Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NASCAR Invasion of IndyCar's Schedule will have major affects on 2011

(What does two Nationwide races at Iowa mean for IndyCar?)

NASCAR’s massive shake up to its top three levels of competition for next season will likely have a huge impact on the 2011 IndyCar Schedule. IndyCar knew for sometime that this might be coming, and with NASCAR’s sagging T.V. Ratings, and visible attendance decline, it appears NASCAR is digging deeper into their bag of weapons to save their big leaky ship that they created during their boom years of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
Over the course of the last week and half, four different tracks that IndyCar will have raced on in 2010 had major announcements regarding NASCAR races or been rumored to be involved in the schedule shake up.

Let’s start from the top: Items 1 and 3 are confirmed, 2 and 4 are rumors that appear to be true.
1. Chicagoland Speedway (ISC Track) will kick off the chase next year in the Sprint Cup, this will move their date from early July to mid-August, directly impacting the late August IndyCar Race
2. Kansas Speedway(ISC Track) will pick up a second Sprint Cup date that will remove the IndyCar Series from racing at a track that they have visited since 2001

3. Kentucky Speedway (SMI Track) has been awarded a Sprint Cup date, and will be the newest track on the Sprint Cup track schedule. This race will take place on July 9th, 2011, Chicago’s old date.
4. Iowa Motor Speedway has been awarded a second Nationwide Race, to go with their original July date. The date for this race is May 22nd, which would be bump day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

What does this all mean?

It means that’s Kansas is long gone, Chicagoland will need a new date, Kentucky probably needs a new date and a second Iowa race will impact attendance at IMS. IndyCar also will probably have to move their New Hampshire race, and their Baltimore race to accommodate tracks like Chicago and Kentucky.

The issue at hand is that NASCAR is dicing up their schedule to
A. save markets (Chicago) ,
B. try new markets out (Kentucky)
C. Reward markets for investing (Kansas)
D. Build on good markets (Iowa)

IndyCar probably won’t announce their schedule before August 18th, (NASCAR major announcement date) and it could probably be Labor Day weekend at Kentucky before we actually get a solid confirmation of the 2011 IndyCar Schedule.

One thing is sure, expect the unexpected for 2011, as NASCAR's mess is creating new headaches for Randy Bernard and company.

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