According to published reports, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will not return to Mexico City for the 2009 season. Though officials have not announced which track might take the road course's place, it is believed it will be a track in the United States, and the Charlotte Observer reports that sources say it could be Iowa Speedway.
Iowa, a 7/8-mile tri-oval which currently hosts IndyCar and NASCAR Camping World East events, could be a perfect fit for the Nationwide Series, which already runs a good bit of its schedule on short tracks not otherwise used in NASCAR's top national series (along the same vein as O'Reilly Raceway Park just outside of Indianapolis).
Add to that the quality of this season's IRL race at the track, and the Nationwide Series just seems like a perfect fit. In the meantime, NASCAR's move out of Mexico City isn't as much of a negative as it might seem on the surface. Though attendance had been on the decline in recent years -- and the event had its smallest crowd earlier this season when Kyle Busch won -- NASCAR's plan ultimately was to help stock car racing as a whole grow in Mexico.
And considering the steady growth the NASCAR Corona Mexico Series is seeing, I would consider the sport's foray into Mexico a rousing success. And with this weekend's race in Montreal the lone international date left on the NASCAR docket, it's possible a return stateside is part of CEO Brian France's preseason pledge to bring NASCAR "back to basics," a campaign that has, by and large, been a success.
Now, if we could just get a good tire to Indy ...