important that we create some kind of system that connects all of this."
What's more important to the long-term health of the sport -- driver star power or building the brands of the race teams?
Disney+ UK is set to launch a new Disney+ Original unscripted documentary series “Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story,” a tale of success against adversity for the fledgling Formula 1 team in 2009. The series will premiere on Disney+ in the UK and Hulu in the United States on November 15.
The series stars Keanu Reeves (“John Wick” and “The Matrix”) as host and executive producer, in addition to Formula 1 legends Ross Brawn, Jenson Button, Nick Fry, Rubens Barrichello, and Christian Horner. The unscripted documentary series hosted by Reeves tells the story of how Ross Brawn made the impossible happen in 2009. His understaffed, underfinanced, and independent team won the world championship taking on the biggest titans of the industry — all after purchasing the team for just £1.
An article by Jon Ourand of the Sports Business Journal Monday (Oct. 16) gave an update this week, making clear a deal that was initially expected by late summer now has “no timetable” for being announced anytime soon.
At this point, only the NASCAR Xfinity Series is set going forward; their races will move to CW-affiliated networks beginning in 2025 at a cost of $115 million per year. It’s the first time the NXS has been split into its own, separate TV rights contract since the sport’s first blockbuster deal in 2001.
Why is this lag time happening? I’m going to give some perspective while laying all my biases out on the table. Keep in mind I’ve worked in sports television production my entire career, including many NASCAR races with some of the major players in the industry.
Let’s start with the facts. NASCAR has had three major TV contracts since “nationalizing” all their races through linear networks beginning in 2001. Based on when these contracts were signed, things are not as far behind as you might think.
NASCAR TV Deal Networks Involved Date Announced
2001-06 FOX, FX, NBC, TNT Nov. 11, 1999
2007-14 FOX, TNT, ESPN/ABC Dec. 7, 2005
2015-24 FOX, FS1, NBC, NBCSN (now USA) July 23, 2013 (NBC)
Aug. 1, 2013 (FOX)
Based on that history, it’s not unprecedented for the next big Cup Series TV deal to be announced shortly after the Championship 4 event at Phoenix Raceway. I also think it’s reasonable to expect an eight-year contract, keeping Cup and Trucks in line with the NXS deal signed above.
It’s important to note FOX and NBC have remained consistent frontrunners throughout the duration of the negotiating process. They’ve covered the sport (in FOX’s case) for 20-something years and know what they’re getting into here. There are no surprises.
So why is the deal not done? People are basing their concerns on expectations raised that this contract would already be completed. And it does seem NASCAR’s been caught flat-footed a bit after flouting some initial confidence.
From off-the-record conversations these past few months, I’d be shocked if FOX is the problem. The first half of the NASCAR schedule fits its sports calendar like a glove, couched neatly after NFL, college football, and (most) of its college basketball coverage. The network recently hired Kevin Harvick to fill an open booth analyst position for 2024 and seems to have an heir-in-waiting at play-by-play (Adam Alexander) if 74-year-old Mike Joy decides to hang it up heading into the next version of the contract.
Unlike NBC, FOX also has programming hours to fill with its 24-hour sports channels, FOX Sports 1 and 2. Even with streaming cutting viewership, it’s remained plenty capable of supporting big games like the MLB playoffs, FBS college football, and more.
I think what to watch for at FOX is how many Cup races they’ll get. That number has varied through the years, from 13 to nearly half the schedule. Currently, it does the first 16, plus two exhibitions (Clash at the Coliseum and the All-Star Race) before NBC takes over for the final 20.
It feels like Fox could take or leave any of the races after the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend. Sure, the wineries of Napa Valley are the perfect way to celebrate their season-ender at Sonoma Raceway in June. But those races are typically some of the lowest rated all season; it wouldn’t surprise me if they were carved out as part of the six-race package NASCAR is reportedly shopping to a third network.
The other question is whether FOX will continue on with the Truck Series. NASCAR has a remote facility based in Charlotte that it’ll likely utilize for NXS broadcasts, in partnership with the CW, in order to make things cost-efficient. Perhaps the Trucks are where it can experiment with a streaming platform, someone willing to take racing on for the first time while utilizing NASCAR Production facilities and personnel to air those broadcasts.
I do think, though, the most likely scenario is Trucks stays right where it is. It’s a good link to FS1’s Race Hub and other NASCAR-related programming the network airs once its portion of the season is complete.
That brings us to NBC, who recently shuttered NBCSN and moved its NASCAR races over to USA Network. It’s also been pushing its streaming service, Peacock, which airs at least one NTT IndyCar Series race exclusively on that contract.
Unfortunately, the reach of Peacock is limited, with just 24 million subscribers, and it lost a whopping $651 million in the second quarter of 2023. It leaves NBC in a far more difficult financial position, as its main sports contract outside the NFL, the Olympics, has vastly underperformed. Record-low ratings during the most recent Summer and Winter Olympics leave that $8 billion investment in a precarious position.
