NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell Opens Up on the Sport Going Global

Published 06/19/2022, 1:12 PM EDT
Jun 5, 2022; Madison, Illinois, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) races during the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

In a recent interview, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell spoke about the direction that the sport is taking. He talked about the possibility of going international and how Daniel Suarez’s win is a boost for that. It is worth mentioning that NASCAR does have a global presence, like the Whelen Euro Series and other racing series.

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O’Donnell said, “I think you’ve got to be everywhere. You’ve seen us become more and more international. Daniel [Suarez] winning certainly helps that. We’ve got a series in Mexico, we’ve got a smaller series in Europe, Canada as well is an important market. Anywhere we can go to help grow the brand and grow the sport and expose it to new OEMs.”

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What lies ahead for the future of NASCAR?

At the end of the day, NASCAR’s primary aim is to attract more manufacturers. The first step to this was the introduction of the Next Gen car earlier this year. The officials hope that the new cars would help coax a couple of new manufacturers to liven up the competition. Of course, there are still a few issues to work out as the drivers continue to adjust to the car and the new regulations. Fortunately, it appears that the Next Gen cars will be on the grid for a long time. So, it provides plenty of opportunities to iron out potential issues that could crop up.

Jun 12, 2022; Sonoma, California, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez (99) passes the finish line under the checkered flag during the NASCAR Toyota – Save Mart 350 race event at Sonoma Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned before, O’Donnell sees Daniel Suarez’s maiden Cup win as a win for the stock car series. This is because it will hopefully inspire Suarez’s compatriot racers to work hard. On a similar note, it could provide a boost to the NASCAR racing series that are held outside America. The biggest examples of this are the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, the NASCAR Mexico, and NASCAR Pinty’s Series in Canada.

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Dhruv George

13091 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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