Thursday, June 21, 2012

IndyCar: China Syndrome

Michigan, Pocono, Phoenix, Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen and Road America have all apparently been on a long list of candidates to replace the cancelled China race on the IndyCar schedule.  Even Texas, the target of a possible driver boycott earlier this year, was suddenly back in the good graces of IndyCar and on the list.  Pocono and Texas have since reportedly declined the “opportunity.” The series needs to replace China on the schedule in order to meet its television and sponsorship commitments.

Once upon a time Michigan, Pocono and Phoenix were mainstays of the IndyCar series.  Recent repaves at those three tracks make them good candidates for future races.  The road courses at Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen and Road America also have been on the schedule in the past and are some of the most famous tracks in American racing, deserving of future consideration.  Road America seems to be the current favorite.

But with indications the replacement race will be moved from the original August 19 date assigned to China to a season-ending event – and with the championship presumably at stake – I’ve got another suggestion.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Why not? It’s been a long time since Indianapolis 500 was sacrosanct at the Speedway.  First it was NASCAR.  Then Formula One.  MotoGP.  Indy Lights. (Indy Lights!?!) This year both GrandAm and NASCAR’s Nationwide races will be held during the Sprint Cup weekend.

So why not a second IndyCar race to close out the season and decide the championship?  What better place for it?

Of course you wouldn’t run 500 miles.  But how about 100 laps, 250 miles, 25 starters, started two-abreast?  A 100-lap sprint for the championship.

Seems like a no brainer to me.

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