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Back to the future: Speedway to host vintage-car race event

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues to diversify its offerings.

Less than six months after announcing they would hold the first IndyCar road race at the venerable track in May, IMS officials said Tuesday that they will host a weekend of racing featuring hundreds of vintage cars on June 6-8.

The event will be sanctioned by The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association. The old models will compete on the Speedway's road course and oval.

The SVRA is one of the oldest and largest vintage racing organizations in the U.S. It has conducted events at legendary racetracks throughout the country, including Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen International, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Circuit of the Americas.

SVRA officials are promising real racing at the event. Some of the drivers will be amateurs, while others are likely to include former Indianapolis 500 drivers and retired Formula One and NASCAR stars.

Cars will compete in 12 different classes. The races will showcase a wide variety of cars, including those that competed in past Indianapolis 500s, cars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, Formula One racers, Grand-Am prototypes and Trans-Ams. American racing cars from makes like Chevrolet will compete with historic cars from foreign makers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar and MG.

The track that once existed for the sole purpose of hosting the Indianapolis 500 in May will host races this year featuring NASCAR stock cars, motorcycles, sports cars and now vintage cars, in addition to the new IndyCar road race in early May and the Indy 500 later in the month.

The move is bound to draw criticism from traditionalists who think Speedway officials have diluted the history of the facility by bringing in too many races. Speedway officials say they simply are changing with the times and see the vintage car event as a big coup.

"Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans appreciate and enjoy the history of racing, and welcoming this event to IMS is the perfect way to celebrate racing history with cars that have competed in all different classes and many different venues over the last 100 years," said Speedway President Doug Boles in a statement.

"SVRA events are incredibly fan-friendly, offering everyone the rare opportunity to get close to the historic race cars, talk to the owners and drivers, and trade stories about racing's heritage," Boles said.

