As we all know, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most iconic tracks on NASCAR’s schedule, which makes a spectacle of a race. And, as of this year, the popular Brickyard has overshadowed it’s neighboring track, Lucas Oil Raceway, and taken it’s July Nationwide Series race.
If all goes as planned, having the Nationwide Series at the Brickyard will generate more profit, seeing that the series is making it’s debut at such a historic track AND it’s partnered with the Cup race. In addition to that, drivers and NASCAR personnel seem to be quite excited about the move because of the track itself. I, on the other hand, am quite reluctant to see Lucas Oil Raceway be replaced after hosting the Nationwide Series annually for three decades.
Historic value set aside, the quality of racing at Lucas Oil Raceway is superb compared to the monotonous parade at Indy. The fender-bumping short track racing at the .686-mile Lucas Oil keeps fans on the edge of their seat for the majority of the 200 scheduled laps. Last year, the Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil was by far my favorite race of the Nationwide schedule, with cars bumping and spinning up until the checkered flag. The drivers are kept compacted and battling side-by-side at Lucas Oil, in contrast to the typical Indy field, which tends to thin out and run single file, a common trend already in the 2012 season.
That being said, maybe the Indy 250 will be a great move for the Nationwide Series, in both profit and racing. Next weekend will give us the answer to that, though the typical pattern of the racing at these two tracks is extremely different. The tight, compacted, short track racing at Lucas Oil Raceway will be greatly missed as the series moves to it’s larger counterpart; but think about it.. which is more important: historic value of the track, or quality of racing?
By Alanis King