Comparing Chicago’s Big Deal to Another Big Deal

Racing in a city.



First race on a street course in the 75 year history of NASCAR.

Bringing racing to the people.

Making them NASCAR fans.

A Big Deal.

Don’t believe it? All you have to do to is check the media.

They’ll set you straight.

To hear some, this is the biggest thing to ever happen to NASCAR… ever. Or at least since the Clash at the Coliseum… which was the last biggest thing to happen to NASCAR… ever. Or at least since Bristol Dirt… ever. Or at least since the ROVAL… ever.

It wasn’t that long ago (if NASCAR was a viewer it would have still been in the Desired Demographic, instead of Legacy fan status it is today), another big event that took place.

Racing in a city.


First NASCAR race on the most famous race track in history-the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bringing racing to the non-Stock Car People.

Making them NASCAR fans.

A Big Deal.

Don’t believe it? All you have to do to check is take a look back.

So here is a compare and contrast of these two Big Deals.

For perspective.

The Setting

Brickyard-The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the most famous automobile race, the Indianapolis 500 was built in 1909 as an automotive testing grounds. The first 500 race was held there in 1911. Racing had been held there every year except for the years due to World War.

It was hallowed ground for open wheel racers. Although they viewed stock car racing as a lesser sport, several stock car drivers, mechanics and crews competed in the 500 with surprising success including drivers like Cale Yarborough, Bobby and Donnie Allison and Kurt Busch. Tim Richmond, Tony Stewart, Robbie Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchetti, John Andretti got their start at Indy before moving south. 500 Legends like AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Al Unser Jr. were primarily open-wheelers but saw success in their occasional forays into fendered racing. Legendary Crew Chief Smokey Yunick was a regular there and found the less restrictive rules more to the liking of his innovative skills. And the Wood Brothers brought their exception pit stop skills to the premier open wheel race to help Jim Clark secure a win (and brought back a few secrets that served them well in stock car racing over the years).

The overall attitude was Indy and their fans wanted nothing to do with NASCAR and sure didn’t want NASCAR and its fans soiling their hallowed grounds.

Chicago-Similar. The deal was negotiated with Mayor Lori Lightfoot prior to her unsuccessful bid for reelection. City government was not happy with the deal as many of the Aldermen were not aware of the deal until after the deal was done. Residents were unhappy because of the impact on traffic patterns before and after the event. Time frames on impact were presented considerably shorter initially and as the event go closer extended out. Also, the race displaced another long-standing event, the Taste of Chicago. This five day event which recently drew as many as a million people was normally held at the race location footprint at this time.

A general view of the setup for the Chicago Street Race on June 30, 2023 . (Photo Credit Sean Gardner / Getty Images)

Track History

Brickyard-Permanent Facility. Built in 1909 as a test facility. First race held in 1911. Oldest “speedway”.

Chicago-Temporary Facility. Built June 30, 2023. First race held July 1, 2023. “Newest” race course

Track Configuration

Brickyard-2.5 mile, four turn oval

Chicago-2.2 mile, twelve turn street course


Brickyard-Speedway IN, 6 miles from downtown Indianapolis

Chicago-Grant Park, Downtown Chicago

Race Origins

Brickyard-During a 1991 filming of a Craftsman Tools commercial at Indy, AJ Foyt and later Indy President Tony George took laps around the Brickyard in Foyt’s Cup car. This sparked interest for IMS to pursue a second race date for the facility. In 1992, a nine car “feasibility test” was held, followed the next year by tire tests, with a real event being held in 1994.

Chicago-The 2021 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitation Series’ final race of the season was held at a street course in Downtown Chicago. Rick Ware Racing’s Cup driver, James Davison won the virtual race that became the spark for the real event held here two years later.

Attendance for On-Track Preliminaries

Brickyard-25K fans show up for June 1992 “feasibility test”. The 1993 two day “tire test” drew an estimated 100K fans.

Chicago-None. Preliminaries were done through iRacing

Race Entries

Brickyard-86. NASCAR opened race to Winston West competitors and guaranteed one starting spot from that series.


Field Size


Chicago-37* of a 40 car max

*was 38 but JImmie Johnson withdrew due to family tragedy

Entries failed to qualify-sent home



Ticket Requests

Brickyard-1 million plus


Tickets Sold

Brickyard-250k. Largest race in NASCAR history to date.

