NASCAR explores a return to the Indianapolis oval

The famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval could make a return in 2024

NASCAR made their Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut in 1996. For over two decades, the sanction raced on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

Three years ago, NASCAR switched gears. They made the move to the Indianapolis Road Course and scheduled a double-header race weekend with the Indycar Series.

Last Sunday’s race on the Indianapolis Road Course was seen by a tv audience of 2.838 million. That’s down from last year’s numbers of 3.373 million.

The series steered away from the oval because the racing wasn’t any good. However, there’s a new car in town and NASCAR is looking to give Next Gen a try on the 2.5-mile track.

On Monday and Tuesday, NASCAR scheduled a Goodyear tire test on the Indianapolis oval. They also brought updates to the Next Gen car to test for the 2024 season.

Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman and Ty Gibbs took part in the test.

Indianapolis Results: August 13, 2023 (NASCAR Cup Series)

NASCAR comments on a possible return to the Indianapolis oval

“We’ve had success the last three years with running the Indy-combo on the Road Course,” Elton Sawyer stated via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

“But, we’re there today, we were there yesterday doing a Goodyear tire test. I don’t think there’s anyway to not look at what we would do in the future with the oval.”

“The 2024 schedule in not in place but I would say that would be fair to say that is on the table. We’ll continue to work close with the folks at Indy.”

“If that’s the right thing to do, for our industry, our fans and our broadcast partners then I’m sure that’s where that will land. Nothing’s been finalized.”

“Getting our Next Gen car on the oval and getting Goodyear there to do somewhat of a confirmation test to see how the tires react. It’s sorta the steps in that direction.”

Alex Bowman comments

“I don’t know if a stock car around this place ever really feels natural, but it’s definitely going to be cool,” Bowman said ahead of the test.

“So, excited for it. I haven’t really thought about it much, honestly. We were going to try to get some laps in the sim for it before we came here, and we kind of just decided to focus on the road-course stuff. So I don’t know what to expect, but hopefully we have a good test and learn as much as possible.”

Chase Briscoe comments

“It’s crazy to think that I’ll be one of three guys to drive this Next Gen car on the oval,” Briscoe said. “So, if we get a race on it, the significance of what the Brickyard 400 is, it’s a crown-jewel. There’s no other way to say it.”

Goodyear comments

“We just feel like there’s enough discussion around potentially going back to the oval in the future, let’s go ahead and take the opportunity to get on that race track in the old configuration with the Next Gen car,” Stucker told SiriusXM. “We haven’t run the Next Gen car on the oval, we’ve only run the road course.”


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