INDIANAPOLIS — Here’s a rundown of some IMSA and NASCAR news and notes from Indy.
IMSA returns to the Brickyard
Indianapolis Motor Speedway track president, Doug Boles, announced, Friday, that the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to The Brickyard in 2023. It’s the first time the series will run at Indianapolis since 2014.
“Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hallowed ground in the world of motorsport, and we are honored to bring IMSA and the WeatherTech Championship back to IMS,” IMSA president, John Doonan, said.
The IMSA “Battle on the Bricks” will take place on Sept. 17, 2023, and NBC will televise it. Furthermore, it’ll be a standalone weekend (not part of the NASCAR Cup Series weekend).
The 2023 race will be a two-hour, 40-minute event. Going forward, it’ll be a four-hour endurance race.
Boles added that bringing IMSA back to The Brickyard further enhances the track’s reputation as “the racing capital of the world.”
“IMSA features some of the most evocative manufacturers and machines in global motorsports, so a return to IMS is a perfect fit for our loyal fans,” he said. “We can’t wait to see exciting new GTP prototypes compete on the road course in yet another full weekend of action at the Speedway, complete with great racing in other classes and the Michelin Pilot Challenge.”
Cup Series remains on road course
Don’t expect the NASCAR Cup Series to return to the oval, anytime soon.
Boles said in the aforementioned IMSA press conference that at this time, Indy is “committed to the road course.”
“The racing’s been fantastic, and I think we’ll see that, again, this weekend,” he said. “Our fans have really enjoyed it. Our ticket sales are really strong, this weekend. So it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.”
The change to the road course was done to put life back into the NASCAR weekend at The Brickyard. Which after 26 years, saw sharp declines in attendance, thanks to lackluster racing.
“We’re excited with the way it raced in 2020, when we just did XFINITY (Series) and the NTT IndyCar Series and then last year, when we had all three of them together. We’re excited about this year.”
After 2023, however, that could change.
Roger Penske says NASCAR will remain on the IMS road course for 2023, but is evaluating whether to switch to the oval in 2024. He mentions alternating years between the road course and oval is one option under consideration.
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) July 29, 2022
TOP IMAGE: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment