Friday, September 27, 2013

Thoughts On A May Road Course Race At IMS

What we have long known looked likely now is confirmed--May, 2014 will see IndyCars on the road course configuration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Now, there are some folks who read that, and it has set their blood to boiling. Let me just preface the rest of this with the fact I am a HUGE student and fan of the history of the 500 and IMS. I love reading anything I can on the subject, and if I can find out more about an driver who started once in the 1920s, it's a great day. I absolutely revere the Speedway and it's history.

So I get people are upset that another race is being run in May at Indy. Tradition is immensely important to us. It's why many of us park in the same place, sit in the same section, scrutinize the execution of pre and post-race traditions, and carry those same expectation down to our children.

But IndyCar is a business, and in a business, you have to use your assets. With IMS, here IndyCar has a venue that's in the family. It also provides a chance to grab a title sponsor for a race at Indy, and some intriguing promotional capabilities besides. I'm pretty sure Mark Miles has made a calculated move here, one to bring some profit a series that could certainly use some.

We already had a race in May outside of Indy, just not at IMS. I hope this allows IMS to operate for a longer window in May, with more days of meaningful on-track action. (It should also be better on the teams than trying to turn around quickly for Indy from another venue). The road course fan in me (who sometimes does not get along with the oval fan) is curious to see what the tweaks are to the configuration of infield for that race. For me, more time watching open wheel racing at IMS is a good thing.

I totally understand if you are not happy with the decision of Mark Miles and company. I have my own reservations. But I'm also willing to see where this takes us. I can't imagine the Indy 500 ever being less special to me. The ultra-boring Brickyard 400 couldn't do that, and the F1 debacle couldn't, either.

The fans aren't coming out for practice and qualifications like they used to. Will this new race fix that? I don't know, but I'm willing to take a deep breath and find out.

This is going to be a passionate topic, but I think we're all well-served if we remember to have some courtesy and understanding along with our passion for the topic. Good race fans can disagree, after all.

1 comment:

  1. The 500 is a tradition. As long as everything else that goes on at IMS does not affect that tradition on race day, bring it on!