SBD/April 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Possibility Of IndyCar Holding Season Finale On IMS' Road Course Drawing Mixed Reaction

Many IndyCar drivers believe the series should have only one IMS race a year
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles’ focus for IndyCar is “on adding oomph to an under-appreciated series, with a late-summer race at the Brickyard as a possible helper,” but there is “debate on both sides” about moving the season finale to IMS' road course, according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. IMS President & CEO and interim IndyCar CEO Jeff Belskus said that IndyCar’s drivers are “largely against it, believing the series should have only one race a year at IMS.” But he noted that team owners are “mostly behind the idea,” in part because “ending the season in Indianapolis puts the sport in its most well-known facility.” Belskus: "We want it to be a great event, and we’ve got to convince ourselves it will be a great event. ... We think we can sell a heck of a lot more (tickets) than (70,000), especially the first few years. But long term?” Team owner Michael Andretti said that the “interest is highest in the Midwest.” Andretti said, “You cannot forget that our core fans are in that area. If we can get 100,000 people, that would be huge for the sport. It could end up with the second-largest crowd of the season. Why not do it?” But Miles said that the oval track at IMS is “not part of the discussion” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/20).

ON THE HUNT: The INDIANAPOLIS STAR's Cavin noted IndyCar team owners Sam Schmidt and Dale Coyne still hope to field a "third car for next month’s Indianapolis 500, but they don’t have deals done as sponsorship programs haven’t been signed,” and both are “needed.” Schmidt said, “Last week I would have said 100 percent (yes). Now we’re 50-50 (on sponsorship).” Coyne said that he “won’t discuss odds of having the extra car” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/21).
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