2014 calendar has F1 and NASCAR in Texas same day

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm •  Published: December 4, 2013
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Formula One and NASCAR will be racing deep in the heart of Texas on the same day next year.

The FIA, international motorsports' governing body, released its 2014 calendar Wednesday, placing the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin on Nov. 2. That's the same day as the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, a three-hour drive from Austin.

"It's a foolish move by Formula One," said Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway. "Our two NASCAR Sprint Cup races draw the two largest crowds in Texas sports. It isn't the smartest move to try to compete with that. I'm sure regardless of what they say publicly, the folks at the Austin track are pulling their hair out over this one. They don't have any say over their date. "

Texas Motor Speedway says it has the capacity for up to 191,000 fans. Track officials did not immediately respond to requests for attendance figures for their 2013 Sprint Cup races and NASCAR does not provide them.

The U.S. Grand Prix had an announced a crowd of 113,162 for the Nov. 17 race, down slightly from the 117,429 at the inaugural race in 2012.

Circuit of the Americas Chairman Bobby Epstein called the date a "beautiful time of year to visit Austin" and downplayed competition between the races.

"Due to the large number of NASCAR events scheduled annually, there will occasionally be overlaps with events at Circuit of The Americas, and that will happen next year," Epstein said. "However, there are few similarities between a NASCAR race and the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix weekend we have developed. We see this as a great opportunity to draw sports fans from around the world to Texas and to proving again that Austin is the place to enjoy premium racing and entertainment."

The Nov. 2 date for the 2014 U.S. Grand Prix allows F1 to avoid a crush in Austin similar to this year when the race was held the same weekend as a University of Texas home football game. The provisional race calendar initially had the U.S. Grand Prix on Nov. 8, the same weekend Texas is scheduled to play West Virginia at home, which would have again stretched the city's ability to provide hotel space and transportation.



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