Chicago-<50K to date.  This race replaces Road America which opened at 120K two years ago.

Fans Breakdown

Brickyard-No reported demographics

Chicago-First race for 80% of fans (<40K first time fans). Tickets sold to fans from four continents including New Zealand, home of race winner, Shane van Gisbergen.

NASCAR Track Prep Expenditures

Brickyard-None. Track built and could handle that and larger groups

Chicago-$50 million prep. 900 Security Officers hired. Teams hired own security.

Driver Autograph Signings/Promotions/Miscellaneous Activitites


  • Wednesday-USAC Open Wheel Race at Indiana Fairgrounds,
  • Thursday-ARCA (dirt) at Indiana Fairgrounds.
  • Friday-Trucks at IRP, Saturday-Xfinity at IRP.
  • Autograph Sessions-OEMs and individual drivers had events scheduled throughout area. Schedules and locations published so fans could attend. Sessions saw massive attendance. Ford had to move their drivers to the Hoosier Dome.  


  • NASCAR Night at Navy Pier,
  • Bubba’s Block Party (7K tickets at an estimated value of $1.88 million given away),
  • NASCAR Night at Wrigley Field (bobblehead night),
  • Concerts-
    • JC Brooks Band,
    • The Black Crowes (late start-shortened to 40 minutes, weather),
    • The Chainsmokers with NASCAR drivers (cancelled-weather),
    • Charley Crockett (cancelled-weather),
    • Miranda Lambert (cancelled-weather),
    • Xfinity Cup Race at Chicago Road Course (shortened-weather),

Foreign Drivers in Field

Brickyard-Geoff Brabham (New South Wales)

Chicago-Daniel Suarez (Mexico), Shane van Gisbergen (New Zealand)


Brickyard-160 Laps, 21 Lead Changes, Margin of Victory .53 seconds

Chicago-75 Laps (shortened from 100), 7 Lead Changes, 1201 Green Flag Passes, Margin of Victory 1.259 seconds

Pure, unrestricted sound of raw racing power


Chicago-No due to mufflers and tapered spacers

Race Winner

Brickyard-Jeff Gordon, 2nd Year NASCAR CUP Driver, 2nd Cup Win

Chicago-Shane van Gisbergen, 3 Time SuperCars Champion, 80+ Series wins, 1st Cup Win, 6th Cup winner born outside the US.


Brickyard-$3.2 million-Largest to date

Jeff Gordon with his trophies after winning the inaugural Brickyard 400 NASCAR Cup race on August 6, 1994 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)
 Shane Van Gisbergen, driver of the #91 Enhance Health Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 220 at the Chicago Street Course on July 02, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Credit Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images)


Winner’s Earnings

Brickyard-Jeff Gordon $613K

Chicago-NASCAR has not reported winnings since 2015, however NBC reports van Gisbergen will take home the largest portion of the $7,565,807 purse, NASCAR does not report drivers’ winnings. Due to payout differential between Charter and Non-Charter competitors, the Non-Charter van Gisbergen’s winnings are anticipated to be significantly less than had he been in a Charter vehicle.

TV Viewership

Brickyard-5.7 rating with 8.1 million viewers. NOTE- This year’s Daytona 500 had a 4.4 with 8.17 million viewers. (Click here)

Chicago-2.5 rating with 4.632 viewers. Largest audience for NBC since Homestead 2017. Largest streaming numbers. With these numbers combined and discarding the Daytona 500, this is the largest viewed race since 2017 Brickyard 400

Economic Impacts

Brickyard-In 2000, the economic impact of the race to Central Indiana was estimated at $212 million. The event eventually bankrolled the formation of the Indy Racing League

Chicago-Was estimated to generate $113 million in economic benefits with $3.2 million in tax revenues for Chicago.


Brickyard-27 years before moving to the road course (1994-2020). 2020 race was held on July 4th weekend in conjunction an IndyCar Grand Prix race. Due to COVID there were no fans to these events. The last pre-pandemic race saw an estimated 60K in attendance.

Chicago-First year of a three year deal. Future of the second year has not been reported yet.

