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« RIP to IRP | Main | Radio chatter from Kurt Busch, Harvick and Stewart livens up Indy race »

Magic of The Brickyard wears off quickly after the race starts

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 |

13 Responses to “Magic of The Brickyard wears off quickly after the race starts”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I feel strongly and passionately that the 5th Major should be treated more like a Major and less like a Joke. I am in no mood to be cheery, especially if JJ won for the 4th Time In Indy Lore, and don’t even try to begin on JJ and Hate Me Knaus’ 6 Pack of Crowns! I feel what they should do is keep the Sports Cars for the 4th, send the TransAm Types to IRP, AND have the Brickyard Open Test Carry Weight again! I am upset to the bone as I wish 33 Cars where in the show like the 500 and where is the magic? Where is the Mojo? Crank up the juice and fire Sprint and the Chase!

  2. Bill B Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 6:35 am

    The Indianapolis race was just another in a long line of parade like races. I can’t single it out as any worse than any other race at the 1.5+ mile tracks.
    Until NASAR does something to make clean air less important that is what we are left with.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 6:43 am

    While not exciting and certainly not epic, at least this years race was more like Nascar racing of a few years ago. Indy is a flat track with little banking and finally the tires were giving up grip during a run.

    Once again you had cars that were short run cars and others that were long run cars. It’s been a long time but that used to help make Nascar racing exciting. Could the long run car catch the short run car in time. Could the short run car hold off the long run car long enough.

  4. SB Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 6:44 am

    All that ‘history and tradition’ is for open wheel cars, not stock cars. Nascar’s tradition was places like Darlington and the Southern 500, yet Nascar has turned its back on that tradition. Sacrificing your own history to try to ride the coattails of someone else’s doesn’t automatically create a ‘new’ tradition.

  5. Tyler West Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Indy should only be for Indy cars! That was the worse race of the season!! The season has been total crap! Indy needs to be removed from the schedule, it sucks! Who cares if Hendrick wins, he controls everything. That races was a total waste of time. Nascar has seriously lost there way!!

  6. Mike Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Amen, brother.

    “All that ‘history and tradition’ is for open wheel cars, not stock cars. Nascar’s tradition was places like Darlington and the Southern 500, yet Nascar has turned its back on that tradition. Sacrificing your own history to try to ride the coattails of someone else’s doesn’t automatically create a ‘new’ tradition.”

  7. midasmicah Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Let’s keep it simple. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  8. holdin5aces Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I’ve done the Brickyard 400. Which is the best thing I can say about it. Been there done that. The track is historic but no longer significant. And the race is a snoozer. I recorded the race, fell asleep at about lap 40 during the play back. Woke up with 25 to go. What a race!

  9. Bennie H Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    The MOST boring race ever, I could hardly stay awake.

  10. Jesse Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    The history of the Speedway is hearing of a driver coming up thru the ranks and finally making it to The 500, that is long gone and now the 500 is The Event, and untill everyone understands this, they think it should be only for open wheel racers. The Speedway is history and everyone wants to run on The Track because of that past. I thank all those drivers that want to be there and run over those famous tire tracks of the greatest drivers ever.

  11. Jim Russell Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I’m in agreement with the folks who believe that IMS is hallowed ground….for open wheel racing. All the history and lore is centered on that form of motorsports. NASCAR needs to return to its roots. I think the comments by “holdin5aces” is typical of the type of fan that NASCAR has attracted in recent years: “Been there, done that”.

  12. RacingFan Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I find it puzzling that you would, in the same article, make the following 2 statements:

    —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—

    and

    —Jimmie Johnson was going to be next to impossible to beat as long as nothing happened to his car—

    If the cars are so identical, why was Jimmy able to dominate with his car? Couldn’t the other crew chiefs make the changes to their cars to make them like Jimmy’s?

  13. Richard Allen Says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    RacingFan,

    That’s a valid question.

    Those two statements are not as opposing as they may seem. What has happened as a result of NASCAR’s ever tightening rule book is that the teams like Hendrick, Gibbs, Roush and Childress who have massive engineering departments are able to spend millions of dollars to find the most minute advantages within those rules.

    With all the cars tunning essentially the same speed, a minute advantage can give a driver 1/10 second that smaller teams don’t have the money to find.

    Big teams always are the ones who argue for more rules under the guise that it “cuts costs” which they do not. More rules give big teams a greater advantage.

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