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Mike Helton: Dover will keep two traditional races in 2015

Jul 11, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

(AP Photo/Nick Wass) AP

NASCAR chairman/CEO Brian France hinted during last week’s mid-season state-of-the-sport address in Daytona that Dover International Speedway may lose one of its two annual Sprint Cup races in 2015.

Not so, NASCAR president Mike Helton told DIS president/CEO Denis McGlynn, according to Bill Fleischman of the Philadelphia Daily News.

“I called Mike Helton [Tuesday] and he told me we don’t have anything to worry about,” McGlynn told Fleischman.

Boasting an original capacity of 135,000 seats, Dover has seen overall attendance for both its spring and fall races dip in recent seasons, but McGlynn said those events are “still successful, just not as successful.”

As a result, DIS has reduced the number of seats, but has also replaced a number of sections with wider seats.

“Some tracks have taken down significant numbers of grandstand seats,” McGlynn told Fleischman. “Their crowds are the same as a year ago, but it looks better. We widened our seats, reducing capacity to 112,000. [But] our track looks the same.”

Even though attendance has slipped, McGlynn was heartened when Helton assured him that the one-mile track, the only all-concrete racing surface on the Sprint Cup circuit – nicknamed “The Monster Mile” – will have its two regular races next season.

Dover typically hosts races on the first Sunday after Memorial Day and the last Sunday of September, either the second or third race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

However, it’s unclear whether Dover will have those same race weekend dates that it has in the past, or whether one or both may be moved around on what promises to be at least a partially revised schedule for 2015, which NASCAR will likely release sometime this September.

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