Even with those financial constraints, NBC is also very interested in another lucrative sports deal: the NBA. Its current $2.6 billion-a-year media rights deal is expected to go for as much as $8 billion in the next contract. By comparison, FOX and NBC combined currently pay NASCAR $820 million per year.
That’s the golden goose for any network, especially considering the NBA’s connection to the coveted age 18-to-34 advertising bracket. Just this week, a 7 p.m. ET preseason game pulled 109,000 of those viewers; NASCAR had just 125,000 for its race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Is NBC more focused on pooling its remaining resources toward that bid? If so, would it be able to afford both the NBA and NASCAR? The doomsday scenario would be NBC pulls out, leaving the entire second half of the schedule opened up with limited suitors. ESPN also has its own cash flow problems and will need to not only pony up money for the upcoming NBA deal; there are new College Football Playoff games in the expanded format it’ll need to bid on.
CBS can’t handle the second half due to its NFL schedule; NASCAR would need to literally move the playoffs to Saturday if that could even work. Turner seems a better fit for the six-race summer deal, a package it picked up in the past (2007-14), rather than a full second-half partner.
There is some good news from the streaming side as we wait for the final contracts to come out. Thursday Night Football, in its second season for Amazon, is thriving. The audience of nearly 15 million is over 70% more than when the games were shown on NFL Network in 2021. The median audience is also much younger, connecting to fans who have cut the cord on cable and moved to full-time streaming.
It may mean 2025 is the perfect time for NASCAR to make the switch over to that world. Amazon is reportedly interested; the question is whether it’ll be willing to pay a price increase to pick up a sport with an aging demographic. Apple could also be a great, under-the-radar option after a successful first season taking on all of MLS. Those might also be backups if, for some reason, NBC chooses to go another direction.
The final piece in this waiting game is the impasse we haven’t heard much about in recent weeks: owners negotiating over the charter deal. NASCAR still hasn’t reached an agreement to extend it beyond 2024, although the sides reportedly met back in September.
It would make sense for both these deals (TV and charter) to be rolled out all at once to provide clarity for major stakeholders. It’s notable the sport didn’t see any new owners jump into the fray full-time this year after a wave of star power the past few years (see: Michael Jordan, Pitbull). The recent charter market appears healthy, headlined by a record $ 40-million transfer from Live Fast Motorsports to Spire Motorsports, but all the same players are playing the game.
NASCAR needs another round of fresh faces to jump in. Unfortunately, all the hot names interested in racing right now are making a move … toward Formula 1. Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes were the latest to do so, investing in AlphaTauri instead of turning their attention toward stock cars.
A charter deal would be aided by the teams knowing just how much money was at stake in the new TV contract. So there’s a little bit of running in circles as the talks continue; which side will blink first?
I think everyone involved in the sport just hopes someone will start blinking soon.
Keep this in mind.
Matheny Christmas - 2023
Just around the corner, I say that now, but it will be like the party was last week! Time flies!!!
Saturday, December 16th, 1 pm at the Matheny School and Hospital in Peapack, NJ. We will post the donations page soon. Thank you!
Start making plans.
The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco treks back to the state of Florida for the fifth annual ‘Sunshine Swing’ at All-Tech Raceway in 2024.
The smooth and ultra-racy Lake City, Fla., half-mile oval plays host to the ‘Sunshine Swing’ for the fourth time in the last five years.
The ‘24 event occurs Tues.-Sat., Feb. 6-10 with a practice night preceding four consecutive nights of racing, culminating in a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win top prize for the STSS Modifieds.
Following the Tuesday (Feb. 6) night practice, both the STSS Modifieds and STSS Crate 602 Sportsman will both receive purse boosts for the ‘24 edition of the ‘Sunshine Swing.’
Racing begins on Wednesday (Feb. 7) with a 30-lap, $5,000-to-win feature event to kick off the four nights of racing.
Thursday (Feb. 8) night, the laps and winner’s share see an uptick, as the STSS Modifieds go for a 35-lap affair and a $6,000 top prize.
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman will go 25 laps for a $1,500 winner’s share on Wednesday and Thursday night.
Friday (Feb. 9) night’s racing features a 40-lap feature for the STSS Modifieds and an $8,000 prize for the first to cross the finish line. For the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman, their feature event climbs to 30 laps and the winner's share rises to $2,000 for their efforts.
The grand finale for the week on Saturday (Feb. 10), is headlined by a 50-lap main event for the STSS Modifieds and a $10,000 payday to the winner.
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman also race for their biggest payday of the week, going another 30 laps for a $2,500 winner’s total.
The entire week of racing, along with every STSS race in 2024, will be broadcast LIVE on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv).
All-Tech Raceway is located at 1024 SW Howell St in Lake City, Fla. 32024. To contact All-Tech Raceway call the speedway office at 386.754.7223. The speedway website is www.alltechraceway.com.
