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Montreal to lose Nationwide event

Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is to lose its annual NASCAR Nationwide Series race, after the promoters failed to get a Sprint Cup race added to the venue's itinerary.
NASCAR's annual Nationwide Series race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve looks set to be cancelled, after the local promoters informed the series that they were relinquishing the rights to stage the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge.

The event has been popular with local Canadian fans of stock car racing, and with the Nationwide teams and drivers over its six years on the calendar.

"It was a very difficult decision to make," said Fran├žois Dumontier, President and CEO of Octane Management Inc. "But under the previous management and our own in 2012, the event remained non profitable. Therefore we had to be realistic and conclude that the NASCAR main event on our weekend program doesn't have the kind of appeal that could generate the requested revenues."

In a statement released on Friday, Octane Management said that the event wasn't financially viable unless it was run in conjunction with a Sprint Cup race, and that NASCAR had responded to the request by saying that it was not possible to either add a new event to the Cup season or to move any existing Cup events in the near or even distant future.

"I must admit that NASCAR's final answer is extremely disappointing," said Dumontier. "We can understand how difficult it could be to modify the Sprint Cup schedule, but we still believe that we deserved higher consideration, especially since we have often been told that the annual Montreal event was very important to NASCAR.

"We remain convinced that the presence of the Sprint Cup at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve would have brought a much larger crowd," he added. "Our track usually generates a spectacular race and with its anticipated success, would have offered a larger recognition at the international level to the series and to NASCAR."

Octane Management is a sister company to Octane Motorsports Events, the promoter of the IZOD IndyCar Series event in Edmonton that was removed from the 2013 calendar after the company likewise told IndyCar officials on September 21 that the event was not financially sustainable.

"Despite our tight management policies and all our efforts to offer to the fans a world-class spectacle, we were not able to make this event profitable and nothing allows us to hope for a better profitability next year," Octane Motorsports said about the Edmonton Indy at the time. (See separate story.)

It's now emerged that the Octane Motorsports Events has filed for bankruptcy, with the legal papers stating that the company owes assorted creditors around 5.4 million Canadian dollars.

A third company within the group, Octane Racing Group Inc., is the official local promoter of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada, also staged at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

While bankruptcy for one company within the group should not necessarily impact next year's Grand Prix in Montreal, FIA and FOM representatives will doubtless be closely following the situation and assessing whether the problems within Octane could end up affecting next year's F1 race.



Related Pictures

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Alex Tagliani celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole for the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Justin Allgaier crosses the finish line to win the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose of the #9 Stanley Ford holds the trophy after winning the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 20 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images]
Jacques Villenueve in the #22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge takes a corner during the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 20 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. [Photo Credit: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 NATIONWIDE Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 6, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Hendrick Motorsports team mates (left) Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet and (right) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during practice for the 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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