IndyCar to race on the oval at Daytona?

Posted by Declan | 4/26/2010 | 12 comments »
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Buried in a relatively uninteresting press Q&A, about the much needed re-surfacing of the Daytona Speedway, was a rather intriguing morsel.

Daytona Speedway President, Robin Braig, discussed the logistics and time frame for the repaving of the oval and dropped a startling bombshell with regards to the future of the venue once the project has been completed.

When Braig was asked about the potential upside (and downside) of the endeavour, he replied with the following:

The upside is obvious: a smooth track, which by the way, opens the door to Daytona talking race dates with the Indy Racing League.

We haven't talked to the folks in Indianapolis about this, but our phone lines are open. We would listen to any call they would make.

It is hard to work out exactly what may have prompted this or even if Braig was referring to the potential of IndyCars racing on the road course which will include a substantial section of the newly repaved oval. What is clear is that every element of the NASCAR's business is being battered by the combination of the economic downturn and its inability to properly react to the changing market conditions on and off the track. Is it possible now that ISC have finally woken up to the idea of working with IndyCar to promote events? The coming months will possibly provide us with an answer.

Maybe we will have to get a little bit more used to the sights like this.

12 comments

  1. Doug // April 26, 2010 5:15 AM  

    Interesting comments, and it would be cool to see the IndyCar pick up another large oval. However, I think I'll put this in the I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it column for now. Notice that they said they were waiting for the IRL to call them, not that they were actively seeking out the IRL. Its a subtle, but important difference.

  2. Declan // April 26, 2010 5:22 AM  

    Doug,

    Nobody in Braig's position says anything of that nature without having a very strong motive.

    Dex

  3. Joe // April 26, 2010 5:29 AM  

    I'll believe that ISC is interested in the IRL when I see it.

    At best, they're interested in the IRL at venues where they do not have two NASCAR Sprint Cup events.

  4. Oilpressure // April 26, 2010 6:13 AM  

    For years, the thinking was that open-wheeled cars would be too fast at Daytona's oval and would have a similar effect of CART's attempt to run at Texas in 2001. I've always thought it would be interesting to at least give it a try. Running on the road course would be a nice compromise.

    Would the Florida area support another Florida venue? Although I would like to see the IZOD IndyCar Series wrap up its championship on an oval, I could see closing out the season on the road course at Daytona instead of in front of the empty seats at Homestead.

  5. BP // April 26, 2010 6:20 AM  

    If this means that commentators would stop saying NASCARs run at 200 mph everywhere they go, I'm all for it.

    Maybe once they see a car go 230 at Daytona they'll realize the speed gap that exists between IndyCar and the other series.

  6. pressdog // April 26, 2010 6:59 AM  

    Screw the road course, first of all. Big oval. Good. Bottom line for Daytona and every other track is butts in seats. If they think IndyCar puts buts in their seats, they'll make an effort, ISC track or not. Money made off IndyCar events spends just as well as that made off NASCAR events.

  7. arenasnow // April 26, 2010 8:27 AM  

    I REALLY do not like this idea. IndyCars would go way faster than 230 there. Recall that Rusty Wallace did something like 230 in testing without a plate in a Cup car. What would an IndyCar do there? 250? 260? Presumably it would be faster than the CART cars were at Michigan and California, where Gil de Ferran hit 240. I think speeds greater than that are just plain dangerous. C'mon ISC, if you want to give IRL a date at a track that has two Cup dates, it MUST go to Michigan or Phoenix.

  8. Edmund // April 26, 2010 8:57 AM  

    I'm not sure how your headline matches the quote. He never said anything about Indycars running on the oval, just that if the track is resurfaced, they could entertain the idea of having Indycars at the venue. I think that they would almost certainly run the road course.

  9. Declan // April 26, 2010 9:41 AM  

    Hi Edmund,

    The headline had a question mark for that very reason.

    Even if IndyCar goes there and runs on the road course, it will include a substantial section go the repaved oval.

    The speeds may be too great for IndyCar to run on the oval safely and would ISC/NASCAR really want another series running at higher speeds at its own HQ?

  10. JP // April 26, 2010 9:53 AM  

    It appears now that nascar can't sellout all their tracks by themselves, the new leadership on the track side @ ISC ie joie chitwood has helped the GOB's figure out that more variety and events at a location may be the best way to maximize revenue on the property side even if it means sustaining a competitor on the league side.

  11. btzucker // April 26, 2010 10:35 AM  

    IndyCars would fly on that oval. I'd love to see it, but at the same time, I hate it when we follow around Nascar. I don't like that we chose Sonoma and WG as the first permanent road courses in the series because it just makes it look like we are copying them. As far as the road course at Daytona goes, I could care less. I prefer road courses through hills and valleys rather than over banks and infields. Just my preference though. That said, if they race well there, let's do it.

  12. Tom // April 26, 2010 11:00 AM  

    Do the oval or don't go there.

    A Daytona 500 could be part of the Triple Crown that Randy Bernard has started talking about. As for speeds, Honda could revise the fuel control to reduce HP for this one race. (No restrictor plates here - we're high tech!) However, the speeds should be above 230: somewhere shy of "unsafe" there's room for a new closed loop speed record!