Race Highlights


  • 5 Lead changes in last 25 laps.  
  • Jeff Gordon’s second Cup win and elevated him to stardom status on a future Hall of Fame career.
  • Two Indy 500 winners in field (AJ Foyt, Danny Sullivan)


  • Shane van Gisbergen’s 1st Cup win in first start is the first time it’s happened in 60 years,
  • first win for Trackhouse Racing’s Project 91,
  • shows NASCAR can put on a Cup street race “anywhere we want”,

Race Bummers


  • Some minor complaints, but overall declared a success


  • Rain, rain and more rain disrupted support activities and shortened races,
  • contractor killed by lightning strike,
  • citations issued to a fan for taking their car onto the track after Saturday’s race cancellation,
  • last race for NASCAR’s long-time Cup assistant director and pace car driver, Kip Childress

2nd Race and Beyond

Brickyard-2nd race occurred the following year and it continued on the oval for the following 26 years before moving to the road course in 2020. It soon became a Crown Jewel race with “kissing the bricks” becoming a new Tradition.

Chicago-This was the first race of a possible three race series. Status of next year’s race has yet to be announced.

Without a doubt both of the events were big deals. There impressive impacts extend beyond the numbers mentioned above.

The inaugural Brickyard 400 was a new addition to the Cup schedule. No date was taken from an existing track and given to it… instead a new date was created for it, bringing the season schedule up to 31 races from the 1993 30 race schedule. It brought Cup into an area of the country starving for Cup racing that had whet its appetite for stock car racing with a dozen or so wildly popular Xfinity races at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park (Lucas Oil). The Brickyard went on to become a “Crown Jewel” on the schedule and for many years was the most attended the race on the Cup schedule and paid the largest purses.

The Brickyard’s initial success helped spark the Series phenomenal growth in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. During that time, the Series added seven new tracks, not venues or reconfigurations, but new tracks to the schedule – Auto Club (1997), Texas Motor Speedway (1997), Las Vegas (1998), Homestead (1999), Kansas (2001), Chicagoland (2001). Kentucky Speedway opened in 2000 for Craftsman Trucks and Xfinity in 2001 but it would be 10 years later before they secured their first Cup date.

New tracks constructed during that time but unable to secure Cup dates included, Chicago (1999), Pikes Peak International (1997), Walt Disney World (1995) and Iowa Speedway (2006). World Wide Technology (1997), Nashville Super Speedway (2001) were on and off the schedule for lesser series but finally received Cup dates last season.

As the growing fan demand was filled by the new tracks with larger seating capacity, the schedule grew to accommodate these additions, as over the next eight years the schedule expanded from 31 races to the current 36 races it still has today.

As the new tracks were added, smaller capacity tracks that couldn’t meet the fan demands either fell off the schedule (North Wilkesboro-1998), (Rockingham-2005) or lost dates (Darlington-2005) along the way.

No matter how you cut it – the Brickyard 400 was a pretty big deal.

Fast forward to 2023. The Chicago Street Race interjected a new energy into the sport as NASCAR went into the city streets to try something new. This experiment sparked a renewed interest and energy in the sport both inside and outside the racing community.

Even though NASCAR admitted going into this inaugural event that it would not be profitable, they declared the event as a “remarkable weekend” even with the soaking rain’s impact on the racing and support events. Endorsements continue to come in. NASCAR COO, Steve O’Donnell stated “I think we are all confident at NASCAR that we could take the Cup Series anywhere we want” and mentioned they had already been contacted about the possibilities of future races being held outside the country. NASCAR Hall of Famer and Hendrick Motorsports Vice Chairman, Jeff Gordon said “the possibilities are sort of endless” and pointed out the events success, especially in the TV viewership numbers, came at a good time with the on-going 2025 contract negotiations.

That’s a pretty big deal as well.

As the City and the Sanctioning Body basks in the event’s afterglow and the contemplate it’s future for 2024 and beyond, one has to wonder if the Great Chicago Street Race Experiment of 2023 impact will change the sport like that other big deal? Is the future resurgence of the sport that was once the living poster child for Field of Dreams’ “Build it and they will come” hinging on metropolitan downtowns’ plea of “bring us your Jersey Barriers, tire walls and temporary seating?”

