Headin To Indy

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It’s only a three-hour drive from Chicago to Indianapolis, but that’s plenty of time to mull over a variety of racing topics.

  • I am really excited about going to Indianapolis this season, which is something I haven’t felt for more than five years. The cold war between CART and the IRL is still raging, but it’s obvious that everyone in open-wheel racing realizes the importance of the Indianapolis 500. It’ll seem like old times to have names like Penske, Andretti, Unser and Foyt walking around Gasoline Alley. But this year’s race will be more than just a nostalgic trip down memory lane. I truly believe this could be one of the best 500s in history. There are at least 15 drivers who I think have a solid chance to win the race and who knows, after qualifying this weekend there may be a couple of others in that mix. It’s a shame that we’ve had five years of this kind of excitement taken away from us. Let’s hope this year is the first step on the road back to total recovery.

  • A big part of this year’s Indy excitement is Tony Stewart’s attempt to race in both the 500 and the Winston Cup Coca-Cola 600 that night. Yeah, I know other guys have tried it, most recently John Andretti and Robby Gordon, but neither of them had the chance to actually win both races like Stewart does. I’m serious folks, Stewart has a real opportunity to accomplish one of the greatest feats in sports history by winning two of the world’s most prestigious races on the same day!

  • From this week’s “What the Heck’s NASCAR Doing?” file… Will the sanctioning body ever make up its mind on ending races under the yellow flag? Tony Stewart had to unfairly sweat out his win in Richmond last Saturday night when NASCAR, once again, decided to red flag the race with seven laps to go rather than clean up Dave Blaney’s crash under caution. I, like all fans, hate it when races finish under yellow. But unless NASCAR makes it a rule that an event will be red-flagged with less than 10 laps to go, then be consistent and end under yellow. Wait, there are three words that should never be used together in a sentence… NASCAR… rules… consistent. Sorry, must have been the bean burrito I ate at that last rest stop.

  • By the way, how many of you actually saw the Richmond race last weekend? Since it was televised on FX, I know many of you missed it. Bad news if you don’t have the network... you’re also going to miss this weekend’s Busch race and next Saturday night’s Winston All-Star race.

  • I received a few e-mails last week about my commentary on the status of the truck series. Apparently, there are some passionate fans out there that like the trucks and were upset that I painted a picture of doom for the tour. As I said in the piece, I think the racing is great and that the atmosphere of a truck race is refreshing, a throwback to the old days when you could mingle with the drivers and crews in the garage. I just think with the dwindling sponsorship, relatively small attendance and miniscule television ratings the circuit needs a quick rebound or it may join the ABA, USFL and IMSA on the scrap heap.
  • Race Center

    Auto Club 500

    @ Auto Club Speedway
    Saturday, October 19, 2013
    TV Start:
    NBCSN

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