By admin | July 29, 2012
By Richard Allen
The world’s most historic racing facility is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There’s no doubt about that. The most recognizable names in auto racing history have won on the hallowed grounds of the 2.5 mile track and to have one’s name placed on a trophy from the speedway is the goal of many who have made racing their career choice.
But even with all the tradition surrounding the place and with the pomp and circumstance leading up to every event held there, the magic tends to wear off soon after the waving of the green flag on race day.
More often than not, racing at IMS settles into a high speed parade with cars unable to pass on the aerodynamically challenging layout. This certainly proved to be the case in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 as cars spread out all over the massive track and basically held station for the vast majority of the race distance.
It was apparent from very early on that Jimmie Johnson was going to be next to impossible to beat as long as nothing happened to his car. As it turned out, nothing did happen to him and he essentially cruised to victory by leading 99 of the 160 laps making up the event. As is so often the case on this and virtually every other track, clean air was king and the 48 car had it most of the day.
With all that being said, however, I am a history teacher. I love and appreciate history and tradition, and as I stated above, IMS is at the heart of racing tradition. So for that reason, it is important that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race here at this facility. The racing may not be great but the significance of the place cannot be understated.
As I have said on innumerable occasions, the racing could be better here and every other track if NASCAR didn’t have so many mandates in place that cause every car on the track to essentially run the same speed. If crew chiefs and drivers were allowed more room within which to work in terms of setups, there would be more passing as each tire and fuel run would see the emergence of ‘comers’ and ‘goers’. But this is, and has been, a topic for another day.
The Brickyard 400 is a great event, even if it is not necessarily a great race. It’s too bad that once the ceremonies are over with and the green flag drops, the magic of Indy begins to wear off almost immediately.
Topics: Articles |