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Loss of race long-term pain, but short-term gain for track

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The loss of the NASCAR Nationwide race in 2012 and beyond is likely to be a long-term financial pain for Lucas Oil Raceway, but is turning out to be a short-term gain.

Officials for the track in Clermont reported Monday that ticket sales for this year’s Nationwide race on July 30 are up “significantly” since the July 6 announcement that the race will move to Indianapolis Motor Speedway after this year.

“Our phones started ringing almost immediately after the announcement,” said Lucas Oil Raceway spokesman Scott Smith. “We’ve definitely seen a spike in interest, and that has translated to a spike in ticket sales.”

Lucas Oil Raceway officials won’t divulge the track’s capacity, but Smith said this year is likely to be the first sellout of the Nationwide race since 2004.

“Believe me, this is not a promoter’s trick,” Smith said. “We wish circumstances were different. But it would certainly be a fitting way to send this race off.”

This year’s Nationwide race, the Kroger 200, marks the 30th anniversary of the race at the track. The race has considerable history, with past winners including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jason Leffler, Brian Vickers and Greg Biffle. Ticket prices range from $15 for children to $67.

Smith said the race, which has traditionally taken place the night before the Brickyard 400 at IMS, is one of the three biggest annual events at the Clermont track.

While track officials are focusing on selling out this year’s race, they’re also in discussions to fill the weekend calendar spot to be vacated by NASCAR next year with another race. In addition to the Nationwide race, the track will lose the AAA Insurance 200, a NASCAR truck race, scheduled this year for July 29.

“We’ve been deluged by many sanctioning bodies interested in holding a race here that weekend,” Smith said. “So we’re asking ourselves, is there something new we can do? That weekend is still a very strong racing weekend in Indianapolis, and we still feel like there are good events we can hold at our facility that weekend. It’s a clean slate for us, and an interesting time.”

Smith added that any new race planned for that weekend would use the facility's oval track and not the drag strip or road course.

Lucas Oil Raceway, formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park, is owned by the California-based National Hot Rod Association and is home to the nation’s biggest annual drag race, MAC Tools U. S. Nationals, which is held during Labor Day weekend.

 

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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