INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Since it became a done deal for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to receive $100 million in from the State of Indiana for improvements to the track, talk of lighting the track for a night race has been common.
As practice began on Friday for the Brickyard 400 at the Speedway, drivers have mixed emotions. Jeff Gordon, for one, is all for the idea.
“Yes, there is tradition with the Brickyard 400, but it’s not the tradition the Indy 500 has,” he said. “I would never want to see the Indy 500 run under the lights. … (but) let’s have a night race. I think that would be awesome.”
Sam Hornish Jr., who is leading the Nationwide Series, likes the idea, too, and says it would be a better Sprint Cup race if the race ran at night instead of in the afternoon because of the different weather conditions between early afternoon and in the evening. Heat on the track during the day can cause drivers to be more cautious while at night, with a cooler track, Hornish says the race can be more competitive.
“The more you get of that, the more competitive the races seem to be,” Hornish said. “I don’t know if that is the cause of why people are speculating it but that would sure be neat to be able to be here for that.”
Clint Bowyer doesn’t want to change a thing.
“It’s always been a day race,” he said. “I don’t see why it shouldn’t be. At least in a day race on Sunday, you slip and slide around quite a bit here and create some exciting racing. So I’m happy with a day race here.”