By admin | July 6, 2011
By Richard Allen
Word came out a while back that the Nationwide Series race during the Brickyard 400 weekend in 2012 would likely be moved from the Lucas Oil Raceway to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those rumors were confirmed on Wednesday in a press conference as well as in various interviews.
I’m sure there have been and will be any number of reasons, both spoken and unspoken, offered up to explain this move. No matter what those reasons may be, this is a bad decision.
There has been talk of sanctioning fees that the LOR could not afford and mentions of re-energizing the Brickyard weekend. If either of these is the case, it is weak reasoning for taking a race away from a facility that has provided exciting racing in front of a packed grandstands and moving it to a place where the racing is terrible and the grandstands will look empty even if the crowd is larger than would have come to LOR.
Lucas Oil Raceway(known previously as Indianapolis Raceway Park and later O’Reilly Raceway Park) has hosted the Nationwide or Busch Series races on a continuous basis since 1982 and Camping World Truck Series races since 1995. The track typically features rough and tumble short track racing with the entertainment value that accompanies such.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is easily the most historic racing venue in the world. Unfortunately, it was designed for racing more like that which was done in 1911 as opposed to that which is done in 2011. As a result, the high speed racing of today often spreads cars out and offers very little true competition but rather a great deal of lap logging.
If the reason for moving the Nationwide race had anything to do with a sanctioning fee, it could have been somehow worked out. If the Brickyard weekend is so desperate for re-energizing that NASCAR and IMS are depending on a second tier event to save the weekend then maybe it is time to step away from the track altogether.
And if this move is in any way an attempt to assure that Danica Patrick will race at the Brickyard under the NASCAR banner then that is so stupid it is not even worth addressing.
Whatever the reason, this was a bad decision and yet another sad chapter in the ending of what once was an entertaining stand alone series and the continued evolution of what has become nothing more than ‘Sprint Cup Lite.’
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