Could VHT be NASCAR’s answer for Indianapolis?
The VHT/Rosin applied to the bottom groove at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway during the recent NASCAR race weekend got mostly rave reviews, as it resulted, for the most part, two lanes of racing, up from the typical one at the Tennessee short track. So, could this sticky goop be the solution to lackluster racing at other tracks? Why not give it a try.
The number one place on my list of facilities where maybe we could give this stuff a try? Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400.
It’s not secret that NASCAR racing at Indy has been lackluster the last several years, at least. Quite frankly, if you look past the novelty of stock car racing at Indy the first few years of the race and the prestige of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, have NASCAR races at IMS, really, ever been all that “edge of your seat.” I don’t think so.
But, face it; we can’t just expect NASCAR and IMS to just go in an make permanent changes to the track in the name of improving the Brickyard 400. NASCAR may be tops and come first and foremost in some of our hearts, but the biggie for Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the Indianapolis 500, not the Brickyard 400. The track was constructed for that type of racing, not stock car racing. After all, the Indy 500 has been around for 100 runnings. The Brickyard 400, on the other hand, has only been a thing since the mid-1990s.
Surely, no reasonably-thinking person would expect the facility to make changes to accomodate a race at the expense of its marquee event.
That’s where my idea of the VHT used at Bristol comes in. Sure, Bristol is nothing like Indy, except for maybe the fact that they each are circular tracks with four turns. Heck they’re not even paved similarly, with IMS’ asphalt to BMS’ concrete. Still, why not give this goop a try?
The stuff doesn’t permanently change the track, so there would be no reasonable concern of it damaging the marquee product the Indianapolis 500. After all, the Brickyard 400 is in late July. The next Indianapolis 500 wouldn’t be until the following Memorial Day, i.e. the following May. We’re talking about a good 10-month span of time, here. I’m pretty sure Indiana gets more than enough rain to wash the stuff off in that amount of time.
In the time since the Brickyard 400, the most popular suggested fix for the Brickyard 400 I’ve heard is trying the event on the IMS road course. But somehow, running the Indy road course just doesn’t carry the same prestige and awe as racing on the big oval. And really, isn’t that the arguement for continuing the visits to Indy? So, why don’t we try the sticky stuff used at Bristol? What could it hurt? Try it once, and if it doesn’t work, just don’t do it again. After all, a failed one-race trial couldn’t be any worse than that tire debacle of several years ago.
Just a thought.