IMS to spend $20 million to help IndyCar's #1 enemy succeed Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considering the installation of lights for a Brickyard 400 night race. Is it a good idea? It would cost about $20 million to install lights at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but that's nothing compared to what Clint Bowyer estimates the electric bill would be.
"You're going to need nuclear power to light this place," he said Friday. "You're going to have to shut down downtown to have enough power to light this track. It's huge."
IMS doesn't currently have lights, but officials hope to have them in place by the 2015 Brickyard 400 (the Indianapolis 500 would remain in its traditional daytime slot). The hope is to revive the struggling NASCAR event at the track, which has seen attendance fall from 280,000 in 2006 to an estimated 125,000 last year.
So would lights help the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
"It doesn't need lights, (but) I think it would be awesome to race here at night," Jeff Gordon said. "I would never want to see the Indy 500 run under the lights. But the Brickyard 400 breaks traditions. ... Why not change it up?"
Saturday night races typically produce lower TV ratings than Sunday afternoon events, but Indianapolis often has scorching July temperatures (this year's race is expected to have highs in the mid-70s, though). A night race would offer a respite from the heat. USA Today
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