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Why Denny Hamlin Feels It Is Tough for NASCAR to Expand to Japan

Soumyadeep Saha

“Not That Compelling”: Denny Hamlin Doesn’t See the Allure of Road Course Racing in NASCAR

Will NASCAR ever go overseas to host a race? According to Chad Seigler, NASCAR vice president and chief international officer, the sport wants to go outside of the U.S. and race; it’s just a matter of time before it happens. But where would that be? On that note, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin feels like there is indeed a good market in Japan. However, it is easier said than done.

The main reason is that NASCAR’s schedule is extremely tight. Although it could open up opportunities for increased brand awareness, 36 weeks of non-stop racing is what makes it difficult for them to even think about flying over to Japan and hosting races there.

“The problem is our schedule; just nowhere to fit it in,” admitted Hamlin during a recent media interaction. “Especially going over that far across the world… I think it’d be very very difficult to make that happen but I definitely think that there’s a market for it but I don’t know whether it’s feasible or not.”

Nevertheless, Denny Hamlin was right about the fact that there is actually a market for NASCAR in Japan, and Formula 1 driver, Kamui Kobayashi, confirmed that recently.

Kamui Kobayashi wants NASCAR in Japan

Last year, the F1 star had driven the #67 Toyota for 23XI Racing in the Brickyard 400, qualified 28th, and wound up with a P33 finish. However, he feels like he is going to be better and stronger this year at COTA. It seems like the Toyota Gazoo Racing sensation is already in love with the deafening sound of stock cars and so are the motorsport enthusiasts in Japan.

“It’s amazing compared to any type of car, even Formula One,” Kobayashi exclaimed as per Autoweek. “It sounds noisy, but it’s one of the greatest sounds. If you bring it to Japan, I think people will be impressed with the sound. There’s a big opportunity to bring NASCAR to Japan. I think many people are looking forward to watching the Cup car.”

“When you look throughout different motorsports, you have BOP (Balance of Performance) and it’s easier for the driver to perform at everything, but in NASCAR, I think you have more of a demand,” he added.

The racing aficionados in Japan, unfortunately, do not get the chance to watch the NASCAR races even on television. The reason the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was broadcast live in Japan last year was solely because it was Kobayashi’s NASCAR debut. Perhaps even this year the race at COTA will be aired live in Japan, but the fun of watching it from the grandstands is unmatched.

Post Edited By:Shaharyar

About the author

Soumyadeep Saha

Soumyadeep Saha


Soumyadeep is a motorsport journalist at the Sportsrush. While preparing for his PhD in English literature back in 2021, the revving of stock cars pulled him towards being a full-time NASCAR writer. And, he has been doing it ever since. With over 500 articles to his credit, Soumyadeep strives every single day to bring never-heard-before stories to the table in order to give his readers that inside scoop. A staunch supporter of Denny Hamlin, Soumyadeep is an amateur bodybuilder as well. When not writing about his favorite Joe Gibbs Racing icon, he can be seen training budding bodybuilders at the gym or snuggled in a beanbag watching anime.

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