Photo: The start of the 2019 GMR Grand Prix
Suppose history was made and no one was there to see it? The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has an historic weekend planned, but fans will not be there to see it. I think this hurts more than the Indianapolis 500 not taking place this past May 24. Then, you knew there weren’t any cars running. This weekend, cars are running, but you can only watch them on television.
The time for an Indycar/NASCAR doubleheader is long overdue. I assume that officials of the two series and IMS thought that a limited amount of fans would be allowed to attend races on the July 4 weekend when the deal was signed. But when a virus controls things, there are no guarantees. Fans are not allowed to witness what should be a significant event in American racing history on Independence Day weekend.
I have seen many firsts at the Speedway (NOT the first 500, thanks for asking)- the first 150 mile an hour lap, the first 200 mile an hour lap, the first Formula 1 race, the first Brickyard 400- and as much as I understand what’s going on, it’s frustrating not to be there this coming weekend. I stopped going to the NASCAR race after 2007. I thought the first few were good, but when the cars changed the racing changed. I lost interest in it.
I was interested to see the Xfinity Series on the road course. That might be the way to go for the Cup cars in the future. I enjoyed the USAC stock cars when they raced on the road course at Indianapolis Raceway Park (remember the Yankee 300?). This combined event may not be repeated. When things get back to normal, the GMR Grand Prix will move back to the second weekend in May. I hope the two series, and maybe IMSA as well, can find a mutual weekend that works for all series to run together.
We need to treat this IMS race meet like the first moon landing. It is too far and too risky to be there in person, so we must be content to watch it on television.
Better times are ahead. Wash your hands and mask up. We will get there sooner.