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  • The only reason this is NECESSARY
    is because TOney conned Ma into spending the Sisters' inheritance on a League that never has BWAAAAAhahahahahaha
  • a Forum predi ction
    A very astute gentleman from an auto racing forum I frequent suggested that maybe the Vintage event should have 20 to 30 CART era cars with V8 turbo 2.65L engines running on Methanol...great idea, huh? I thought so...he went on to suggest if they let them run for 300 to 500 miles that it's likely the Vintage event would have full grandstands. I believe him...
  • thats funny
    All the old CART guys are too busy racing in the ICS to attend. Hey dummy, it's "bronco" brad murphey, besides those IRL stars will be too busy serving bail bonds and going to AA meetings or court appearances than to be there.
  • Will vIntaGe IRL carz be there?
    Having IRL cars at this vintage event would be great. IMS could bring back all the original IRL legendary pilotos like Buzz, Cowboy Brad, The Beach, Tyce, Ricky Treadway, Jimmy Kite...toss in a foreigner or two like Greasy ol' Saladbar and Eddie Cheever. Boy, would that be a hootenanny! The original picket line crossers who saved the sport from the evil CART tyranny!!! Kenny Brack can play the turn four stage with his band! WoOOOT! Vintage series folks...THIS is Indy!
  • Ducks in a Barrel
    Well thank goodness it wasn't left under the control of entities that actually did kill themselves. Twice. Looking forward to mid-May, and now June as well.
  • New revenue steams
    You mean the new revenue streams that are designed to cover the $1BILLION essentially lost from gaining control of AOW racing 1996-2014? And, now the ex-CART owners are poaching the best sponsors and best foreign drivers and are dominating the 'New Century' of IndyCar? Those 'new' revenue streams? I find it fascinating that in 1994 the mere thought of emasculating the 500 and the month of May triggered the start of the $1Billion loss...yet today you are championing the changes the speedway makes because it'll bring more cash to pay for the emasculation of the 500 and the series? Let me remind you...the IRL IndyCar series has NEVER been PROFITABLE. EVER. The (the H-G clan) killed the golden goose in 1994, and again in 1996, and 1997, and again in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. These was no need for additional revenue streams before 1994. In fact, let's rent IMS to ARCA, USAC, SuperMods, Go-Karts, 3/4 sprinters and Silver Crown, the World of Outlaws, Formula E, SCCA, Autocross, 5K and marathon foot racing, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, wagons etc. Let's REALLY maximize these possible revenue streams ASAP! But my real point is...they're doing it with the full realization they are exploiting the legacy of the Indy 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to it's fullest extent to stay afloat, all because of their stupid need to control the sport...began back in 1994.
  • correction
    "Chief and his cronies are among the most rabid, obsessed fans the sport has ever known despite the obvious fact they lack the maturity to be deemed fans." Correction: "Chief and his cronies are among the most rabid, obsessed fans the sport has ever known despite the obvious fact that open wheel racing died in America in 2008."
  • Fundamental Economics
    Let me get this straight...you are chiding a for profit business for cultivating new revenue streams. Meanwhile, out of the other side of your mouth your quaint little debt ticker has evidently broken a billion. Nothing today is as it was in 1996, Tony George or no Tony George. It's 2014. Why not orient yourself there for starters?
  • Diatribe for the ages LOL
    Here's my opinion: IMS is latching onto every sales opportunity to get sale tax revenue for the $100MILLION taxpayer loan. No slam to the Vintage racers but they are just one of a string of 'Autocross-esque' type events that are needed to generate that sales tax revenue. So, you can spare me all the 'respect' garbage. It is reality and it is whats happening. I won't buy it. Hard to believe one race fed this joint for 80 years before Tony George got his hands on it. Now look at it....soon there won't be any other series to get to race here. Oh, the mystique of autocross at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! Catch it! Pleeese...have some dignity in your throes of death...
  • Intelligent Counterpoint
    Chief obviously has severe issues with reality. I fully understand even minimal attempts at intelligent dialog always result in the exact same laundry list of hysterical hater points that pollute every single Schoettle blog that even remotely mentions IndyCar. What does that prove? That Chief and his cronies are among the most rabid, obsessed fans the sport has ever known despite the obvious fact they lack the maturity to be deemed fans. It is a societal shame really. But let us again apply factual content as a counterpoint to all the yelping and see what results, shall we? Chief: "The only 'saving' done was to try and save face by resurrecting the sport after the crap job IMS did by splitting the sport back in 1996." Adult: That particular fallacy continues not only to haunt but to mislead the youngsters. When Tony George launched the IRL in 1996 it was not done to split the sport; rather, it was designed to be a complementary series that ran on non-competing tracks on weekends