It was a marketing idea that was meant to fill seats in the grandstands surrounding America’s most famous speedway. The ‘Super Weekend at the Brickyard’ was designed to give fans an entire weekend of racing at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, at a price of course. While no one can fault the idea on paper, the reality turned out to be an embarrassment of near epic proportions.
Almost immediately after the announcement fans and critics began to question the idea of allowing anything but the top tier series of NASCAR to race at the ‘Big Track’. After all it had taken some time for open wheel fans to warm up to the idea of allowing stock cars to race on the famed yard of bricks, now it seemed that the kids were going to be allowed at the adult table. The addition of the Nationwide race at Indy meant that the loss of a race at the little track across town which while known as many names, was always simply Indianapolis Raceway Park. The Friday night racing under the lights there was some of the best of the year and always held in front of packed grandstands. IRP however would lose the event that was the highlight of the year for many.
What had been talked about since the announcement last year became a reality this past weekend. The Grand-Am race on Friday and Nationwide race on Saturday were nothing memorable. Other than two controversial calls by NASCAR on Saturday the racing was no better or no worse than anywhere else. Not that many people saw it in person. The crowd estimate of 40,000 was a mere drop in the ocean that is Indy which can seat 250,000. The empty seats far outnumbered the occupied ones. In fact some joked that there seemed to be more race officials, workers and crewmembers than actual fans. 40,000 fans would have been a sellout at IRP, but instead those fans that did attend were forced to watch the endless parade of Nationwide series cars. MORE>>>