Ever since Kim Green and Kevin Savoree purchased Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2011, they have heard a consistent request from area racing enthusiasts.

Ever since Kim Green and Kevin Savoree purchased Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2011, they have heard a consistent request from area racing enthusiasts.

“Our fans have spoken to us, and many have kept asking, ‘Have you spoken to NASCAR about bringing a race to the track?’?” said Craig Rust, the president of the road course near Lexington.

Stock-car fans won’t have to ask anymore. The official announcement came yesterday that NASCAR was coming to Mid-Ohio for the first time and for at least three years, starting next summer with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” Rust said. “We know we’re going to get strong fan support.”

The race, to be run the weekend of Aug. 16-17, is part of NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, which is something of a “triple-A” version of the sport’s major league, the Sprint Cup Series.

The Nationwide Series has been a proving ground for grooming Sprint Cup drivers. Among the recent season champions are Sprint Cup stars Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the 1998 and ’99 champion.

There is a chance that several stars from Sprint Cup will run in the Mid-Ohio race next year because it will be held on the Saturday of the same weekend as their Cup race at nearby Michigan International Speedway.

The Mid-Ohio race replaces a road-course event in Montreal, which was part of the Nationwide Series for the past six seasons. It will be one of three road-course races on the 33-event schedule in 2013, joining events in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and Watkins Glen, N.Y.

For Mid-Ohio, it means the track now has a grand slam of sorts by adding a major stock-car event to a lineup that already includes an IndyCar race, a major motorcycle racing weekend and a sports-car event.

“I think this will be a very important economic impact to the track and to the county,” Rust said of Morrow County, but also keeping in mind nearby Richland County.

Rust and Bruce Wimbish of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission expect that many fans and crews will stay in the north Columbus area.

“It will bring visitors here,” Wimbish said. “We don’t know how many, but we expect they’d stay in the northern part of the city or Polaris; it’s a straight shot up I-71 from there to the racetrack.”

Rust wasn’t making crowd predictions, but he felt the stock-car race would at least rival what has been estimated to be the 40,000 or so who usually show for the IndyCar race.

The NASCAR crowd also should be buoyed by the associates who work for Nationwide Insurance, which played host to yesterday’s announcement at its Downtown headquarters.

“We’re excited about this opportunity, and not just for 2013 but for years to come,” said Steve O’Donnell, a vice president of marketing for the Nationwide Series.

Matt Jauchius, Nationwide Insurance’s chief marketing officer, said he thinks NASCAR is tapping into a rich seam of support.

“There are thousands and thousands of motorsports fans in Ohio,” Jauchius said. “To have this event up at Mid-Ohio is special to us.”

Besides being part of the event’s name, Nationwide Children’s Hospital also will benefit from some type of fundraising effort associated with the event, though details are still to come.

Dispatch reporter Steve Wartenberg contributed to this story.