Several years ago NASCAR headed North and crossed the border into Canada, with the Nationwide series running on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in downtown Montreal. Now it appears as though NASCAR may be signing a second venue just outside the nation’s largest city.
AutoGuide has heard from several sources that preparations are being made to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport) East of Toronto to host NASCAR. In fact, according to the most recent rumors, papers have already been signed that will see the Nationwide series come to the track, with the flagship Sprint Cup series to follow.
The track, once an F1 venue itself, has fallen into disrepair over the years, though still manages to bring high profile championships like the American Le Mans Series. Since it was sold to a new group of partners in June of 2011, Canadian Tire has been brought on as a sponsor and impressive renovations have been made, including a new tunnel that will allow for rigs to easy access the paddock. (Before all rigs had to drive across the track).
Helping fuel rumors is the fact that one of the track’s new owners is Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows. A three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans GT class champion, Fellows is a NASCAR ‘Road Course Ringer’ brought in by the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to compete in non-oval track events. Fellows own words certainly don’t downplay the possibility either.
“We (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) are speaking with a number of sanctioning bodies to try and secure additional events for 2013 and beyond,” said Fellows. “We would love to host one of the major NASCAR Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. We are hopeful that at some point in the future, NASCAR would consider our facility and the area, worthy of a major NASCAR event.”
Fellows does, however, caution that, “We cannot confirm any additional scheduling, Nationwide Series or otherwise, for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park at this time.”
The venue’s track does already host races in Canada’s NASCAR series, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
Much of the more concrete speculation about a NASCAR race at CTMP comes from rumors that the current media center is scheduled to be torn down with a new one built in a different location. That location change would then allow for a longer front straight and pit area, with more spaces for cars. For a NASCAR event to take place, pit stalls for at least 43 cars are required, more than what the track currently has to offer.
Fellows wouldn’t confirm how many new pit stalls are being planned but did confirm the changes. “The new building under construction outside of turn 10 will be the new media center as well as administration and hospitality center,” he told AutoGuide. “The current tower will eventually be removed which will allow us to add a few additional pit boxes.”