cart was off. Blood from the murder attempt of the sport is on the hands of those who operated and supported cart. Their egos and sheer arrogance could not deal with what they foolishly misinterpreted as an IMS power play. As a result they intentionally obsoleted their equipment, scheduled races on competing or adjacent weekends, and went out of the way to portray themselves as victims. Their sheer insolence alone forced the last resort 25/8. Even then, cart consistently chose the most stupid courses of action humanly possible. It was within their power, even given 25/8, to wipe the IRL off the face of earth simply by showing up at Indy en masse in the first year, dominating and crushing the then nascent series into oblivion. Eventually, that one group killed themselves. Twice. IMS mercifully rescued all of the bitter mutineers from themselves (although there exist those who have never gotten beyond those failures, including Forsythe, not to mention the three or four obsessed children who squat here to add vulgarity and screeching to every single thread) without any sort of 'thank you' for the asset fire sale IMS graciously termed a 'merger.' Is it any wonder folks like you pine for those days? Chief: "Oh, what a bang-up job that they did...forced AOW fans to watch spec Dallaras whose design stunk AND had unstable leadership since that time (2008)." Adult: The aesthetics of Dallara design is subjective at best. Like most I long for competitive diversity in chassis, engine and tire design and actively support efforts to move in that direction. Being a realist grounded in the reality of the period, however, IMS must deal with the reality of economics and cost control. Dallara has been a spectacular partner who even built a factory in downtown Speedway. Their products have provided the most consistently thrilling racing ever. It amazes me that folks chide Dallaras for looks considering Formula One, for example, and despite competitive diversity, has raised the bar on ugly the past few years to ridiculous levels. The other popular rant among the haters is their Ralph-Nader-Corvair-like conniption over mostly self-perceived safety issues with Dallaras. In each instance, factual analysis conclusively shows IndyCar is as safe or safer than any other genre to which it is compared. Chief: "IMS has plunged the series and the 500 into the doldrums of motorsport. The 500 is a shadow of itself. They've done NOTHING to earn respect from anybody and your lame attempt to justify it is pathetic." Adult: Again, as is typical, no supporting evidence, no facts, just fits of childish rage based on and compared to a fantasy utopia most critics constructed for themselves. Hey there are several periods of IMS history I wish I could experience again, but if the 500 is a shadow of its former self how in the world does it still draw hundreds of thousands of fans, still get the best ratings, and maintain its hold as the centerpiece of the sport? Why continue trying to tear it down? That approach is a proven failure. Repeatedly. Chief: "Just failure upon failure...and Mark Miles has proven to be worthless. He's condensed the schedule, added a vintage event, and fleeced the public out of $100Million." Adult: And yet the mostly slithering group of team owners hold him in regard, which is a dramatic change. The owners have even gotten back to trying to kill each other given recent sponsor poaching, driver snagging and such. Adding a vintage event is long overdue, especially at that track. The only fleecing going on is that of common sense from inside your head. You are familiar with the general concepts of 'loans' and 'interest,' correct? You are aware the money IMS is using originates from tax revenues that would not exist if IMS did not, correct? And that IMS is not just handed $100 million, correct? That it is $5 million per over 20 years, and that IMS is exceeding that amount with its own funding, correct? And that Indiana gets the money back with interest, correct? Did not think so kid. Chief: "And you wonder where the $1BILLION number comes from? Even conservative estimates of $25Million loss each year for 20 years puts it it $500million and that doesn't even count the pagoda renovation or the F1 extortion. Yup...is now $1BILLION spent for 0.18 tv ratings and less grandstands." Adult: That might be all well and good but I have never, ever seen any sort of actual accounting from your ilk despite repeated requests. Just more ranting and an increase in that number every time you post, along with consistent cherry picking of bad numbers portrayed as normal to support arguments that are fundamentally flawed anyway. Not a very effective debate technique. Here are some things you might want to consider: A) Revenues from all sources. B) Expenses. C) Net profit or loss. I do not believe anyone argues convincingly for profit, but those actually in the know claim to have been close for at least the past five years, which is probably the result of cutting jobs, outsourcing most everything, and willfully allowing portions of the physical plant to deteriorate to mind numbing levels of atrocious. My advice: Solicit the counsel of an accountant and have him/her use their head to assist you. Chief: "Vintage cars series...take as much if it as you can...IMS is desperate." Adult: Perhaps. But for traditionalists such as myself it is a welcome addition I should very much enjoy attending.
  • The NEW Century