As the 2024 season schedule is being finalized to set the course for Cup’s future, Street Racing appears to be a new staple. Will it be Chicago or will the Series pack up its assets for a new City seeking NASCAR gold? Either way, that’s a pretty big deal.

And the rumors have been flying that NEXT GEN’s could favor the Oval over the Indy Road Course and bring the Brickyard 400 back to the 2024 schedule. If true, that’s a pretty big deal as well.

Can the two together spark a resurgence in Cup Racing?

Guess it all depends on weather, politics and… time to see just how big a deal these will be.

Tighten those belts up and hang on.

Thunder on… and Stay Safe


Photo Credit (cover); Michael Reaves / Getty Images


  1. Indy has never really had “good” racing, and that’s excluding the tire fiasco race. But I’d sit and watch 10 of the worst Brickyard 400s before I’d watch that 1 street race. I’ve read that this was a great race. But then so was those races In LA from the talking heads. I wouldn’t have any idea the outcome, if not for the Cup drivers getting spanked by a “road course ringer”. So I did read a couple of articles about the race. What I found most interesting was this. Not only did he beat them, he didn’t have to crash anybody to do it. Maybe our current Cup drivers could learn something from that. No, never mind.. It is a shame that the weather played so much into that race. Although I didn’t watch, I really wish the race could have happened under better circumstances. I wonder just how much teams paid for their “own” security? Also, I’m really glad that nobody was shot in a drive by.

    As for Indy proper, I sure hope that they run the big track next year, and not the road course. Although their road course is better than the Roval, it’s still not that good. It’s truly a shame that Road America lost their race date to Chicago. RA had more than twice as many paying customers. They sold 50k tickets for Chicago, but probably twice that many saw at least part of the race for free.

    Fun facts: The 1994 Brickyard 400 was not the first time that stock cars ran laps around the famed track. The first time was in 1962. Pontiac put on a 24 hour endurance test, to promote their Pontiacs as police cruisers. But the cars used were Pontiacs from Ray Nichols’s Cup operation. The drivers were Junior Johnson, Marvin Ranch, Fireball Roberts, Roger Ward, & Len Sutton.

    The first race car tire test ever run there was done by ARCA/USAC great Jack Bowsher. He and AJ Foyt did a full on tire test there in the late 60s I believe. When they pulled up to the gate, to go into the infield for that test, the security guard wouldn’t let them in. Even with AJ Foyt there! They had to drive back to the office to have them tell the guard that it was ok for them to be there. Before the 94 Brickyard 400, the normal mindset at Indy was “It’ll be a cold day in hell before a stock car runs at Indy”. Apparently that guard really believed that too.

    1. Thanks for your comments Ron. Appreciate the additional info. Do you recall who the test with Bowsher and Foyt was with? Funny they wouldn’t let Foyt in. Just shows how set the attitude was. The tracks reaction to the 92 test had softened a smidge, reluctantly. It was an interesting dynamic… a pretty big deal in itself that led to an even bigger deal.

      That was quite a lineup on the Pontiac test. Look like they were covering their bases on the appeal factor. Wonder if there is any promo film out there on it?

      I hope they move the race back to the Brickyard. I think the racing will be a bit better than what it’s shown in the fast. At least I hope so. They could do three years on and three years off because that seems to be the memory span these days before the new wears off and boredom sets in and it’s off to do something else to add to the list of the next big deals.

      LA will be in year three. Let’s see what happens.

      Chicago… I think you have to give it a mulligan for this years weather. Hopefully they will get a shot to give it a fair shot next year. Awful lot of government folks raw over the deal they got and felt it should have been a lot better. Will see how the new mayor proceeds. I think one of the things interesting is NASCAR controls the numbers at tracks partners with city government whose business is supposed to be a bit more transparent. We’ll maybe get to eventually see what’s behind the curtains.

      Some other things I find interesting about Chicago is all the things that aren’t getting talked about. They tout the 80% first time fan numbers with is great… but for a crowd of less than 50k (which was a sellout and to date I’ve not seen where it was) that means ticket buyers who had been to NASCAR races before made up less than 10K of the crowd. That’s pretty low numbers when you consider that you had a track within an hour that had not been raced on in a few years, fans who go to Indy and Road America and with this being such an epic event chose not to go and be a part of the first one? Have to ask why.

