Elliott retweeted the schedule after its release with a very simple but encrypted message. He tweeted “less = more” and “I love night races too.” This obviously created some questions while Elliott media was available at Bristol Motor Speedway, and provided some important context. One of his messages focused on keeping NASCAR fans from suffering in the hot August sun.
Elliott explained on September 16, “There are a lot of Sunday afternoons that we spend in some really hot environments. And that’s fine, I’m good at it. But if I’m a fan sitting in the stands, I won’t. For 3.5 hours in August, better.” Doing it at night and enjoying a night race, which I think is really cool. The environment is really elegant. This is the best race of the year. Here under the lights.
“I also understand it’s cool because we don’t do it often,” Elliott continued. “But I think you see a lot of short tracks at places that do Saturday night shows and I think during the summer months we should consider doing more of it. That’s my opinion, but again, it’s not asked. I don’t want to be asked and I don’t want that role. Just My humble opinion and that’s really about that.”
There are only a few nightly races in the 2023 schedule. The confirmed list includes the Bristol dirt race at Easter Sunday, the July race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and the playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Dayton 500 and Coke Zero Sugar 400 can also be made under the lights if there are more weather-related delays.
Elliott also questioned some of the later season dates
While the addition of more nightly races was a major point of discussion for Elliott, there was also discussion about the back half of the schedule. This is the time of year when the playoffs go head-to-head as the NFL and college football seasons begin.
The trip to Kansas Speedway It was an apt example. The race began in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the first week of the NFL season. The Cup Series drivers headed to the track as the early matches drew to a close, and were vying for playoff points as the afternoon matches began.
“36, 45, 50 – I don’t think it matters how many races we have,” Elliott continued. “But I don’t see any reason to be competing against NFL football when that starts. In my opinion, this is not a fight we will ever win. I think we have to be smart about that.”
As Elliott explained, a tighter schedule could help NASCAR lose these head-to-head battles to the NFL. He doesn’t have the exact perfect setup as to when the NASCAR season will end, but he thinks a few tweaks can help with the TV ratings.
These changes may occur in the future
There is no indication that NASCAR will take Elliott’s comments into account when trying to figure out the 2024 schedule. This answer will not be given until late in the 2023 Cup Series season.
The last two NASCAR schedules weren’t released until late in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. There were many details for Ben Kennedy and the team to work on before they could drop the schedules. The latest release, in particular, had some new additions to Chicago Street Racing and All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Questions about the 2024 schedule and Elliott’s comments will continue for the foreseeable future. For now, the regular season champion will focus on staying above the elimination line and reaching the Round of 12.
Heavier on NASCAR news
Load more stories