Rough winter takes toll on Speedway road course

April 21, 2011
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The infield section of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will be repaved this summer in anticipation of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race Aug. 26-28.

The project, which will repave 1.5 miles of the circuit from Turn 5 through Turn 16, will start  June 9. Turn 5 is where the course leaves the short chute between Turns 1 and 2 of the oval. Turn 16 is where the circuit leaves the infield near the start of the front straightaway at the exit of Turn 4 of the oval.

It's the first time this section of the course has been resurfaced since it was built in 2000. Turns 1 through 4 of the 2.621-mile circuit - located inside Turn 1 of the oval - were created in 2008 for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP and will not be repaved during this project.

The new asphalt will be consistent with the other sections of the course.

"This project is an example of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway providing competitors the finest racing facilities in the world," said Mel Harder, IMS senior vice president, operations. "We had a very long, hard winter this year, which exacerbated the bumps and cracks in this aging section of the track.

"We also decided to undertake this project this year due to feedback from riders during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP last year. The new surface will produce even closer, more exciting racing for the world's best riders and our loyal fans this August."

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

  • good for IMS. It is the finest racing facility in the world and they keep it that way.
  • Why bother?
    They barely use it. no one want to race on it because they can't fleece Tony anymore. what's the point? Throwing good after bad...just like the IRL.
    • improvements...
      I know that F1 isn't coming back, but I wish that IMS would take this chance to bring in a consultant (perhaps even some drivers) generate some ideas on how to make the road course more interesting. I disagree with Chief, IMS is a world class facility and the road course is an important part of that, but they need to make sure that they "keep up with the Joneses" (and the Changs, and the Patels) if we're going to keep MotoGP and attract other events.
    • Chiefisms

      I can agree with you on some points. Tony screwed the pooch big time. He should have never listened to France. His actions with the Brickyard legitimized nascar into a national sport. His dance with their tracks made him a fool. He got played by Bernie. And while his intentions with open wheel may have been well intentioned, he ripped a giant hole in the fabric of open wheel racing. The sad part about it was, he never saw it coming, the train wreck he created.

      Burl keeps pounding on the idea of IZOD IndyCar being a niche sport. Well, nothing like stating the obvious. It was never any more than that. I can recall seeing drivers on TV shows like I Got a Secret and most people didn't even know who they were. The 70's, 80's and early 90's at least saw Andretti, Foyt, Mears, and Unser become very well known. Once they retired, the only household name people know now in IndyCar is Patrick and she's leaving for the cars that need to be pushed around the track to have a chance. Gee, I wonder who will push her? That lends a new definition to the term push rod, doesn't it?

      Where I differ with you two is that no one can undo the harm that was done. And rehashihg the mistakes over and over accomplishes nothing. At least, someone with a brain, connections and a great deal of drive is attempting to put humpty humpty back together. Randy B has a logical plan and many appreciate his efforts. Perhaps it won't work, but perhaps it will. It's the only hope we have and the best opportunity in years. I would like to see the train load of bashers cool it. The points have been made. We all know how and why. Can we not just hold out hope for success and see what 2012 delivers? (Maybe even a year without TGBB at the racing helm would be the icing on the cake).

      So, whaddya say, Chief, can we give the drum a rest and wish Mr. Bernard success in what he is trying to do?
    • Your request
      When the Speedway admits publicly that they apologize for the mistakes of the past, THEN I can cool it.

      Frankly, they've had dozens of opportunities to accept culpability and each time they've stopped short...instead taking the highly arrogant high road of glossing over what everybody wants to hear.

      Hey, I want to forgive...just give me an opportunity that is honest and I will work toward the future too. But, as an advocate for the sport I will not let the people who brought the sport to it's knees get away with murder. And, in my conscience, that's what you are asking me to do...coverup the crime with my silence.

      That, I can NOT do.
      • What?
        Because Uncle Bernie is a snake doesn't mean MotoGP is.

