Apparently the Las Vegas odds were not that good after all.
NASCAR confirmed on Friday the deadline has come and gone without receiving a formal request from Speedway Motorsports Inc. owner Bruton Smith to move one of his Sprint Cup Series race dates from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the 2014 season.
In May, Smith told WBTV in Charlotte there was “a 70 percent chance” he’d move Charlotte’s fall Cup race to the track he owns in Las Vegas.
The next day WBTV followed up with a report citing sources who called it a “done deal.” Smith immediately disputed that assessment.
At least as far as the 2014 season is concerned, Charlotte Motor Speedway is expected to continue hosting two Cup series points races as well as the annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
A spokesman for CMS declined to comment on Smith’s decision to make a request a race date change.
In his original interview with WBTV, Smith said money would play a large factor in moving one of his Cup dates from Charlotte.
“You’ve got 150,000 (hotel) rooms out there, more than any city in the world,” Smith told WBTV’s Paul Cameron in May. “And they want to fill up those hotels and we do fill them up. That’s good.”
There was a lot of negative reaction in the Charlotte area when Smith first broached the idea of moving a NASCAR date to Las Vegas.
Former SMI and CMS president Humpy Wheeler said it would be a great loss to the city of Charlotte and to the South.
“I don’t know what else could occur to disappoint the Southern race fan that has brought us to where we are,” Wheeler said at the time. “They lost North Wilkesboro, Rockingham and half of Darlington (S.C.).”
CMS has hosted at least two Cup races each year since it opened in 1960 and has been home to the annual all-star race every year but one since its inception in 1985.
Las Vegas currently hosts one Cup series race each March and is expected to again in 2014.