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  • Dominik Wilde

Nitrocross heading to Richmond to kick off 2024-25 season

Nitrocross revealed its schedule for the 2024-25 season, which will start at Richmond Raceway, a new venue for the series.

The Richmond opener will be held on September 7-8 and will be the series’ first event in the eastern United States since the 2022 event at ERX Motor Park in Minnesota. A month later, the series returns to its home at Utah Motorsports Campus. The 2024 leg of the season will conclude at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park – currently hosting this weekend’s races – before Glen Helen Raceway in California picks things up in the new year.

The series’ annual trip north of the border to Calgary will take place at the start of February and is the only non-doubleheader round, with the entire championship concluding in Las Vegas at the start of March.

Of the six events on the schedule, five will be at locations previously visited, including Las Vegas, which debuts later this season. Richmond will be the only new addition.

“We go back to events that we think work; we go back to events that we like,” said Nitrocross general manager Chip Pankow. “More than that, it’s also a little bit of payback for the fans. It’s those fans that believed in us when we first started, and as new things come into town, they put their hard-earned money down and they bought a ticket and we want to reward that, so growing events is really important to us.”

Changes to returning tracks are anticipated.

“The tracks are the one thing I want to continually make better and better,” said Travis Pastrana, series pioneer and mind behind venue selection. “Every time we go out there we learn what doesn’t work and what works well.

“This is a sport built by the drivers, for the drivers, and at the end of the day we’re going to push the limits, we’re going to push the boundaries and as the drivers evolve and the cars evolve, we’re going to continually make it more and more challenging. It’s like motocross back in the 1970s didn’t have any jumps, and you look at Supercross now with whoops and jumps and it’s a lot more technical, but the riders have evolved, the machinery has evolved.

“We’re going to continually take this series and the vehicles in this series to the absolute limit of what we can and we’re going to continually fix the areas that cause too much conflict, but we’ve got to keep it challenging and interesting as well.”

Pankow added: “That’s the beauty of not having a set formula. We can do that and we continue to refine and make better. If somebody has a great idea and we think it can work, we’re willing to try it.”

He also confirmed that the agreement with Richmond Raceway is a multi-year deal: “All of our agreements are long-term agreements. We’re not looking to go anywhere and do a one-and-done. If it works, we’ll keep coming back.”

A notable absence, however, is that of Jay, Oklahoma. The 2023-24 season began at the Visions Off-Road festival on an all-new, purpose-built track lauded by fans and drivers alike. While it will not feature next season, Pankow hasn’t ruled out it being on future schedules.

“We feel it’s one of the most amazing tracks out there. We’re looking at a lot of different ways to go back to Oklahoma,” he said. “Travis built a track there that the world has never seen anything like, and maybe it wasn’t quite ready for it. But again, it’s just like everything we’re doing – with continual refinements and everything, I think there’s a future there.”

There will also be no rounds outside North America for the second consecutive season. Nitrocross raced in the UK and Sweden in 2022-23, and had planned to go to Finland and Saudi Arabia as well, but facility and logistical issues derailed those plans. The series has since chosen to consolidate and build upon its strong U.S. foundations, although it is leaving the door open for future international rounds.

“We took the decision to come to the U.S., really strengthen the series, get the formula down right, have big crowds here, [and] get the tracks exactly how we like them,” said Pankow. “Once we do that and we’re in that position and things are growing – and we’re in the midst of it now – we’re willing to take a look at anything and go anywhere as long as it makes sense for the series. Right now, no concrete plans, but we’re always looking.

2024-25 Nitrocross schedule

Rd. 1 & 2 – September 7-8, 2024: Richmond Raceway (Richmond, Virginia)

Rd. 3 & 4 – October 4-5, 2024: Utah Motorsports Campus (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Rd 5 & 6 – November 15-16, 2024: Wild Horse Pass Motorsport Park (Phoenix, Arizona)

Rd. 7 & 8 – January 11-12, 2025: Glen Helen Raceway (Los Angeles, California)

Rd. 9 – January 31-February 1, 2025: Calgary Stampede Park (Calgary, Alberta)

Rd. 10 & 11 – February 28 – March 1, 2025: Las Vegas Strip (Las Vegas, Nevada)

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