        Watch DP bring a race here...
      • TG is Arrogant
        If you are silly enough to say that, you've never met him...He is anything but arrogant, in fact he is one of the most gracious, unassuming people I've ever met...If you choose to denigrate people you've never met, it would help if you were correct...
        • The Neighbors Knew They Were Nutty? N
          The closest NEIGHBORS to that house live in the trailers parks on Georgetown Road. How would they know anything about someone who lives a quarter of a mile away, on property that is fenced off, and closed to the public, except on event days...Great post, dude...
        • What happened to INNOVATION?
          The Indianapolis 500 use to be a race of innovation. The rear view mirror was invented here. There was even a helicopter jet engine used in Andy Granitelli's(sp) #40 STP turbo car. Car manufacturers would bring cars draped with covers to not allow competitorâ??s to see their innovations. This is what the Indianapolis 500 was all about. â??INNOVATIONâ?? Roger Penske had Tony Georgeâ??s number winning so many races; Tony thought it would be NICE it to be about the â??driverâ?? not the car. What a huge MISTAKE. The split took everything out of what the Indianapolis was all about and it took to get them back together and cost both circuits millions of dollars with a huge drop in audience. How stupid was that?? It needs to go back to the roots and be about Innovation. I know driver safety is a large factor; no one wants to see drivers hurt, but there is no anticipation of what the next innovation will be. That is what brought people to â??THE 500 MILE RACEâ??.
        • INNOVATION, Easier to read
          The Indianapolis 500 use to be a race of innovation. The rear view mirror was invented here. There was even a helicopter jet engine used in Andy Granitellis STP car. Car manufacturers would bring cars draped with covers to not allow competitorâ??s to see their innovations. This is what the Indianapolis 500 was all about. INNOVATION Roger Penske had Tony Georges number winning so many races; Tony wanted to make the race to be about the driver not the car. What a huge MISTAKE. The split took everything out of what the Indianapolis 500 was all about and it took years to get them back together and cost both circuits millions of dollars with a huge drop in audience. How stupid was that?? It needs to go back to the roots and be about Innovation. I know driver safety is a large factor; no one wants to see drivers hurt, but there is no anticipation of what the next innovation will be. That is what brought people to THE 500 MILE RACE.
        • It's this simple
          "We want to offer an apology to the entire AOW community of fans and sponsors on behalf of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy Racing League, CART, CCWS and the current day Indycar Series. All of us regret the transgressions that took place during the years 1979 to 2008 that resulted in the split of a successful and vibrant open wheel sport.

          It is our hope that this admission of culpability will once and for all seal an era many of us regret. We hope from this point forward we all (fans, sponsors, and owners) can work together to bring this sport back to it's former glory. To that, we are dedicated."

          That's called 'burying the hatchet". That simple statement takes control of the sport by the horns. It's mature and adult. Done....but see, Indy arrogance gets in the way. That's why it wasn't done in 2008, 2009, 2010, or 2011. And I doubt it will ever get done....and that's the failure of the owners and management of the IMS.
        • Bull
          The chest pounding was brought to you courtesy of the clowns that ran the series formerly known as CART. They tried to tell 16th. Street how to run THEIR business...WRONG...It don't work that way...YOU lost...Deal with it...
          • Oh Really, Jack
            TG's not arrogant? Ok, then would you accept proud or stupid? It was his lineage and decisions that brought about the morass we have. Since he has not been forthcoming to admit what he did was misguided, call it what you may, any of those terms fit. And you don't have to be a TG insider to figure that out. These comments were not meant to defame, rather point out that decisions made by those whom are gracious and unassuming as you state may be perceived to be portrayed in arrogance if there is no acknowledgement of "I screwed up!"

            And lastly, you didn't have to live in the trailer park to see the nuttyness of the George family. All you had to be was a resident of Indy. What did you live in, a bubble, dude? C'mon, open your eyes man.....
          • Once again, Jack
            Chest pounding by clowns..... Nice revert to grade school posturing, Jack. Does that include the same "clowns" that are now in the IZOD IndyCar Series as owners, drivers, mechanics, statisticians, league officials? I know one thing, we can't count on your ilk to show any humility and willingness to bury the hatchet and move ahead.