    Hey old Gomer in the new century....you forgot to mention how DANICA dominated the first two decades of the new century. Yep...the same Danica who was just dissed by Richard Petty's comment of 'she'll only win if no one else shows up'. Yet, the IMS and 500 hung it's hat on her little partly clad bod for it's precious publicity in the first part of this century. She was a joke then, is a joke now, and will always be associated with winning in the IRL/IndyCar series! That makes the IndyCar Series just another piece of gum on the sole of NASCAR's shoe. Thats the Indy I know in the current century...a bottom feeder of worthless talent. This is the great legacy of IMS that now vintage cars will assume in the current century and decade. Woot!
  • sure
    Ok old man, this 'century' started January 1, 2000. The only 'saving' done was to try and save face by resurrecting the sport after the crap job IMS did by splitting the sport back in 1996. Oh, what a bang-up job that they did...forced AOW fans to watch spec Dallaras whose design stunk AND had unstable leadership since that time (2008). IMS has plunged the series and the 500 into the doldrums of motorsport. The 500 is a shadow of itself. They've done NOTHING to earn respect from anybody and your lame attempt to justify it is pathetic. Just failure upon failure...and Mark Miles has proven to be worthless. He's condensed the schedule, added a vintage event, and fleeced the public out of $100Million. And you wonder where the $1BILLION number comes from? Even conservative estimates of $25Million loss each year for 20 years puts it it $500million and that doesn't even count the pagoda renovation or the F1 extortion. Yup...is now $1BILLION spent for 0.18 tv ratings and less grandstands. Vintage cars series...take as much if it as you can...IMS is desperate.
  • Earned Respect For Actual Racing Fans
    A) Stage what most rational people believe are consistently the most closely contested Indianapolis 500s ever. B) Hosted Formula 1 for eight years, and when that series allowed a gigantic fan screwing over tires IMS gave fans their money back and tickets for the next race. C) Began hosting the top two wheeled series. D) Most important, they rescued the sport from itself after contrarians who thought they would be just fine without Indy bankrupted themselves. Twice. Look, kid...there are things I could hysterically yammer about all day long. When I have an issue I generally always communicate it to the people at IMS who can do something about it, and ongoing mutual dialog is regular. That is how adults do it. In the long run it does not matter how much you screech and jump up and down. You either go or you don't, and IMS just keeps going. I choose to continue spending money there, and as a traditionalist remain particularly excited about the vintage car activities.
  • What has IMS done to demand my respect?
    In this century, what has IMS done to earn my respect?
  • Join The Rest of Society in the Current Century Please
    The economics have changed dramatically since the quaint little 1993 utopia you have constructed for yourself. We are in an entirely different century now and in the second decade removed. Time to let go of your futile crusade.
  • Nothing to respect.
    Show some respect? For what, these series that come to Indy and get instant recognition for running there for a few years? It's a track rental and it's been going on since 1994. They leech off the legacy and go away. What respect is needed? IMS is the old run-down motel of the 50's that still try to eeek out a living on the outskirts of town. Sad and pathetic and prostitution of the facility deserves NO RESPECT.
  • Show a Little Respect
    Without it, however, there is no open wheel series. Period. This has been proven conclusively twice in the past few years.
  • Oh, one more thing Dipscicle
    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway could go away tomorrow and the world would still go on...yes, that's right...still go on without it. Just because it helped give racing it's life in the beginning doesn't mean that has any impact on whether or not racing survives without it. It (racing) doesn't give a poop about IMS anymore, nor does it owe it anything.
  • Why you ask>?
    Because they (IMS) wizzed away any shred of my respect they ever had for the 100 year institution by prostituting the legacy of the facility. Sure racing has roots there...but that's all been sacrificed so NASCAR, Indy Lights, Motorcycles, F1 etc. soiled the sainted grounds. You see, Indy apparently around 1994 was looking for respect (or some self-importance) and they became a swiss-army-knife track. It's been diluted and the addition of this race and the road course event in early May just is ruining it even more. Call it childish, call it evolution, call it what ever you want but Indy was king before all this happened, and for me it isn't even close anymore.
  • A Grown Up Response
    Why would you not watch at IMS? Without that place there is no sport, vintage or otherwise. Should you and your kind not be trying to energize the sport instead of destroying it? The type of vintage show IMS proposes is actually a great, long overdue idea. Those truly respectful of the rich history of the sport and actual racing fans have another weekend to mark onto their calendars. I wouldn't miss it. This is one move that complements tradition. The IMS folks deserve hearty congratulations and support for this event.