      Also Chicago posted impressive TV numbers for the race. Hoe many of them tuned in for the following week? Was there a bump from them then or was it one and done? Since no one has mentioned the former I figure it’s the latter. If so that would be disappointing.

      I’m glad SVG won. I’ve never understood why no team until now put an Aussie SuperCar driver in a NEXT GEN before now. If you build your new car modeled off them, why wouldn’t you use someone experienced in them? Same for engineers and crew chiefs. What better way to get a leg up than to tap resources experiences with them? Wonder if that may be why Penske won the first championship with one? He has an ASC team.

      I’m glad to hear more are coming. Hope they run 1-2. Wake some people up. Right now it looks like they are living in a lot of peoples heads. Watkins Glen? Why not. To me that’s three fewer races the 9 car has a shot to win to make the Playoffs which would be kinda ironic. And a big deal

      Chicago was a big deal. Hopefully will lead to more big deals. But in the 75 years of NASCAR there have been several big deals, just wish some would pump the brakes a bit, take a breath and put things in perspective before they hang the “est” on it.

      Thanks again. Stay cool.

      1. Back in those days AJ drove Jack’s cars. He won the USAC championship in Jack’s stock car. AJ’s car # was either 1 if defending champion. Otherwise it would be either 11 or 31. About 4 years after them being turned away at Indy, I was on Gary Bowsher’s pit crew when he started racing a late model at Tri-County speedway in Cincinnati. It was basically a legal USAC stock car that ran against some pretty wild outlaw stock cars. I’m pretty sure that 67 Fairlane was one that Jim Bowsher won some races in. One night Gary was hauling down the back stretch and he got hoohlked on the right rear. He went out of the park in turn 3. It made 2 full rotations in the air before going end over end. I don’t know if that car raced again. After that season I left for the Air Force. Jack was the most tightly wound man I’ve ever met when at the track. Gary won one of the last races at Texas World Speedway. He beat AJ.

      2. I’m not sure that this is correct, but it has stuck in my mind. I think that tire test was for Firestone. I tried looking for that info online, but to no avail. I thought about trying to contact Gary Bowsher, butI haven’t talked with him since I helped on his late model in the 70s.

        I couldn’t find anything about the 62 Pontiac test other than a couple of mentions in articles, and those were very short.

        I know that LA has loved the attention of having the Clash there, but wonder how long they will be willing to pay for extensive security, and to relocate the homeless. I, like you, think that year 3 will do it. As I’ve said before, LA may be a “Got to be there” destination for NASCAR, but the SoCal fans lose interest quickly. I will be surprised if the Chicago race happens again. Virtually everybody on the city counsel was pissed at what Lightfoot agreed to behind their backs. That right there should make getting another race a big uphill battle. But if they do get a second race, I hope they have great weather for it. At least then we can get a real feel to where things stand. Chicagoland was a nice facility, and if you don’t mind fuel mileage races, a good venue. The locals stopped going after about 3-4 seasons. Chicago, like LA, has a lot of things to do to choose from.

        I expect the we the fans will never hear any numbers about the fan count, etc, unless NASCAR can paint it in a positive manner for them. NASCAR is like our federal government. The more they say they’re being transparent, the more they are lying to us. I doubt that will ever change for either entity.

        If I owned a Cup team, I’d be trying to hire an Aussie Super Car driver too. When I first saw some of the specs & pictures of what NASCAR allowed to the public, I told my brother that NASCAR is going to race Aussie super cars. Before those specs/pictures were released to the public, the Circuit of the Americas track hosted the Super Car Series. After NASCAR released that info, the series canceled their trip to COTA for the next season. Was that a coincident, I doubt that. I saw those races held at COTA, and they were great! I wish that our “Cup stars” could race like that. Yeah, they had some rubbing, but somehow they always managed to not destroy each other. Imagine that? One thing is for sure, when SVG (and other super car pilots) return, there won’t be that surprise advantage he had in Chicago. He (those) will be the first cars that get taken out. There were more than a few Cup drivers that were embarrassed that they got showed up by an outsider. As I really enjoyed those Super Car races at COTA, and knowing the the new Cup car was basically a copy, I had great hope in the racing we’d get to see from the Cup stars driving there. Unfortunately that ain’t what happened, at least not yet. Will that change, I hope so, but I’m not betting the farm.

