New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s summer NASCAR weekend may undergo a big change if track officials get their way. Citing fan feedback, NHMS executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens has revealed that they’re interested in turning their July event into a night-time race.
According to NASCAR.com’s Kenny Bruce, such a move would not only require NASCAR’s approval but also the approval of local authorities; the original agreement when the track was first built included the stipulation that there would be no night races.
But Gappens is hoping he can get around that matter in order to ensure that New England’s punishing summers stop having an adverse effect on his track’s box office.
“We do a lot with our fans; I’m all over this place during race week interacting with fans and…That is the feedback I’ve gotten,” Gappens said Saturday according to Bruce.
“I’ve learned one thing, New Englanders don’t like 90-95 degree heat and high humidity. And I’m seeing the [ticket] numbers reflect that in renewals for July. I get letters [and] a lot of people who say they had their father or their parents with them and it was just too hot [in July].”
Should NHMS gain the approval of both NASCAR and the locals, Gappens believes that the track would be ready to host night racing in 2015.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.