  • Diversity
    Diversification is another word for let's rent the dump to whoever is willing to shell out the bux so we can get the sales tax revenue. Bring Jethro Tull in so he can sing 'Living in the Past' too. Just more fail for IMS. No offense to the vintage folks...I'd watch you anywhere but at IMS.
  • Chief and Burl buy tickets?
    Just as the Defender of the IRL claims to have never purchased a ticket to anything IRL related neither will Chief or Burl. If the biggest FAN of the destruction won't buy a ticket why should they?
  • Did you forget?
    Of course this is terrible timing. Did you forget who you are dealing with? Actually, this looks like a great event so with respect to timing why in God's creation did they wait until February to announce it? It will take a ton of promotion to get the word out and you know they will focused on the "500." It will be so sad if this simply gets brushed aside.
  • Amazing
    My earliest memory that I still hold on to is when I first experienced the Indianapolis 500 at age 4. That led to years of imagining myself racing around the two and a half mile track. This is just an amazing way for more people to live out their dream. The speedway is an amazing piece of many people's lives and creating more reasons for racing fans across the world to pilgrimage to IMS is exactly what the speedway should be doing. It isn't just a race track, it is the mecca of auto racing.
  • Racer speaks
    I race a vintage car with SVRA, CVAR, VSCDA, VARA..google all of them and see that we race at about every track in the country. I live in Indiana and have attended 39 Indy 500 races and became a racer because of my time spent at Indy in May. Our races are an amazing event-open pits and paddock, plenty of diverse cars, and lots of passion! (Some beer involved as well!) Most of us work on our own cars and work for a living, some are retired people with a crew and paid mechanics, but that is the rarity. This event will be a bucket list event for racers from all corners of the country and those drivers will bring crew, friends and family who all will spend money in Indy! I do not think it dilutes the event at all..as a matter of fact, I bought tickets for the Indy road course to take my 15 year old daughter too as she will start racing go karts this spring at the New Castle facility. Hopefully, some of the drivers and crew will become Indy fans after coming here.
  • Looking Forward To It As Well
    I agree with Disciple, I am excited for this event. I am waiting to see what the detractors who normally post about IMS and IndyCar have to say, but I think this is a good move. I am mixed about the road race before the Indy 500, but am genuinely excited about this one. As a longtime Indy 500 fan (35+ yrs) and overall racing fan, I look forward to seeing these vintage cars from all the racing forms. There is something here for any race fan, old and new. I, however, think the sustainability has less to do with the competitiveness of these races and more to do with interest in racing and its history. As to those badmouthing the financing, no additional taxes were created. They simply allow the IMS to direct the taxes, other than property taxes, they already generate to directly repay the $100M in bonds, along with additional monies from the IMS coffers. Property taxes STILL go towards financing the schools. Given all that IMS has done for Indy over the years, I hardly think this was too much to ask for by the IMS. Again, I am in total agreement with you Disciple.
  • Chief and Burl
    Since these guys hate today's open wheel racing so much I'm guessing they will be the first in line to buy tickets. I'm glad to see the Speedway is doing something we can all enjoy. This should be fun. How competitive it actually is will drive its sustainability however
  • Terrible timing
    This is terrible timing for this announcement. Who announces a major event like this the night of a major snow storm. It got totally lost in the news cycle, especially with the local TV stations. Bad planning on the part of the Speedway.
    • Looking Forward To It
      I am as traditional as they come and have a deep respect for the history of not only that facility but of the entire sport. Frankly, I wonder what took them so long to do something like this. I am very enthusiastic about it and am all for it, and will attend. Perhaps one day those who grossly misunderstand the loan IMS got to spiff the place up will eventually begin to use all of their brains for a change. Hopefully the current staff has the wherewithal to make it a world class event right out of the box.
    • Tax Tax Tax
      And if they host enough events will it remove the "necessity" of us peons paying taxes to support the millionaires who own it, or will this require even MORE of our tax dollars?
    • As a traditionalist, I understand not wanting other types of racing at Indy. But as a realist, in this day and age, and with all forms of racing suffering declining attendance, sponsors and tv ratings, I understand you must diversify and adapt. Is there any other track in the world that holds only two or three races a year? Autoweek had an article on how NHRA is suffering in all three areas and how they need to reinvent themselves. As long as IMS keeps to the highest and best forms of racing, I do not think it detracts from the history or prestige of Indy.

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