The rumours have turned out to be true – that Canadian Tire planned to take a pass on participating at the 2012 Honda Indy Toronto.
For now, at least.
NASCAR issued the 2012 Canadian Tire Series schedule this afternoon and there are 12 races on it but the July 6-8 Honda Indy isn’t one of them.
Although there is an asterisk at the bottom that says “tentative, subject to change,” the fact that the sanctioning body chose to issue it without the Toronto race on it is telling.
The Canadian stock car series will race on the same program as the IZOD IndyCar Series in Canada next year but it will be in Edmonton in late July, rather than through the streets of the CNE two weeks earlier.
What once was known as CASCAR was long a partner of the Molson Indy Toronto but that arrangement came to an end early in the millenium when the price to participate got too high (yes, the racers in most support series, or their sponsors, pay to race at big events).
After the series changed hands, NASCAR Canada and its partner, TSN, negotiated the Canadian Tire series back onto the Honda Indy weekend schedule and the series headlined the Saturday program the last two years.
TSN broadcast the race live last July.
But that arrangement has come to an end, apparently.
There are still seven months to go before the Toronto race, so here’s hoping there’s a change of heart on the part of one of the parties. The stock cars always put on a good show.
Meantime, here is the text of the release from NASCAR and the calendar:
NASCAR announced today the 2012 schedule for the sixth season of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, which includes many of the top racing facilities throughout Canada.
Next season’s schedule features 12 dates at 12 different tracks across six provinces. The slate includes tracks and events familiar to the series, with Edmonton returning to the schedule after a one-year hiatus.
The 2012 schedule has a great mix of tracks that will deliver the exciting racing that our Canadian fans have become accustomed,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “Each year with the help from our friends at Canadian Tire, this series continues to grow and evolve. This upcoming season should be the best yet.”
“For the first time in series history, on May 20, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series opens its season at the 2.459-mile Mosport International Raceway road course near Bowmanville, Ont.
For the sixth consecutive year, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will share Montreal’s legendary Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on IÎe Notre Dame with the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday, Aug. 18.
Additionally, in a pairing with the IZOD IndyCar Series, the series returns to Edmonton on the new 2.256-mile Edmonton (Alberta) City Centre Airport course that debuted last year.
Joining the Edmonton event, the annual swing through Western Canada includes two other stops: At Motoplex Speedway in Vernon, B.C., and Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, Sask.
In what has become a tradition, the season will close with a new champion crowned at Kawartha Speedway, the .375-mile oval near Peterborough, Ont., on Saturday, Sept. 22.
“Canadian Tire has been a proud sponsor of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series since 2006,” said Allan MacDonald, Senior Vice-President of Automotive for Canadian Tire. “It’s thrilling to see how the sport of racing has continued to grow over the years alongside the enthusiasm of Canadian racing fans. We’re looking forward to yet another exciting season on the track in 2012.”
Other 2012 highlights include:
• The 2012 schedule includes races on seven ovals: Auto Clearing, Barrie Speedway, Delaware Speedway, Kawartha, Mosport Speedway, Motoplex and Riverside International Speedway; and five road courses: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Circuit ICAR, Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, Edmonton, and Mosport.
• On June 2-3, the series returns to Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que., for the second straight season.
• June 16 will be the series’ sixth consecutive year of competing at Mosport Speedway.
• June 23 will mark the fourth consecutive visit to Delaware (Ont.) Speedway.
• The wildly popular Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec is on tap for Aug. 4-5.
• The Barrie Speedway date is set for Saturday, Sept. 8. Each of the past five trips to Barrie on this weekend has resulted in overflow crowds.
• Riverside International Speedway, in Antigonish, hosts the series on Sept. 15. Riverside, with its high-banked turns, is a .333-mile scale version of the legendary Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
2012 NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES SCHEDULE
Date Track (Length) Location
May 20 Mosport Int'l Raceway (2.459-Mile road course) Bowmanville, Ont.
June 3 Circuit ICAR (2.113-Mile road course) Mirabel, Que.
June 16 Mosport Speedway (.5-Mile) Bowmanville, Ont.
June 23 Delaware Speedway (.5-Mile) Delaware, Ont.
July 14 Motoplex Speedway (.5-Mile) Vernon, B. C.
July 22 Edmonton City Centre Airport (2.256-Mile road course) Edmonton, Alberta
July 25 Auto Clearing Motor Speedway (.333-Mile) Saskatoon, Sask.
Aug. 5 Circuit de Trois-Rivieres (1.53-Mile road course) Trois-Rivieres, Que.
Aug. 18 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (2.71-Mile road course) Montreal, Que.
Sept. 8 Barrie Speedway (.333-Mile) Barrie, Ont.
Sept. 15 Riverside Int’l Speedway (.333-Mile) Antigonish, N. S.
Sept. 22 Kawartha Speedway (.375-Mile) Fraserville, Ont.
Tentative - Subject to Change