Picture this: Twentysomething open-wheel IndyCars attacking the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway, the track that represents NASCAR’s bumpin’ and bangin’ nature more than any other.
It’s a bizarre thought. To some, perhaps a diabolical one. But after taking a few laps around Bristol in a Ford Mustang last weekend (see the track-issued video above), Graham Rahal believes that an IndyCar race in “Thunder Valley” would be a hoot.
“It’d be fun to get an IndyCar out here and give it a shot,” he said. “I mean we’d be dizzier than can be, but it’d be kinda fun. With the downforce levels and horsepower, they can adjust with turbos and everything else.
“They could make this really entertaining and quite an interesting race.”
It sure would be memorable – perhaps for both good and bad reasons.
As for last weekend’s experience, Rahal came away impressed with NASCAR’s most infamous half mile.
“What makes racing around this place so cool is the atmosphere,” he said. “[Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO] Bruton [Smith] always does a great job with his facilities. I’ve been to a bunch of drag races now, and this is the nicest place I’ve seen.
“Then to come here and see this – there’s no wonder it’s one of everybody’s favorites. It’s simply the atmosphere. I can’t imagine what this place would be like for a Cup race, let alone the football game coming up. It’d be incredible. There’s not a bad seat in the house.”
Rahal and the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series returns June 28 and 29 with the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. NBCSN will air both races LIVE at 3 p.m. ET.