Randy Bernard wants the Izod IndyCar Series to have 19 races. The series currently has 15 races, and everyone seems to agree more ovals are needed. Everyone seems to agree that more races should be added, but there appears some question as to where. I have found six options (some more viable than others) that would present excellent venues for the IndyCar Series.
1. Pocono Raceway
Given the track's recent repavement and safety upgrades, there aren't many reasons not to race here. Pocono's reputation as a rustic imitation of Indianapolis indicates that the DW12 should be well suited to the track.
2. Rockingham Speedway
This is the North Carolina track, not the England track. The abscene of pack racing coupled with Rockingham's normally abrasive pavement should make for an excellent race. During last spring's Camping World Truck Series race, lap times were growing by 4 seconds per lap from tire wear alone. New SAFER Barriers should have the track up-to-date with safety requirements.
3. Memphis International Raceway (formerly Memphis Motorsports Park)
On paper, this track does look a lot like Richmond; both tracks are 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometer) long with a "D" shape. When we examine it closer, we notice Memphis has proportionally longer straightaways and less banking. If you liked IndyCar at Richmond, you'll love IndyCar at Memphis. If you hated IndyCar at Richmond, maybe you'll quietly tolerate Memphis.
4. Darlington Raceway
Take a moment to wipe the spit from your monitor. I am aware that the banked portions of Darlington are way too narrow for a good IndyCar race. I am suggesting we not race on the banked portions at all. According to Jayski, the Turns 1 and 2 are 79 feet (24.07 meters) wide, and Turns 3 and 4 are 62 feet (18.9 meters) wide. These measurements appear to predate the repavement that saw the grass section in Turn 3 removed. If Google Maps is to be trusted, the banking is approximately 33 feet (10.05 meters) wide, leaving a good 46 feet (14.02 meters) of apron to be raced on. The apron was originally intended as the racing line at Darlington; the banking was planned as only a safety runoff. The banking can always be blocked with bollards and penalties given to drivers who would exploit it.
If Randy Bernard schedules a Labor Day weekend race here and calls it the IndyCar Southern 500K, I am certain disenfranchised NASCAR fans will buy tickets out of spite.
5. Martinsville Speedway
If you hate mid-engine, open-wheel cars at short tracks, you should be absolutely livid at this notion. We know the DW12 can handle minor contact without a big crash, and that will be pivotal at a 0.526-mile (0.847-kilometer) track with 800-foot (243.84-meter) long straightaways. Martinsville allows IndyCar to turn up the turbo boost without fear of sustained high-rpm.
6. New York State Fairgrounds
Yes, I'm talking about the track that has a modified and sprint car races every fall. Yes, the dirt track. I considered Knoxville Raceway and Eldora Speedway as possible dirt tracks, but I wanted to suggest something with a real pit road. The biggest challenges appear to be increasing the ride height and convincing Firestone to develop a dirt and mud tire. Could a DW12 handle a dirt track? Absolutely maybe!
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