            Oh, and by the way, are you a union guy? You sound like it. I'm just sayin'......
          • Tit for Tat
            You see it your way, and I see it mine...IMS survives, CART doesn't...GAME OVER
          • Peter Lenz
            I guess every top driver complaining about how bad the track is, and the death of a 13 year old kid can get IMS to blow $$$, even if MotoGP is bailing and moving to Austin.
            • Ok, I always love Chief and his demand for the apology. It is classic. But in his mind it has always been about him. Sorry, but your apology is not forthcoming. If anything, Cart owes the rest of the world an apology for ruining the sport by trying to turn it into F1 all the while their greed sucked the money out.

              innovation was great until corporations ran the small teams out. it was the 70's and 80's that super teams like Penske started pouring millions into testing and development. There is no way a small team can afford the innovations that the big teams can. Those days are long gone. The last best chance for "innovation" and small teams is the aero packages. It allows them a chance to make small changes that can make significant differences.

            • No, It's about the SPORT and it's FANS
              Who was it that said AOW lost tens to hunEdreds of millions of fans due to the split. Can you imagine the MONEY $$$ spent by those fans? I can, because I spent some of it.

              SO, Indyman, it's not about's about HEALING the sport, ALL of it. The SPeedway would KILL and entire sport to get a piece of that HUNEDREDS of MILLIONS of fans back then. Oh, in fact they did kill the sport getting it.

              YOU Indyman are an accessory to the killing of the sport. And you just keep on covering it up like it never happened, too.
            • Jim's comments about Moto GP
              Sorry, Jim, check your facts. Moto GP is adding Austin in addition to Indy. They are not bailing.
            • I believe Jim knows that, Jim is probably a nom de plume for one of our resident trolls.

              Chief, the funny thing is you are the only one I have heard say they want an apology. I know people who were strong cart fans, and they do not care about an apology. some have defected over to IRL and some do not plan on coming back. I have also not seen anyone else mention an apology but you, so I am thinking it is just you.

              Great to see the deal Indycar signed with facebook for cartown. If it gets half the popularity of Farmville, it will be in the tens of millions of players.

              Good to see they are looking at social media for growth and advertising.

              Also saw the Honda/Indy commercial on 60 Minutes again. They also did a nice beauty shot of the Pagoda and pan out to the track during the Pacers Bulls game on TNT.
            • Joe Public won't make the connection
              How could he...accidental ads apparently.
            • What Was The Topic Again?
              Chief, I see you are on the 'lack of visibility to you' kick in this thread as well. How hard would it be for you to concentrate really hard on sticking to a relevant topic, like the massive Hot Wheels stunt race day morning that harkens directly back to the carnival barker spirit of Carl Fisher?
            • Stuntas are US
              It's not some death-defying feat, you know. They've already TESTED this's just a gimmick...a stunt. Just like the way the IRL is presented to the masses today. It's a joke in the racing community...the Indycasrz that is.

            • "accidental commericials"? What exactly is that? You're right, the commercial shows an Indy car, Mario Andretti and talks about winning a chance to lead a lap with Mario at the wheel of the two seater. No way anyone will understand that commercial is about Indycar. How dare they not spell it out more.

              Not death defying? I don't care if they tested it 300 times. Anytime you do a stunt like this, it is death defying. So this test, was it done with a driver and full set up? Do you have a link, I have not heard about it.

              All racing revolves around stunts and media attention. Gimmicks are what brings people to the tracks. You don't think the ever present "big one" in NASCAR is a gimmick to attract fans? That is why they discuss it 200 times before and during the race. Grid girls in F1 is not a gimmick? Why else would you haul 21 hot, scantily clad girls around the world to hold an unmbrella with a position number on it?

