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Why is the Busch Series Racing in Mexico?

Aug 17, 2007
Starting in 2004, the Busch series held a race in Mexico City at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track. This year will be the third year that NASCAR has been south of the border. What would motivate them to pick up a venue like that?

In 2005, it was estimated that one seventh of the population in the United States is Hispanic. This is a demographic that just hasn't been turned onto stock car racing in the past. Mexico City can change that. But there has definitely been some resistance from the teams.

In the first Mexico City race, the prize money was so little that most teams didn't break even. It's expensive for your whole team to travel and especially expensive to transport the racecars.

Truthfully, for the first race, most teams made the race only because of the owner points which were awarded. Since that first race, the purse has grown and teams are more likely to come out having made at least some money.

Another reason that teams are traveling to the race is for their sponsors. One of the main rationales that the Mexico City race is considered so important is because there are so many international sponsors.

Many of the team's sponsors, such as Lowe's and Red Bull, already have a strong presence in both Mexico and the United States. Racing in Mexico increases the sponsor's exposure. Several team owners have said that they wouldn't choose to race in Mexico because of the added expenses but do so for their sponsors.

There was quite a lot of complaining when the race was first announced. Besides the expense, people were concerned about the safety issues of being in Mexico.

Carl Edwards says he looks forward to the race now but he was nervous about being in Mexico the first time, especially when he had to visit the hospital due to a crash during a practice round. However, his short hospital stay was great and he considers this race an exciting trip now.

The idea behind having an international race is that not only will it be a tool to hook Hispanics in the U.S. on NASCAR but will also open up a whole new audience of race fans in Mexico. So they are building a larger fan base two at a time.

NASCAR is determined to branch out into all parts of the world and become the most popular sport. We think they are well on their way to doing just that.
About the Author
David Stargel publishes several golf related websites in addition to writing about all sorts of golf related topics.
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