Feb 2nd, 2011 – Delaware Speedway is taking a year off as a NASCAR sanctioned track in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. After discussions with NASCAR officials in Daytona Beach, speedway officials were unable to come to a resolution to meet NASCAR sanction requirements with the shorter schedule planned for the 2012 season at Delaware Speedway.
“We are new to this business and we need to get our feet wet,” explained track owner Mannie deMelo. “The decision has nothing to do with not wanting to be involved with NASCAR. We will work with NASCAR to see if our concerns can be addressed in the future”
Key to the decision was changes to the track’s schedule which, after competitor consultation, reduced the number of races for its top-tier Late Model racing series. As a result, the track would be unable to complete the mandated 14 races required by the NASCAR Weekly series. Furthermore, it would be difficult for the track to complete the 18 races necessary for Delaware Speedway drivers to be competitive in national rankings.
“For a driver to be truly competitive in NASCAR’s national rankings, they must complete at least 18 races or more,” explained track PR director John Houghton. “With Delaware’s shortened schedule, it would be extremely difficult to complete this mandate in a way that is effective for fans and drivers.”
Delaware Speedway has enjoyed the benefits of its partnership with NASCAR and plans to retain a positive relationship moving forward. The change in sanctioning will not have an effect on the track’s scheduled NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event and all weekly programs will continue as scheduled. Speedway officials have left the door open on the possibility of rejoining the NASCAR Weekly Series program in the future if solutions to the track and NASCAR’s shared challenges can be found.
“For Delaware Speedway’s drivers, fans, and new owners the 2012 season is about building the strength of their weekly racing program,” said Houghton. “We have every expectation that this will be an excellent season.”
About Delaware Speedway: Delaware Speedway is a half-mile paved oval stock-car track located just west of London, Ontario, Canada. Since 1952, Delaware Speedway has been the home to some of the best stock car racing in Canada. Its unique natural amphitheatre-like setting allows a family or group of friends to enjoy exciting, comfortable and affordable evening or afternoon of action at the track.
About the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series: The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) is a national championship program for more than 50 sanctioned tracks across North America. As part of the program, drivers compete for track, state/provincial, and national championship points. Approximately 10,000 drivers participate in the program. In 2011, the series featured three Canadian tracks including Delaware Speedway.