I received the following regarding Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Do the folks at NASCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway not realize that the Firecracker 400, then Pepsi 400, now Coke Zero 400, was originally run during the day? It was moved to night because it was TOO HOT for the fans and participants.
This is the same reason, along with lack of racing, why attendance is so poor at the Brickyard 400. This Speedway was just granted $100 million in state and local tax money for facility improvements provided they spend an additional $40 million of their own money. Yet they won't put lights in, and are now delaying the 15 foot apron that was supposed to be in each of the 4 corners for the stock cars to use to be able to pass better.
They should put lights in, move the race to night the last weekend in June, and make it the first race for NBC each year, i.e. NBC is paying a lot of money to show Cup races, even though nobody will be watching, and they want a marquee event when they take over their portion of the schedule.”
It is impossible to fault the logic of this idea. Just like Daytona in July, Indiana in August can be hot. And a night race should be cooler than a race in the afternoon. Why anything that would improve the racing at IMS is being delayed is beyond this fan’s ability to comprehend. And obviously the Brickyard 400 at night-with improved racing-would be a marquee event for NBC to launch their new NASCAR coverage.
Will this ever happen? I doubt it. It makes sense, and rarely do race tracks and sanctioning bodies do much that makes sense.
Something else that makes sense is giving NASCAR Sprint Cup dates to Road Atlanta or Road America and Iowa Speedway in 2015. If the powers that make the important decisions for NASCAR don’t want to put Sonoma in The Chase because of its location, put Road Atlanta in. And all Iowa Speedway has done since it opened is prove again and again that it is a racy track that would sell out a NASCAR Sprint Cup date. How many other tracks can claim that?
Following the conclusion of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, Austin Dillon flew to Haubstadt, Indiana and ran a dirt late model in an UMP Summernationals event at Tri-State Speedway. Dillon finished second to Billy Moyer of Batesville, Arkansas, a late model hall of famer with close to 800 feature wins. I realize that many NASCAR fans are not dirt track fans, but when a driver like Dillon visits a track near you, spend a night watching a different kind of racing. Local tracks are much cheaper than NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks and provide enough action for even the most jaded Sprint Cup fan to enjoy. You may be too young to remember the old “Try it. You’ll like it commercial.” I’m not-try a local track just once. You’ll like it. And you won’t need any Alka-Seltzer like in the commercial.
Nine Sprint Cup teams have formed the RTA-Race Team Alliance. Included in the groups are Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Team Penske. Apparently the alliance was encouraged by NASCAR, but to me it gives the teams far more power in their dealings with the sanctioning body. A priority issue for the RTA will be developing ways the combined purchasing power of the teams can be used to lower costs.
Finally, was it right for NASCAR officials to call the Coke Zero 400 with 48 laps remaining in the race? As officials stated, many of the fans left when the race was red flagged for rain a second time. It was raining hard and there was no sign of a let up. Even with the Air Titan technology, it would take a lengthy effort to get the track race ready when the rains finally stopped. From Friday’s farcical qualifying through a one day postponement to a wreck involving 26 cars to another rain delay, I don’t think anyone wanted to wait for the rain to stop and the race to resume. I certainly didn’t, and I was at home in my easy chair. I don’t always agree with NASCAR, but it was time to put Daytona behind for 2014.
It will be interesting to see what NASCAR decides to do if rain interrupts a Chase race. I think in such a race more time should pass before a decision is made. I say so because of the new procedure which will eliminate contenders every few races in the Chase. A driver running close to the front in a race may be forced to make a green flag pit stop before others do. This could put the driver a lap down until all drivers make their stops. If rain stops the race and it is eventually called, it could mean a difference of 20 positions on the track, 20 points in the standings, and could potentially eliminate a driver from The Chase that might have continued under different circumstances. At the very least this could cause a driver hundreds of thousands of dollars in point fund money, and a worst case scenario would mean losing a championship. I would hate to see weather decide a championship.
Thanks for stopping by.