Ky. Speedway GM: I could see IndyCar coming back

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Kentucky Speedway has been off the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule for a couple of years now, but it appears that the track’s general manager, Mark Simendinger, is open to seeing the series return to his 1.5-mile oval outside Cincinnati.

According to Kevin Kelly of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Simendinger touched on the subject in a “town hall” session with fans during the track’s “Fan Day” this past weekend.

“I would see them coming back at some point in time,” said Simendinger. “I’m not sure when that point in time would be, because that’s a series that’s kind of working on its mix of ovals versus road courses and they’ve got a management change there.

“They’re dealing with kind of the economic model of what their races are going to be and how much money they’re going to charge tracks and all that kind of stuff. So I think that stuff has to get worked out, but I could see the IndyCar Series coming back here.”

Following a 12-year run, IndyCar departed from Kentucky Speedway after the 2011 race, which saw Ed Carpenter claim his first career victory over Dario Franchitti by .0098 of a second — the sixth-closest finish in series history. The track currently hosts all three of NASCAR’s national series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck) as well as the ARCA stock car series.

Considering that IndyCar only carries six ovals on the docket, it could use another speedway or two for more of a balance with the road and street circuits. However, one would assume that a title sponsor would be critical, if not essential, in bringing the series back to Kentucky; the 2010 and 2011 events there did not have one. In addition, attendance issues that plagued the race’s final years would have to be addressed as well.

Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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