The signs were there and yesterday I was able to confirm through several sources that World Wide Technology Raceway will host a NASCAR races June 5, 2022. I have many feelings about this announcement, which becomes official this morning. First, I am insulted as an Indycar fan at the post WWTR put out the other day about the track’s local announcement. To paraphrase, the track said the announcement would be the biggest in the track’s motorsports history.
Second, I fear for Indycar’s future at the track as well as how modifications NASCAR will inevitably want to make will affect the racing. NASCAr has a history of pushing Indycar off of track schedules and modifying the track to make tgheir racing better. The modifications usually are at Indycar’s expense. The first turns at Phoenix and Texas were changed to accommodate NASCAR. Indycar no longer races at Phoenix, and Texas may soon be off the schedule. Eddie Gossage, who remained loyal to Indycar throughout the split and reunification, is stepping down at Texas.
Indycar just signed a three year extension plus a two year option at WWTR. At the race last month, track management treated it as a five year deal. I’m wondering about the option years now.
Curtis Francois and Chris Blair have been model promoters for Indycar. They have sent a team to IMS during test days and have tirelessly promoted the event. The race sponsor, Bommarito Automotive Group, has also boosted the race well. I wonder how much the Indycar promotion will change now.
Fans in the area now have to make a choice of which race to attend. Entertainment dollars only go so far. As we have seen at other tracks, Indycar attendance seems to suffer when NASCAR joins a track’s schedule. Texas had great crowds when Fans had to buy a season ticket to the track,. When Indycar was no longer a part of the season package, attendance dropped.
I understand that tracks need all the income they can get, and NASCAR is a cash cow. Still the diminishing of Indycar at This particular track is very hard to take. The promoters have been great for Indycar. I hope I’m wrong, and the track continues to boost Indycar as they have in the past. Francois and Blair have broken new ground in Indycar promotions. Let’s see if they will break new ground in treating Indycar as an equal to NASCAR.