Ex-V8 Supercars champ wants series to race ovals in U.S. (VIDEO)

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The Australian-based V8 Supercars series has won fans around the world for its close-quarter style of touring car racing, but an attempt to break into the U.S. didn’t quite go as planned when its 2013 race at Circuit of the Americas failed to carry over to a second season.

However, 2006 series champion Rick Kelly (pictured) believes that there’s another way for them to crack the American market: Oval racing.

Kelly took a Nissan around the Calder Park “Thunderdome” oval in Melbourne, Australia recently as part of a demo run (see the clip above), and he came away believing the series should give the U.S. another shot with a speedway round.

“A race around an oval in America would be incredible,” Kelly told Australia’s Daily Telegraph last week. “It would make a lot of sense to look at our options when we go back to the US and see if we have an opportunity to race on an oval after the event at [COTA].

“Obviously, it would be very appealing to the American audience.”

While such a prospect could seem strange to those who’ve enjoyed the fender-to-fender action that the V8s consistently produce on road/street circuits, the fact is that American fans – particularly those who follow NASCAR – tend to gravitate more to the ovals.

Kelly noted that it would take some modifications to make the V8 Supercars race-ready for an oval, but feels that the demo at Calder Park was proof that they could handle the challenge.

In the meantime, Kelly noted that he’d like an opportunity to try NASCAR one day and perhaps follow in the tire tracks of fellow Aussie Marcos Ambrose, who jumped to NASCAR in 2006 after a five-year run in V8 Supercars that saw him win back-to-back series titles in 2003 and 2004.

“I went over in 2007 to scope out any opportunities, and it was going to be such a huge step, [so] I decided to stick with V8 Supercars,” Kelly added to the Telegraph. “[Running on an oval] certainly gives you a taste of what it’s like, and it’s something I would like to have a crack at one day.”

Defending winner Takuma Sato to grace front of 2018 Indy 500 tickets

Photos: IMS/Chris Owens
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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has unveiled what the ticket for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 will look like.

The ticket features blue and red foil stamped with a sculptural embossing of last year’s 500 winner, Takuma Sato, in victory lane, holding the ceremonial winner’s bottle of milk. Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the Greatest Spectacle In Racing, driving for Andretti Autosport.

The ticket was revealed Thursday during a ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse that featured Sato, now with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, as well as Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Hulman & Company President and CEO Mark Miles, IMS President J. Douglas Boles and Hulman Motorsports Senior Vice President of Events Allison Melangton.

The Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will be held Sunday, May 27 at IMS.

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