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DATE News (chronologically)
08/01/11
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NASCAR eroding Indy's greatness  
Those weren't fans disguised as empty seats at the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, they were just empty seats. And there seems to be more of them for this race every year. NASCAR has never belonged here, and it never will.
Toyota
I wish this had been the last Brickyard 400. I wish the crass erosion of this hallowed ground would cease, and the damage could be limited to the horrid gullies already washed into the traditions of Indianapolis Motor Speedway by NASCAR.

But no, hell, no, the strip-mining of this place's dignity goes on and on, like the garish droning of the cars that stumbled round and round again on Sunday, in the 18th running of motor racing's answer to a herd of buffalo stampeding down the hardwood hallways of a palace, slipping and sliding.

This sluggish event, won by Paul Menard in a gas-mileage crapshoot, ended Indy's centennial era, 100 years since the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

Those weren't fans disguised as empty seats at the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, they were just empty seats. And there seems to be more of them for this race every year. NASCAR has never belonged here, and it never will.
Toyota
And with Indy's century ends its greatness.

It took the American public a while to figure that out.

But Sunday's second straight Brickyard crowd of barely 100,000 makes it undeniable that the thrill is gone. (I don't care what the official estimates were. I've been coming here since 1975, and I've learned to read these, the most massive grandstands on the face of the earth, pretty well.)

Sunday made one thing certain, for what it's worth now: The Indy 500 stands again as the biggest race at this place, having drawn 250,000 in May. Time was when the Indiana State Police estimated nearly 400,000 for the 500, but that was when it was the only race here each year.

That was before NASCAR came pillaging.

Stands behind pit road
Toyota
When you think about it, NASCAR is at the root of all the evils that have befallen Indy since the mid-1990s.

Never would the fallen prince of Indy, Tony George, have split up Indy car racing if not for war chests filled with ticket and TV revenues from the NASCAR race here. He once admitted as much to me.

So the 400 is the race that gutted the Indy 500 of its prestige, and nearly destroyed major open-wheel racing in America all together. More at ESPN.com

[Editor's Note:  Ed Hinton is spot on in our opinion. Instead of IMS being hallowed ground for IndyCars the Hulman George family continually works to erode IndyCar's fanbase by bringing in F1, MotoGP, NASCAR and Grand-Am.  Instead of keeping IMS IndyCar exclusive, they have managed to bring in every race series that is in competition with IndyCar for discretionary dollars.  If they want to run a 2nd race at the Speedway each year, it should be the IndyCars on the road course.  But that is just too much common sense for the family to understand.  You won't see IndyCars racing at Daytona will you?  Absolutely not.  The France family would never allow it.  The Hulman George family, and in particular Anton George who brought NASCAR to Indy, can't see the forest through the trees.]

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