              From grass roots to the highest levels, racing is surrounded by gimmicks to attract fans interest.
            • Yep, accidental
              And none of them have appeared on my TV screen. I believe the Indycarz are small potatoes because they are not advertising nationwide. And especially when they are not paying for the advertisements as well.

              I haven't heard the "Most Important Race in History" anywhere, but was claimed by the IMS.

              Look it up Johnny Greaves (the supposed masked suspense driver) 301 feet. Another foot ain't gonna make a difference. STUNT.
            • Pre-designed stunt already DONE
              Ohhh, what suspense...


              This is a scam perpetuated for publicity...the stunt is staged and already accomplished. truely a PR stunt.
            • First, thank you for actually providing a link to a claim you made. I think this is the first time ever. Makes me wonder why you have not done it before.

              I do love your quote "This is a scam perpetuated for publicity...the stunt is staged and already accomplished. truely a PR stunt. " Wow, how long has this been going on? You mean when I watched the high wire act at the circus, it had been done before? I want my money back. Chief, guess what. It is still dangerous, and it is still dramatic and it still will be watched by millions and replayed on highlight reels and the internet around the world.

              Second, if a car jumps in the desert and there is no one to see it, did it really happen? This is going to be very cool. Hundreds of thousands at the track and millions on tv. Great stunt for Mattel and for Indycar.

              If a commercial does not air on Chiefs tv, did it really air?

              Those were national commercials on high ranked shows. So why should Indycar spend their own money to advertise when their sponsors do it for them? Isn't that why you have sponsors? Maybe this kind of thinking is why cart went under?
            • Baloney
              Hey bud, I think you're confusing national exposure with local ad buys.

              There's been NOTHING promoting the 500 anywhere, and my local fishwrap doesn't even do stories or agate of IRL races.

              A good funny this AM: Jimmy Kimmel last nite had an obscure IRL reference....he said about the Royal Wedding, the last timed someone who got married that he didn't care about was Ashley Judd and Dario Franceschetti! Who Dario Fransceschetti?

              Bwahahaha! I got a good laugh out of that....Indy's only created two people in the past 16 years....Danika for her 'racy' modeling and Go Daddy runway strutting...and Helio for his 'Dancing with the Stars' and and his tax evasion aquittal.
            • Hey Dipsicle of IMsCAR
              I heard the TV ratings for this past weekends IRl race held steady; is that what you got as well

              THe IRl: holding steady when nothing is going on
            • Names not Bud, and I know the difference. I also know that Honda, Peak, Sunoco and Dodge do not make local ad buys for their national ads. It is funny that when someone provides proof that you are wrong, as usual, you try to deny or minimize. Example, you say nationally no one cares about the 100th. I point out that among others, Autoweek is running a several week feature on the history of the track and race. You then try to minimize it by saying that auto mags are declining. Of course you are wrong on that as well.

              what is a Fransceschetti? Is that the same as Bruschetta? And a larger number of people probably would ask whats a Kimmel.

              I am also guessing the average citizen would be hard pressed to pick any given NASCAR driver out on the street. So what does that prove?

              We know you are bitter about cart running itself out of business. But you know what, they killed themselves, get over it. I am not sure there is anyone left on here who would disagree that your personal pity party is getting old.

            • 2012 is shaping up to be Dallara/Honda\'s,,,,
              kinda like 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 etc., etc., etc........
            • Stop guessing
              Your guess is not a good one. Folks could recognize NASCAR drivers because of all the NATIONAL AD driver tie-ins. You know the ones NOT centered around a series TV broadcast that is on a 4th tier 0.22 and 0.19 TV ratings network.

              The Kimmel joke is funny because it illustrates the FAILURE of IMS/IRL/INDY to mean anything anywhere EXCEPT failure continously for the past 16 years. Two and Three time winners of Indy get slagged in the media because of what transpired to the sport since the IRL was created. That is a shame, and despite the effort of IZOD's 350% ROI and all the PR stunts, it's meaningless to the hapless IRL and Mr. Judd.

