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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 François 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]
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Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field onto pit road due to rain during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates on pit road after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the crew of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet team celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Team owner Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and crew chief Greg Ives celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and crew chief Greg Ives celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Amy Reimann celebrates with Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, in victory lane after Earnhardt won the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for twelfth position Thursday, October 8, 2015 for Saturday`s first phase of the Contender 12 round of the Chase in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Earnhardt, Jr. joins five other Chevy drivers competing in the Contender 12.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to victory with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Plenti Chevrolet SS who finished in third place Sunday, October 4, 2015 in the final round of the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Harvick and Earnhardt, Jr. will join four other Chevy drivers next weekend in the Contender 12 round of the Chase at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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