Xfinity Series: go back to Indy short track and take Truck Series with you
In the days since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race weekend that culminated in Sunday’s running of the Brickyard 400, ahem, the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard, most of the talk, aside from Kyle Busch’s dominance and Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon’s joint tribute lap, has been how boring the racing was on Sunday, and Saturday in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, for that matter.
Of course, Busch’s dominance played into that. After all, he dominated both of the weekend races. On Saturday, he led all 20 laps of his heat race and then led all but one lap of the 60-lap main. And when you get right down to it, the only reason Brendan Gaughan led the other lap was because he stayed out an extra lap during a cycle of green-flag stops.
Then, fast-forward to the main event — Sunday’s Brickyard 400. Busch led all but 21 laps of the race that was extended to a 170-lap distance by a couple of late-race cautions.
Busch dominance aside, has NASCAR racing at IMS ever, really, been overly exciting? I’ll answer that; nope, not really. The draw of the Brickyard, for NASCAR, is simply the prestige of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We are talking about the most revered historic track in all of motorsport, after all.
NASCAR, at least the premier series, has been racing at the Brickyard since 1994, and the racing’s never been edge-of-your-seat, if you ask me. NASCAR hasn’t been able to fix it in over 20 years, so I’m beginning to think there’s not a fix.
Let’s be honest, here. IMS design lends itself more to IndyCar racing, not stock car racing. Should track changes be made? No. Face it; the premier event for Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year is the Indianapolis 500, not the Brickyard 400. So I definitely would not expect the facility to change in the name of making the NASCAR race better at the detriment of the IndyCar race, its yearly headlining event.
I’m also not suggesting NASCAR throw in the towel and cut ties with the Brickyard. We are talking about the Brickyard, for crying out loud. I do, however, think NASCAR should probably hit rewind on moving the Xfinity Series there, though.
Is there any way the Xfinity Series could return to Lucas Oil Raceway across town? You remember that short track formerly known as O’Reilly Raceway Park formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park, don’t you? For new fans who may not realize it, the Xfinity Series, along with the Camping World Truck Series used to race there on Brickyard weekend. Only the Cup Series raced at the big track.
It’s a shame the newest fans of the sport didn’t get to see the good racing the rest of us were witness to back in those days. Maybe some of those races are on YouTube. If so, I’d recommend you check some of them out.
As for the Brickyard 400, maybe we just need to accept the fact that they can’t all be nail biters. We still need the race on the schedule, because it’s a marquee race at the world’s most storied track. But give us at least one good race or two that weekend by, at the least, moving the Xfinity race at the short track. And while we’re at it, why not send the Truck Series back?
Before you jump to any conclusions, I’m most definitely not suggesting a Truck Series return to Indy at the detriment of the Eldora Speedway race. Far from it. I’m thinking some adjustment could be made to the schedule to allow for visits to both Eldora and Lucas Oil Raceway. After all, hasn’t the Truck Series schedule been gradually dwindling in recent years? Those guys used to run 25 races a year, and even that number wasn’t too many, was it?