        NASCAR thinks a “big deal & bestest ” is anything they decide. Unfortunately for them, the fans that pay the bills, sometimes have a much different idea. Until both can get back on the same page, it will be a struggle. But I hope for the best, because if NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA or IMSA fail, that will have a negative effect on all racing. NASCAR needs local racing to survive, and local racing needs the same for NASCAR.

        1. Well, the Indy road course race is over, and if you wondered, I didn’t watch it. I can watch a race at Road America, COTA, and perhaps Brazelton, but street races & infield road courses just doesn’t do it for me. All arrows point to the Cup race being run on the oval next year. I doubt that NASCAR, the teams & Goodyear, would spend all the time and money for a 2 day test otherwise.
          I’m really happy for Michael McDowell’s win. Good guys & small teams can get the job done! There was 1 other thing that I read about this race that struck me. Only 1 yellow Flag, and no stage breaks!!! I am truly hopeful that our Cup drivers realize that wrecking someone isn’t racing. I wonder if the race announcers were a bit flustered, because a mid pack driver/team dominated the race? Fox would have been.
          If Chase Elliot doesn’t win at Watkins Glen Sunday, will NASCAR figure out a way to sneak him into the playoffs? I love Chase, but not having NASCAR’s “most popular” driver in the playoffs will be hard for NASCAR to swallow.

          1. Thanks, Ron, for coming here and commenting, I really love to read and your comments and storys, as for myself, McDowell saved the weekend!! After Saturday below par Indy-Race and the Xfinity-Race I almost had it with the GP-course, Mr. Penske really need to do something about the layout or something to re-vitalize it. But as said McDriver saved the weekend for me, I been following FRM since Johan Andretti started showing up in their cars, and later on Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland!! In some way the new”car” has been a real gamechanger for them, starting off on the same platform instead of buying several generation old chassis from bigger teams ! Anyways than Ron for coming here and commenting. //B

  2. Hi David!
    Great and interesting stats. I really thing as our older generation is starting to leave us and lose interest. That leaves the casual fan who is there for several reasons, including actual watching the race and taking in all the noises and smells. Today it seems like a lot of people do things, including going to a race, only because it is the thing to do so you can talk about it.

    I still am amazed at how you can do the stats you do on each of these articles you write. Thank You!

    1. Thanks Vivian! I’m a nerd.

      But I found it to be an interesting exercise because as NASCAR put out their Chicago stats a little digging back to Indy produced even (what I thought were) more impressive numbers on nearly every point being touted about the street race.

      I tried to present them as neutrally as I could so readers could draw their own conclusions that yeah this was big but maybe not a big as being presented.

      As far as the new fans and such, I saw some interesting crowd shots during the Trucks and Xfinity races that had more folks with heads down looking at their phones than looking at the track. I guess that’s todays world.

      As best I can tell you can’t run a race without concerts and a Ferris Wheel. Used to be the race was the reason, now it’s an excuse.

      It’s all changing and that’s OK. It’s just tiresome being fed a bunch of Bull that whatever the latest thing is is the biggest, bestest, greatest or whatever superlative that’s being thrown out when they know better. And we’re supposed to believe it without even asking a question.

      That sure seems like where we’re at.

      Thanks again.

      Take care

  3. I guess it’s one of the reasons my interests have shifted away from NASCAR, but when most of the stats involve business rather than the actual racing, I’ll be elsewhere, given my druthers. Saturday night I was at a quarter-mile dirt track with probably fewer than 1,000 other fans to watch 100 or so race cars in five different divisions race for money that wouldn’t cover a NASCAR vice president’s entertainment budget. We make a big deal of somebody pitching in $50 for “fastest time during hot laps,” and then we put a picture on Facebook of the “fastest timer” with his/her award. This is a great story, David, and it illustrates why those new Chicago ticket buyers had been be NASCAR’s future, because we old-timers won’t be.

    1. Frank, Understand want you mean. I’m glad you still have an outlet to feed your fire. Things are sparse around these parts and nearly all my racing buddies left racing years ago. Closing KY didn’t help things and going to races by yourself isn’t as appealing as it once was. But I’m glad you have a real outlet.

