Mike Helton: Dover will keep two traditional races in 2015

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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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IndyCar 2017 driver review: All posts, one place

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In case you missed any of MotorSportsTalk’s extensive 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series driver-by-driver reviews on NBCSports.com, we’ve combined them all into one post.

See the full rankings below. Of the 38 drivers that raced at least once this year, 23 of them ran anywhere from six races to the full 17-race schedule, and got a full review. Drivers who competed in four or fewer races were packaged into the “remaining part-timers” post.

1. Josef Newgarden
2. Simon Pagenaud
3. Scott Dixon
4. Helio Castroneves
5. Will Power
6. Graham Rahal
7. Alexander Rossi
8. Takuma Sato
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay
10. Tony Kanaan
11. Max Chilton
12. Marco Andretti
13. James Hinchcliffe
14. Ed Jones
15. JR Hildebrand
16. Carlos Munoz
17. Charlie Kimball
18. Conor Daly
19. Mikhail Aleshin
20. Spencer Pigot / 22. Ed Carpenter
21. Sebastien Bourdais / 25. Esteban Gutierrez
23-24, 26-38. All the rest