The 2024 NASCAR season will mark the 30th anniversary of its return to the Indianapolis Oval. After hosting races on the road course for the past three years, the decision to return to the oval has been highly anticipated by both fans and drivers. However, the reason for the initial switch from the oval to the road course may have crossed your mind before.
Although the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is renowned for its significance in motorsports, it shares a common drawback with the Formula 1 Monaco street circuit. The track’s design makes passing difficult, resulting in a lack of excitement for fans and ultimately leading to lower attendance. However, there is hope that the Next Gen cars will improve this issue, as many, including the President of IMS, believe that NASCAR and the Indianapolis Oval are a perfect match.
According to the president of IMS, the partnership between NASCAR and Indianapolis has been in place since 1994.
In 2020, NASCAR drivers last competed on the Indianapolis Oval. The inaugural Brickyard 400 took place in 1994 and was won by the renowned Jeff Gordon. The track is now owned by Roger Penske, a prominent figure in NASCAR.
On November 4, 2019, the Penske Corporation acquired ownership of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This marked only the second instance in which NASCAR has raced on the oval track. Recognizing the lack of fan interest and resulting financial losses, Penske made a savvy decision to take over ownership.
The experienced leader of Team Penske is making another risky decision for the upcoming Indianapolis race. He has chosen to try out the Next-Gen cars and race on the Indianapolis Oval in 2024, which marks the 30th year of NASCAR racing at this track. However, it remains to be seen if the racing will improve or if it will just be another unexciting event that fans have become accustomed to.
At this moment, it appears that everyone is in agreement with the plan. However, only time will tell if it is the right answer for that question.
Per Track President Doug Boles, NASCAR and the Indianapolis road course are a perfect match. Doug enthusiastically stated, “We belong together and I truly believe that. Our relationship with NASCAR has been fantastic. When you think about it, even before the pre-1994 era, we had two legends in our sport – Bill France and Tony Hulman – who I’m sure had discussions about this before the first test in the 1990s and the inaugural race in 1994.”
“I believe that NASCAR is a perfect fit for this location and that our presence should continue to be included in their schedule.”
@jdouglas4 discusses the choice to come back to the racetrack in 2024 and emphasizes the significance of keeping NASCAR at @IMS. pic.twitter.com/AhW9ySMXLi
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) September 29, 2023
“When considering notable locations in the world of motorsport, I believe that NASCAR and its schedule are a perfect fit.”
He mentioned during a recent interview on SiriusXM.
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Kyle Larson, the 2021 Cup Series champion, is expected to have a busy schedule at Indianapolis next year. The 31-year-old expressed excitement about competing at the renowned oval track after the announcement was made.
Kyle Larson is eager for an eventful weekend at Indianapolis, where he will be pulling double duty.
Next season, Larson will compete in both the Cup Series and the IndyCar race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will have the opportunity to race on both the oval and the road course. According to ESPN, the 2021 Cup Series champion expressed his excitement for the oval’s return, stating that it is always an honor to race at Indianapolis.
“I am always grateful for the opportunity to race at IMS, but I must admit, I am especially looking forward to NASCAR’s comeback to the oval track.”he said.
The Brickyard 400 is a highly coveted event in the world of racing. Winning on the oval, especially during NASCAR’s 30th anniversary at the track, solidifies your place in the sport’s history.
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The driver ranked #5 for Hendrick Motorsports will be racing for Arrow McLaren in what could be considered the most significant open-wheel race of his career. If everything goes according to plan and the 31-year-old enjoys the experience, there is a possibility that he may transition to IndyCar in the next phase of his career.
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