IndyCar – Sweet Home Alabama

Kaanan and Wheldon at Barber
Kaanan and Wheldon at Barber
As Bob Jenkins eluded to during Sunday’s broadcast from Edmonton and verified today at, the IndyCar Series will be racing at Barber Motorsports Park next season April 9-11, one week before the traditional date for the Long Beach Grand Prix. The IndyCar Series has tested at Barber a few times in recent years, but drivers and league officials have stated that there must be some significant course changes before the venue would be suitable for a race, especially in establishing safe run-off areas. The track has proved to be a great venue for motorcycles and sports cars, although the Daytona Prototypes in the GrandAm series did have problems with passing traffic. This has been expressed as a concern for IndyCar racing as well. Hopefully, the league and driver concerns will be addressed and resolved over the off-season and the event will be a success. This is the only event in the South, so it taps a new market for the Indy Racing League. Yes, the IRL does have two events in Florida, lets face it. St. Petersburg and Miami aren’t really the same demographic. Its not really The South. Its Florida. All indications are that this will be an extremely successful and well attended event. The last testing session at Barber drew 20,000 fans!
A 20,000 strong crowd watching testing.
A 20,000 strong crowd watching testing.

Being only a 7-hour drive from Indianapolis for those who wish to drive, and just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the airport, this will be one of the easier pre-500 events for many fans in the Midwest to attend. Personally, I’m looking forward to this event. Yes, I’m concerned about the suitability of the track to open-wheel racing, but the course is simply beautiful. I can’t wait to get my camera down there and see the IndyCars romping around a park-like natural terrain road course.

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2 Thoughts to “IndyCar – Sweet Home Alabama

  1. tab

    I am really looking forward to seeing some new tracks. And you’re right; Barber looks like it’ll be a gorgeous location and a fun event to attend!

  2. I wholeheartedly agree Tab! I go through the list of existing road course venues that I would love to see on the schedule (like Road America and Laguna Seca) but I think the new blood that a course like Barber would bring to the series will be great.

    I would love to see more courses like Miller Motorsports Park, Palm Beach International Raceway, Sebring, Barber, Road Atlanta or the newly refurbished Lime Rock on the schedule. These tracks don’t have any past history with the IRL or CART. They might be good options to look at.

    I am hopeful that IndyCar at Barber can be as successful as they have been at new venues like Iowa and St. Pete.

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