By admin | July 26, 2012
By Richard Allen
The Indianapolis Raceway Park began hosting NASCAR Busch Series events in 1982 and one race from NASCAR’s second series has been held on the half-mile facility located a few miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ever since. Both the track and the series have undergone name changes in that time period but the racing action and energy level at the facility remained the same over the thirty years the facility was on the schedule.
However, the hierarchy of NASCAR made the decision that last year’s Nationwide Series event on the much loved track would be the last. Instead of short track racing on this Brickyard 400 weekend, fans will see this series join its Sprint Cup counterpart on the big 2.5 mile behemoth across town.
Rather than the bumper bumping and fender grinding action fans have grown accustomed to on the Saturday night prior to the big race, everyone will see spread out parading and hear of the aero-tight reasons for no passing.
Rather than having a packed grandstand with lots of energy, there will be massive stretches of empty seats ringing the track. Even if there are more fans at IMS than there would have been at the smaller track, the place will look deserted.
After last week’s Nationwide race in Chicago, I wrote that NASCAR needs to schedule more stand alone races for the series to help it build its own identity with its own drivers. But those stand alone events do not need to be on the same tracks used by the higher profile Sprint Cup division.
In Indianapolis, NASCAR had the perfect setup. The Nationwide Series could accompany the Sprint Cup Series, but on a different track. Instead, however, those in charge of the sport have decided to continue the movement toward ‘Sprint Cup Lite’ rather than building a series with its own identity.
So, Rest in Peace to the Indianapolis Raceway Park, at least in terms of NASCAR racing. It was a nice run while it lasted.
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