Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, shut down any talk of the nation’s top racing circuit going to the Circuit of the Americas road track in Austin.
“We’ve not had any discussions with the track there and candidly don’t plan to,” said O’Donnell, who took part in Texas Motor Speedway’s unveiling of its new racing surface Monday.
We’ve not had any discussions with the track there and candidly don’t plan to.
NASCAR executive Steve O’Donnell on the series going to Austin
“We’re happy here.”
The idea of NASCAR going to Austin gained steamed last month when the Austin American-Statesman had a report suggesting it would be a possibility in the future. The Circuit of the Americas has been home to Formula 1 races since it opened in 2012.
But O’Donnell put the story to bed.
“We’ve got a long-term agreement here at Texas. They’ve been great partners for us,” O’Donnell said. “From our perspective, we’re really happy in this marketplace.
“Any promoter can say I’ve talked to NASCAR, but it’s different if we reach out to them. Again, we’re really happy to be here.”
20 Years NASCAR has been running at Texas Motor Speedway since the track opened in 1997
If NASCAR wants to pursue more road races, O’Donnell said, it will likely look internally at the tracks the circuit already goes to. For now, it seems content with two on the schedule at Sonoma, Calif., and Watkins Glen, N.Y.
O’Donnell went on to praise TMS for its continued efforts to remain among the top tracks in the country. The repave and reprofile is a $5 million project, and the track also made a significant capital investment for “Big Hoss TV” a few years ago.
“This is a tough sports market,” O’Donnell said. “[TMS assistant general manager Kenton Nelson] was telling me this will now be the oldest sports facility in the market, which is hard to believe. But they’re always reinventing themselves and now it’s on us to bring a really good racing product to the track and get fans excited.”