Hope everyone had a great weekend. Here are some quick thoughts on the weekend in racing.
1. The much-anticipated debut of the new rules package for the Cup Series made its debut in Kentucky Saturday night. Despite a race that was dominated by the teams of Joe Gibbs (including winner Kyle Busch) and Penske racing, who swept the top six, the action was some of the best in the track’s five years of Cup Racing and some of the most competitive on an intermediate track in a while. Even though there can still be some improvements, this weekend was very promising for NASCAR and for the race at Darlington (September 6), where this package will also be used.
2. Sunday’s IndyCar event at the Milwaukee Mile was won in dominating fashion by Sebastian Bourdais, Bourdais’ first win on an oval in nine years and his 34th career(passing Al Unser Jr. for seventh all-time.). The racing on Sunday was very good, but as is the case for many events with IndyCar, there was another concern.
3. Although Milwaukee is the oldest operating track in the world and has been operated very successfully by Andretti Sports Marketing the past few years, drawing a big crowd does seem to be a challenge. Over the past three years, the track has seen its race fall on three different dates and this year fell during the late afternoon. Having a late afternoon start for a Saturday race would be fine.
The series and track promoters do need to consider that many fans work the next day. Having a race end after 7:00 local time with work looming the next day may just be asking a little too much. If the series does return (rumor has it Road America may be coming back and potentially replace Milwaukee). Although I would like to see both, IndyCar and the track’s staff need to fix the kinks in order for the Milwaukee Mile to succeed in 2016 and beyond.
Have a great week and see you soon.