2013 TrackChaser Report #62--Indianapolis Road Circuit, IN
Thursday night it was Sprint Cars for a buck. Friday it was weekday afternoon racing at Indianapolis.
The NASCRAP circus was in town, but they didn't start their actual racing until Saturday. Pam and I swooped into town Friday and saw an interesting Friday afternoon race on the old Formula One road circuit and were out of town without seeing any of the NASCAR guys so much as turn in a practice lap.
The event was the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge, a 2.5 hour event on the 2.6 mile road course. I had been to see the road circuit on Formula One weekend back in 2004, so this would be my second visit, and Pam's first.
Parking was $10 and there was hardly anyone in the lot directly across from the entrance to the speedway. Admission was steep for this event at $30. In addition to the two and a half hour afternoon Sports Car Challenge, there was the main event, the three hour Brickyard Grand Prix at 5:30. We only watched the afternoon race.
The place was like a mausoleum. There was hardly anyone there. It's eerie when you are at a sporting venue that seats a quarter of a million people and there are only a couple of thousand. Perhaps with that many seats, they should consider charging a more inviting ten or 15 bucks and try to get some fans to actually see the race in person.
The road circuit runs the opposite direction of the oval. The cars go from right to left down the front stretch. If you sit down by the fourth turn of the oval, you can see more of the infield part of the course than if you sit at the other end. There is actually a second road course at the track, used for the motorcycle grand prix.
There were two different classes racing in the 2:00 p.m. Brickyard Sports Car Challenge. The Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge was the top class, with the Street Tuner class also on the track at the same time. A stout 55 cars started the race, but that was down about a dozen from last year.
So far this year, the series has raced at Daytona, Circuit of the Americas, Barber, Road Atlanta, Mid Ohio, and Watkins Glen. After Indy, they travel to Road America, Kansas, Laguna Seca, and Lime Rock.
We walked around the infield for awhile and I watched the race from the outer stands at a few different locations. It was perfect summer weather for afternoon racing, and Indy is a very comfortable place to watch racing, especially when it is not crowded, which is an understatement on this day. After 2.5 hours of racing and 74 laps, the damn thing ended under yellow. Sixteen cars completed all 74 laps.
We wanted to return to the more friendly confines of our short track roots in the evening, so we did not stay to see the second road course race in late afternoon and evening. I definitely enjoyed the race and being at the Speedway, but I can't say I'd pay $40 to see it every year, and I doubt I'd ever chose to stay for the main event on a Friday night when tracks like Gas City, Bloomington, and others are running in my favorite racing state.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 39 / Pam 26
2013 Events-- Guy 60 / Pam 33
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 60 / Pam 33
2013 Additional new Non TC Tracks--Guy 5 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,516 / Pam 863
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