              I advocate for the AOW sport, this is no pity party, bud. They fix the problems, I get happy and life goes on. Until then, it's my duty to comment.

            • Hey Chief
              Looks like your letter writing campaign to Audi and VW and Porsche, Fiat, BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari, Hyundai, Subaru, Lamborghini, Renault, et al was successful. All Talkin Terry was able to drag in is Government Motors. And you know how Dipsicle and his crowd always loved government sponsored racing.
            • Hey Dipsicle of ImScar
              did you note that the Peacock didn't make mention of the league in its rebranding announcement? I mean they mentioned bike riding and huntin an fishin, and backyard wrestlin and such, but nothing to do with that once popular form of racing. This must mean they have some huge activation program planned for ImScar, eh?
            • You hide from the TRUTH
              The failure of the IRL concept to thrive in an open market, without any competition and apparently without remorse for the damage it wrought upon the fanbase and sponsors over the past 16 years is PROOF enough for anyone as to the series alleged success.
            • Chief,

              I have to smile every time you post, because not only are you normally wrong, normally posting without any factual back up, but you post things that are just down right funny.

              To say the IRL has not competition is comical. The IRL has stronger competition than Cart ever had. With NASCAR as strong as it is and increased interest in F1, ALMS, IMSA etc... those are things cart never had to deal with. You would occasionally see F1 or the others on a segment of Wide World of Sports, but rarely ever shown on a regular basis.

              And for you to say IRL does not succeed in the open market is also entertaining. Considering the 500 has always been profitable, and from most accounts, the IRL is close to being profitable, that is not a bad situation, especially in an economic time that racing has not seen since the 30's. Now you want to talk about not economically viable, that would be cart. Could not find a network to pay to carry it, so it became an infomercial. failed in bankruptcy twice, and finally was sold for pennies on the dollar. I mean as you stated, it killed itself. That is the epitome of not economically viable.
            • nonsense
              There's only an increased interest in other forms of racing, because the folks running AOWR messed things up so bad. They promoted NASCAR simply to fund their scorched earth policy against CART.

              F1 is gaining popularity because the Indiana policy of scorched earth has made AOWR a joke. Do you think fans like waking up @ 2:30 AM to watch??? Nope, it's the only way to watch REAL TOP TIER OWR. The Indiana Razing League is just that bad...

              ESPN covered f1.
              Nobody really bothered because CART was just as good, if not better and "local".
              NASCAR was there, as were other series, it's not like CART had no competition. It was just that GOOD.

              While the 500 has always been making $$$, last I heard reported here, the .1rl lost $15,000,000.00 last year IIRC? That's with no competition for the AOWR $$$. That may be down from the the $50,000,000.00 a year they were losing when CART was around, but it's still not making $$$...
              In short, the .1rl has never made a penny. It has cost the H/G family over half a BILLION dollars to keep it afloat. The market says the product stinks, and they aren't buying the spin. Only in the Bizarro world of the Indiana Razing League is that considered successful.

              The .1rl may play in Indiana, but even there they must be getting tired of the nonsense. What with tens of thousands hiding under the bleachers and all, rather than watch the race last year, and tens of thousands of unsold seats this year... LOL
              Ratings are down again this year, even with the "Huge Activation and huge sponsor spends".
              But, Iman and defender would be happy as long as they are running Golf carts roundy round the 500 in May, and the H/G clan own the show. There's only so many place fans, even in Indiana...
            • The laughing gas scene from Pink Panther
              Yes, that's what it's like reading some of the Speedway Apologists responses as they desperately grasp at straws to justify the IRL...STILL after all this time.

              Iman, if you need to constantly reference CART veing dead, then you must admit CART was better on track, in the stands and on the TV (ala TV ratings).

              You see, the IRL can't measure up at all. NEVER. And now it's Trump-less and phoney stunt filled hot action for no one to see. Oh, and the owners DON'T want the new car. Bwahahhahaha! Momentum...

              They should have apologized. Hope the fans get their wish...

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