An already full slate of presenters for the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s annual “Racing Memories” program (formerly Lost Speedways) has been expanded by two with the addition of Ron Moshier, author of a terrific book on modified hero Lou Lazzaro, and longtime Vermont-based dirt tracker Eugene Munger.
The duo will join Lime Rock Park announcer Greg Rickes, modified stars Jack Lehner and Dave Camara, and returning Pennsylvanian Richie Tobias, who will talk about both his Slingshot racers and his standout racing career. Along with a local racer and his car, Tobias will bring one of his new electric Slingshots for attendees to check out.
“I’m looking forward to interviewing Ron and Eugene as well as the previously committed Lehner, Camara and Tobias” offered event organizer Ron Hedger. “With Greg covering Showroom Stock racing at LRP and the others offering unique views of their segments of the sport, it should be a great day. And the recent return of the Nolan Swift ‘Ten Pins’ supermodified to the Racing in New York gallery by restorer Steve Miller will give visitors a chance to examine one of the Oswego Speedway’s most famous cars as well.”
As always, the Racing Memories program will be held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 25th) with doors opening at 10 am. Attendees are encouraged to bring their memorabilia to display, with a rerun of the video of Hedger’s interview with Ronnie Johnson recalling his late father “Jumpin’ Jack” Johnson set to run prior to the formal presentations.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located on the Avenue of the Pines in the Saratoga Spa State Park, just off the Adirondack Northway at exit 13 N. More information on the museum and advance-sale tickets to Racing Memories are available online at www.saratogaautomuseum.org.
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli announces the 2024 schedules for its National Championship, which will visit 12 diverse venues, and Western Championship, which will stop at six tracks with its eleven-race schedule.
The National Championship schedule offers the return to many of the same classic venues as seasons past, as well as the addition of two tracks that have been absent from the schedule for several years.
The Western Championship will see fewer event weekends but more races due to the addition of more doubleheaders.
Trans Am National Championship to Visit Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
The National Championship schedule will begin as it has for the last decade, at the historic Sebring International Raceway (February 22-25). Sebring is the track where the longest-running professional road racing series in North America made its debut in 1966, and it has been a frequent stop for Trans Am over the past 57 years. The season-opener will be preceded by a two-day Sebring test (January 22-23).
After Sebring, Trans Am will head to Road Atlanta (March 21-24) and NOLA Motorsports Park (April 11-14), the latter of which will return to the schedule in 2023. Next, the series will return to the World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis for a Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series standalone race (May 10-11). The series will next visit fan favorite Lime Rock Park for its Memorial Day Weekend event (May 24-27), before heading to Pittsburgh International Race Complex for a TA/XGT/SGT/GT-only event (June 7-9). The first of two new tracks added for the 2024 season, Trans Am has only visited Pitt Race once before when Lawrence Loshak won in the TA class in 2018.
Kicking off back-to-back events, the next round on the schedule is the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 20-23), followed by Road America (June 28-30). The series takes a brief summer hiatus before the National Championship visits another historic track and driver favorite, Watkins Glen International (August 21-25). The series next heads just outside of Toronto, Canada for a Labor Day Weekend event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (August 29-September 1). Trans Am’s history at the track goes back to 1976, as the series has previously raced there 30 times, most recently in 2014 when Ron Fellows took the TA victory.
Trans Am’s penultimate race of the season will come at Virginia International Raceway (October 3-6) before the series heads to Circuit of The Americas (October 31-November 3) for a season finale combination event with the Western Championship. The weekend will be capped off with the series’ year-end awards gala.
One additional race for the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series will be added at a later date.
“We are very pleased with our 2024 schedule and believe it will offer competitive racing from beginning to end,” said Trans Am President John Clagett. “We implemented a lot of feedback from our competitors about tracks and logistics, and we think that we have ultimately created a diverse and challenging schedule. We’re incredibly excited to return to Pitt Race and to once again have a presence in Canada with the addition of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. We’re still looking to finalize one additional event for the TA2 class, which we hope to announce soon.”
2024 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli National Championship Schedule
February 22-25 – Sebring International Raceway (Sebring, Fla.)
March 21-24 – Road Atlanta (Braselton, Ga.)
April 11-14 – NOLA Motorsports Park (Avondale, La.)
May 10-11 – World Wide Technology Raceway, TA2 Only (Madison, Ill.)
May 24-27 – Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, Conn.)
June 7-9 – Pittsburgh International Race Complex, TA/XGT/SGT/GT Only (Wampum, Pa.)
June 20-23 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, Ohio)
June 28-30 – Road America (Plymouth, Wis.)
August 21-25 – Watkins Glen International (Watkins Glen, N.Y.)
Aug. 29-Sept. 1 – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Bowmanville, Ontario)
October 3-6 – Virginia International Raceway (Alton, Va.)
Oct. 31-Nov. 3 – Circuit of The Americas (Austin, Texas)