May 29, 2011; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Four time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt pulls off into the pits as Indy Car Series driver Alex Tagliani leads the field for the start of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indy in the fall


Apparently the board that controls the Indy 500 paid a consulting company to generate a report, a report that was leaked to the Associated Press and then routinely panned by fans.

To me it seems like whomever wrote the report didn’t really understand what the sport. They suggested some oddball things like changing the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from the spring to the fall and ending the final race to the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While I join most every fan I know scoffing at the report they do have half of a good idea in there.

I’ve been a support of a second race at “The Speedway” for a long time now. With the Brickyard 400, Grand Am, Moto GP and the Nationwide race all taking place at the speedway there isn’t really any worry of diluting the purity of “The Speedway” anymore. I agree with the consultants that there should be a second race in Indianapolis, I just don’t think it should be on the road course.

Given how many ovals are either owned by, or depend on NASCAR for their livelihood the odds of finding ovals willing to expend serious marketing muscle to build Indycar events. Beyond that nothing is going to generate interest like a second race at The Speedway. Two of NASCAR’s biggest events take place at Daytona and there’s no reason why Indycar’s biggest speedway can’t host two events a year.

The way I envision the event as a “Fall 400,” Indycar’s entire September is open, and I’ve been told September is a pretty decent time to be in the Midwest. Stage a 400 mile race on Sunday afternoon, or perhaps late in the evening on a Saturday if the speedway installs the proposed lighting.

In order not to mess with the historic Indy 500 format start with rows of two, use heat races. Holding the qualifying races on Saturday could give the sport some additional exposure.

However they want to organize it a second IZOD Indycar race at the speedway just makes sense. The series needs some new stages, and there’s no stage bigger than the one at 16th andGeorgetown.