NASCAR President discusses new manufacturers, night racing at Martinsville

Dustin Long
NBC Sports

NASCAR President Brent Dewar said Tuesday that deadlines have passed for a new manufacturer to be a part of the sport in 2019, meaning the earliest Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota could face additional competition will be 2020.

Dewar made his comments on “The Morning Drive’’ on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. He discussed that, night racing at Martinsville and other topics, taking questions from fans.

Asked about the chances of a new manufacturer in the sport, Dewar said:

“There’s a demand for it, I will say that. We’ve been in talks with two or three natural manufacturers that would be the natural next choice. We’ve got a lot data that we share with them. Our fans would like other manufacturers in the sport. Actually, the three (manufacturers) in the sport embrace it.

“We’re not looking for somebody to come in for two years. If you look at Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota, they’ve made huge commitments and investments. … This is a place to bring your R&D and technology and engage with the fans. If you do it, the right way, there’s no better platform than NASCAR to get a return on that investment.

“Because of the entry points, we passed the ’19 (submission deadlines). The earliest would be 2020. That’s the process we’re working on. … There’s genuine, sincere interest because of the size of the platform and what we’re doing. They like the innovation and change and they’re encouraged that the (manufacturers) have a voice in the manufacturers council.’’

Dewar was asked about the possibility of a night race at Martinsville Speedway now that the track has lights.

“We really applaud them for the investment they made,’’ Dewar said. “It looks great. It gives us the opportunity to do a night race should we get to that.

“It’s really about balancing the schedule of when we have availability at our two broadcast partners, Fox and NBC. To a lot of the fans, they don’t realize the complexity that goes into sports programming.

“We’re a very important sport for both of our partners. We have to be fitted in exactly right to drive and we drive their metrics on a daily basis. It’s a balancing act. We, the sanctioning body would be delighted to race a night race at Martinsville, we’ve just got to be able to find a right fit.’’

Dewar was asked how NASCAR determines what races should be at night and what races run at day.

“What we look at, candidly, it’s not night racing for night racing or day racing, it has to be a combination of the ambient temperatures where we’re at, the type of the track we have and the ability to have a great race. Some of the tracks will lend themselves to incredible night racing.’’

Dewar also was asked why the roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway wasn’t first used in the All-Star Race instead of making its debut as the cutoff race in the first round of the playoffs.

“I think part of the challenge this year was the turnover time to get it done,’’ Dewar said. “I think in the future years, those can be other options. We like the drama that is going to be presented by it. Our drivers are great road-course drivers today. I think it’s going to be a real test to them.’’

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