      Here is what isn’t said about Chicago. If 80% of your not sold out crowd is first time ticket buyers that means this heavily promoted event turned the crank enough for less than 10k “experienced” fans to show up… less than half of what showed up for the initial Indy Tire Test… a tire test, mind you.

      NASCAR had better be thankful the entirety of the Discarded Demographic hasn’t vacated or they would be hurting ducks.

      Thanks again for your comments! Enjoy. Sounds like you’re having a blast.

  4. Thanks Bernth. I wish they would run the Xfinity races at IRP with the trucks. Great racing there. Keep the Cup cars on the Indy oval. To me, the only thing that an infield road course brings, is the ability to have a large amount of paid seating for a road course, and a little better ability to see the majority of the race from the grandstands.
    It’s amazing to see FRM go from a start & park team, to a good solid mid tier team. Nearly all of the early start & park teams have left. There’s no doubt that the new car has taken away the advantages of the large teams, and that’s a good thing for the sport. The fans want to root for their driver, whoever that may be. Unfortunately the announce teams (both networks) only like to talk about the anointed ones, and they are almost always sitting in a car fielded by the top teams. I’m hopeful that this new car will allow for more small teams, that maybe only do a handful of races a season, have a chance to not only make the show, but be competitive too. That’s not going to happen for at least a couple more seasons. It will take those current teams, to start cycling through some those early Next Gen chassis’ to happen.
    NASCAR has been playing around with some different things, trying to make short track racing better. Richmond’s test didn’t really help much. They played with the front splitter, and then removing the rear diffuser and increasing the rear spoiler to 4″. They’re doing the 2 day Indy tests now, with hopes that the higher speeds on the INDY straights will show a bigger difference. I think that Kyle Busch nailed what needs to be done to these cars. He said that they should completely remove the belly pan. I agree. We’ll see if anything comes from that.

    1. Ron, I agree that Xfinity needs to be at IRP. That was one of their premiere events back in the day. Not many tickets were hotter in that series. When they left for the big track that took away something from that Series.

      Before the season started if you had been asked who would have more wins-SHR or FRM how long would you have laughed before answering? Who is laughing now?

      I appreciate NASCARs efforts to improve the NG performance but it’s not sounding good. When you use words like Grand Slam and Home Run and not getting it in these tests that tells me they expected to get it in k r swing.. and that didn’t happen. The lift splitter seemed to be the totally wrong direction, but the only thing worse than an armchair crew chief or engineer is an armchair aerodynamicist.

      Ripping the underpan out may be the solution but as interrelated as all the parts on this car is, would probably require modifications of other areas. It opens up the underbody for aero tricks and then you are right back in the spending race this car was designed to stop.

      Lot to consider. Glad my payday doesn’t depend on solving these issues.

      It’s going to be interesting.

      Thanks! Have a great weekend!

  5. Well David, this all still comes back to NASCAR admitting their mistakes with this car. If the belly pan is removed, it simply exposes the raw chassis, dirty up the air under it. They already have the rules in place for tampering. It shouldn’t be to hard to laser it, and tell if somebody has been playing around in that area. I’ve said in the past, on other posts, I believe taking that thing off will help. But here’s why I really believe that will go along way to fix the aero, and passing issues. I don’t think many would argue that Kyle Busch is one of, if not the best wheelman in Cup. If he really believes it will fix a lot of those issues, I’m not going to argue against that. He wants the driving back in his hands. Real drivers want to be able to make a difference in the outcome, beyond having an engineer tell them what will work. Two of the best ever, AJ Foyt & Mario Andretti could drive anything, and win in it. They always said that they wanted to be the deciding factor.
    Yeah, nobody saw FRM being stronger than SHR! But that is also the supposed reason for this new car, to give everyone a chance. There’s still no doubt that money still talks in racing, but maybe, just maybe the gap isn’t still the Grand Canyon.
    I haven’t seen anything of substance from the tests they ran at Indy this week. That doesn’t bode well for what they’re trying to accomplish.
    You have a great weekend too!!

    1. Ron,

      We’ll put. I think you said it all in your first sentence. If that doesn’t happen the rest doesn’t happen or matter.

      I wished I was more hopeful. So far I’m not seeing it happening.

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