Indianapolis Motor Speedway adds dirt-track race prior to Brickyard 400

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway plans to host a United States Auto Club dirt-track midget race in the days leading up to the Brickyard 400, IMS officials confirmed Tuesday.

The race is expected to take place Sept. 6 or Sept. 7, just days before the Sept. 9 main event, motorsports writer Robin Miller of reported Tuesday.

IMS spokesman Alex Damron said additional details about the race will be released next week.

"We think it’s a great addition to the schedule and anticipate our fans will be really excited to attend," he said.

IMS is already bringing in dirt to build a quarter-mile track and will erect bleachers to hold 5,000 spectators, according to Miller's report.

Doug Boles, president of IMS, told Miller the race would provide racing fans a non-stock-car event during the weekend and give short-track fans motivation to attend the events.

Kokomo Speedway boss Reece O’Connor was contracted to design and prepare the track, the report said.

The race is likely to attract several NASCAR drivers who still drive in dirt-track races, including Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Rico Abreu.

The new race could be another effort by IMS officials to boost interest in the Brickyard 400, which has suffered from sinking attendance in recent years. The race was moved from July to September this year, where it will be the last event in the NASCAR regular season, making it the final chance for drivers to qualify for the playoff field.

Last year’s 24th running of the Brickyard 400 drew a crowd estimated at less than 60,000, down from about 250,000 in its early years.

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