INDIANAPOLIS — On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR announced that the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ annual stop to the hallowed grounds would be moved from the oval to the road course. Not only will be happen soon, it will happen this July.
On a quick scan of the NTT IndyCar Series schedule, they’re off for the weekend. That factor, plus the drivers having just competed on the 2.39-mile road course just a little less than two months prior, should open up some doors for Indy Car drivers to make NASCAR appearances at IMS.
Plenty have done so in the past anyways. Conor Daly, James Davison, Katherine Legge, Jack Hawksworth and others have done so recently at Mid-Ohio or Road America. Now, it’s open for all current open wheel drivers to try it out.
Daly, is certainly interested. Josef Newgarden and Will Power want to run a NASCAR and Penske has a team in NXS at their disposal to make this happen. Scott Dixon has shown interest in the past. James Hinchcliffe has been open about wanting to give NASCAR a try some time.
Why not in July?
There’s going to be plenty of rides available due to the Cup drivers not likely wanting to run this race anyways. I mean, think about it — what gain do they have? The Brickyard 400 will remain on the oval (July 5). The only reason Cup drivers run in NXS during the season is for extra data/seat time or even sponsorship obligations.
IndyCar guys can get sponsors for this race and fill that void left by Cup drivers. It also adds attention to the race because fans will come out to watch the Indy Car guys in a NASCAR road race at IMS. Indy Car can cross promote too because the race will be on NBC and the entire 2020 season is aired on NBC Sports.
It’s a win-win.