News & Multimedia

Brickyard Super Weekend: A Local Perspective

The Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard was the kind of event that makes me feel proud to be a resident of Speedway, Indiana.

Don’t get me wrong – I am on record as not being a fan of NASCAR racing, and like many, I remain disappointed that the Nationwide Series dropped its longtime race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in nearby Clermont in favor of a 250-miler at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s too bad NASCAR couldn’t find a way to keep ORP on the schedule in addition to adding a race at the Brickyard.

But for the Town of Speedway – which claims many direct links to IMS and track founders Carl Fisher, Frank Wheeler, James Allison and Arthur Newby – the Super Weekend was a big hit.

The Hauler Parade on Thursday evening is a case in point. It’s family friendly, great for kids, and just an excellent way to announce that NASCAR has arrived in town. My son really enjoys seeing the shiny trucks parked on Main Street, and we especially enjoyed the activity between 13th and 14th where a bluegrass band played outside Linder Fuel Injection. At the end of the evening, I had a hard time getting my boy out of the bounce house that IMS thoughtfully set up in the municipal parking lot across the street from Dawson’s.

Last year, I took my son to the Rolex 24 endurance race at Daytona International Speedway, and he claimed to become a fan of the Daytona Prototypes (Frankly, I think he just enjoyed the spectacle of night racing…). So he talked for months about watching the Grand-Am cars at Indianapolis. And one of the great things about living in Speedway is that when the 6-year old inevitably got bored, we were able to walk home and watch the end of the race on television.

Some people seemed happy to see Danica Patrick return to IMS on Saturday, though it must be said that an even greater number of schadenfreudists were delighted when she crashed out of the Nationwide race. Hard to believe that Brad Keselowski’s victory was the first stock car win for Roger Penske at Indianapolis, to go along with Penske Racing’s 15 Indianapolis 500 triumphs. And as an Indy car loyalist, it was great to see Sam Hornish post a solid second place finish; almost five years after turning his back on the IndyCar Series, he finally seems to be getting the hang of stock car racing and I hope he makes the most of his opportunity subbing for the suspended AJ Allmendinger in Penske’s #22 Sprint Cup car.

As for the Brickyard 400 itself, what can you say? By Brickyard standards, it was a reasonably entertaining 42-car race. Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and Hendrick Motorsports for elevating themselves above the rest of the field.

Johnson takes a lot of flak from NASCAR fans for being boring and bland, but you’ve got to be blown away by the guy’s consistently excellent performances on the race track. I was also impressed by Johnson’s post-race demeanor Sunday, when the importance of becoming a four-time winner at Indianapolis elicited an emotional response from the 35-year old Californian.

You see, two of Johnson’s role models or heroes are already four-time Indy winners – Rick Mears in the Indianapolis 500 and Jeff Gordon in the Brickyard 400.

(It should be mentioned at this point that Michael Schumacher won the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix on the IMS road course five times, an oft-forgotten fact when discussing the small group of 4-time Indy winners – Mears, AJ Foyt and Al Unser in the 500, and Johnson and Gordon in the 400.)

Johnson was visibly choked up in his post-race television interview with Vince Welch.

“It’s neat just to race here,” Johnson said. “To come here and win is such a huge honor, and then to have four…four wins! I’m lost for words. It was a total team effort and we put it on ‘em today.”

Addressing comparisons to Mears, Johnson said: “Man, it’s wild. And Gordon as well – I looked up to him. It was really wild for me getting my start driving a Cup car for him. To tie both those guys and what they accomplished…again, I hoped to come here just to race. I had no idea it would turn out like this."

“I can remember back to watching the 500 with my grandfather and my dad, sitting on a couch watching the 500 take place. My grandfather told me stories about Indy; that he came here and was at the racetrack. I’m glad to have my own memories here for my family.”

I know that memories are a big part of why so many people hold the Indianapolis Motor Speedway near and dear. And I’m hopeful that many years from now, my young son will look back on our times attending races at the Speedway – whether for Indy cars, stock cars, F1 cars or motorcycles – with the same kind of fondness that I recall.

I’ve been going to the track since 1976, and IMS is the biggest reason my life took the path it did. It’s why I moved to Speedway, Indiana, a five-minute walk from Turn 1.

It’s a great place to raise a family. Especially if you’re a racing fan.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Brickyard Super Weekend: A Local Perspective
 
Brickyard Super Weekend: A Local Perspective
The Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard was the kind of event that makes me feel proud to be a resident of Speedway, Indiana.
Read More
Related Media
Holiday Event
 
IMS Announces Spectacular Holiday Event: 'Lights at the Brickyard' Coming in 2016
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will bring new levels of cheer to this holiday season with a spectacular “Lights at the Brickyard” seasonal event. Attendees will experience more than 40 scenes filled with 400 light displays along a 1.7-mile driving experience, which includes crossing the famous “Yard of Bricks” at IMS.
Read More
Helio Castroneves
 
Castroneves as Hungry as Ever to End Drought, Bag Elusive Fourth Indy 500 Win
It’s been a long while, actually, a 32-race winless drought that’s the longest of his Verizon IndyCar Series career. That’s quite a stretch, considering Castroneves’ 29 career wins are tied for 11th with his driver coach, Rick Mears, on the series all-time list.
Read More
Townsend Bell
 
Back in his 'Second Home,' Bell a Legitimate Contender as a One-Off Indy Specialist
His No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda qualified fourth, which equals his best previous starting position (2011) in nine Indy 500 starts. His best finish was also fourth in 2009 for KV Racing Technology.
Read More
Panasonic Pagoda
 
Historic Sellout Marks 100th Running of the Indy 500 Local TV Delay Suspended for 2016
Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced the first sellout in the history of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race today. All suites, reserved seating and infield General Admission tickets for the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are sold out.
Read More
Herff Jones
 
5 Days until the 100th Indy 500: Champion of Champions Fan Rings
An Indianapolis tradition unlike any other. And no, we’re not talking about eating at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. Tickets for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are selling fast, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are projecting the first sellout of the event in two decades. Attending the Indy 500 is a rite of passage, and whether you experience it from the stands or the Snake Pit, you’ll want to remember this race. Luckily, your reminder can be right on your finger. For the first time ever, Indy 500 fans can purchase their very own Champion of Champions replica ring in honor of the 100th Running.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,221
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Free Parking tomorrow within the facility in Turn 3. Fans must enter in from Gate 10 off 30th St. Once full, we will park fans in North 40.
about 51 minutes ago