Move away from Lucas Oil Raceway creates controversy for NASCAR

Fans enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the100th anniversary of Indianapolis 500 auto race in Indianapolis, Indiana May 29, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)

When the Kroger 200 wraps up later this month, it’ll be NASCAR’s 30th and final scheduled Nationwide Series race on Lucas Oil Raceway’s 0.686-mile oval. That’s because after 30 years of racing at LOR, NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series won’t be back in 2012.

And NASCAR is starting to take some heat over the move.

Nationwide races will be moved to Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), but NASCAR isn’t even sure where the Truck Series will shift. The departure from Lucas Oil Raceway leaves the track with the NHRA’s Mac Tools U.S. Nationals as the only NHRA-owned event.

Wes Collier, general manager of Lucas Oil Raceway, thought that “this was a business decision between NASCAR and IMS and we’re left on the outside looking in.” He went on to say how, “we’re very disappointed in the decision.”

Collier insists that he and his staff were more than willing to do what they could to keep the race at ROL but that NASCAR didn’t make a proposal. It’s quite a blow for LOR and NASCAR in general, even if the racing giant doesn’t see it right now. Some media members believe that the decision to move the Nationwide Series to IMS has alienated the needs of fans and will make for poor racing.

Of course, others feel that change is good. The shift to a new venue could usher in excitement for the Nationwide Series and some drivers feel as though IMS would be a good sell in terms of sponsorship.

We’ll just have to wait and see how racing fans in Indiana respond next year. The good news is that a quick search of car insurance by state reveals that Indiana is one of the least expensive states in terms of car insurance. So at least they have that going for them, right?

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