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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.

Topics: Articles |

10 Responses to “RIP to IRP”

  1. Michael in SoCal Says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Moving the trucks & Nationwide race from IRP to the Brickyard was a terrible idea. Although it did inspire boycott Nascar weekend for me this year.

  2. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Should we really expect anything else? I feel like I have battered spouse syndrome with NASCAR. Even though I know Brain France is going to kick me in the gut every week I still watch the race.

  3. Tony Geinzer Says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I think at large, it was more of an bitter onus to the Trucks, who I still felt Hornaday and Sprague had just as equal run ins with being good and poor sports in 1998. Jack Sprague didn’t have to honor Ron Hornaday’s Title as I doubt Harvick would be anyone’s good sport and I feel IRP will be back in NASCAR as an Almighty Sequel on the K and N or Modified Level because NASCAR and Indy Started on the Then Rural West Side of Indy before the Colts hatched up from Baltimore and The Minors was there and The Pacers where in a lull and National Geographic had to be in town. For those who aren’t aware, we need a good old history lesson away from the Justin Biebers and Timberlakes.

  4. offkilter Says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Its a crying dam shame. It was one of those tracks that had something going on every lap no matter who was racing.

  5. Chris Fiegler Says:
    July 27th, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I wonder how would Danica Patrick would have done at the O’Reilly Raceway Park? But you would never know.

  6. midasmicah Says:
    July 27th, 2012 at 8:20 am

    …and the downward spiral continues for nascar. There’s nothing going on at Indy this week-end to make me want to watch it on tv. nascar is slowly imploding…

  7. Michael in SoCal Says:
    July 27th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Wow Tony. I completely agree. I think.

  8. mrclause Says:
    July 27th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    It’s pathetically sad that BZF and his yes men/women have such a large disconnect with what NASCAR should be and fans want it to be. Go back to the Sportsman and Busch days and you’ll find NASCAR’s roots and you’ll find racing again.

    You’ll find short track racing with a mix of longer tracks. You’ll find where fans found their drivers that they’d loyally follow to cup. You’d find cars that were race cars not technological marvels that have become unaffordable for the purse size. You wouldn’t find any engineers but you would find owners, drivers, crews that could build an unsophisticated car that fans loved.

    You’d find a series that stood on its own with a solid fan base. That fan base became the fan base for cup and the base for NASCAR. Big Bill knew it, Bill Jr knew it, Brian hasn’t a clue.

    With Brian it’s make the show bigger at bigger tracks and the fans will come but more importantly the money will come. Well Brian hows that working for you? You’ve had fans leaving in droves, you’ve poached sponsors from competitors, your show stinks, and where are you, at an F1 race or a football game. Your commitment to the sport your Father and Grandfather built, lived, is far less than that of the start and parkers that are so maligned. Brian, you just don’t get it, don’t get it at all.

  9. Tyler West Says:
    July 28th, 2012 at 8:51 am

    INDY SUCKS!!!!! I have always hated this race!! It’s Nascar and IMS taking turns stroking each other off. It’s total crap!! It’s not prestigious, it’s not the Indy 500, it’s make believe drama. Indy should only run the 500 and maybe F1. It is absolutely BORING!!!! I hate the fact that everyone in the sport spit out the same garbage about how important Indy is. They must all have to read the same BS handed to them by Brian France and his group of morons! Screw The Brickyard!!

  10. Derek Reeder Says:
    July 28th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I boycotted the snoozeyard this year. Next year they should have the truck race at IRP Friday night grand-am race Saturday, and NWS that night. I don’t think that NASCAR has done any thing right in the past 10 years, I doubt they would start next year.