• NASCAR Nationwide and Truck series to leave Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis after this year

    July 07, 2011 No comments

    Since 1982 the NASCAR Nationwide Series and starting in 1995, the Camping World Truck Series have thrilled fans of short track racing at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Tight finishes, bent fenders and hot tempers are to be expected when these two series take to the tight confines on the .686 mile oval on a sweltering summer night. Both of the series will once again return to the track on July 29th and 30th for two action packed days of racing at the historic facility.

    Fans of both series should get their tickets now for the 2011 Kroger SpeedFest events at Lucas Oil Raceway as it was announced today that the Kroger 200 benefitting Riley Hospital for Children and the AAA Insurance 200 will not return to Lucas Oil Raceway during the traditional late July early August date the for the 2012 season.

    “We are disappointed that the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series will not return to Lucas Oil Raceway on their customary race weekend. The Kroger 200 and the AAA Insurance 200 have long been one of the ‘can’t miss’ events for race fans in the Midwest,” said Wes Collier, general manager of Lucas Oil Raceway. “We want to use this coming Kroger SpeedFest weekend to celebrate the rich and dynamic history Lucas Oil Raceway has developed with both series and the past events by packing the stands with fans who crave thrilling race action.”

    Tickets for all three nights of Kroger SpeedFest are now on sale and fans should go to www.NHRATix.com to purchase tickets for these can’t miss events at the facility. The Nationwide series made its debut at the facility on Aug. 13, 1982, and the Camping World Truck Series has raced at the facility since its inception. Both series have thrilled fans of NASCAR as the fan-friendly atmosphere at the track has made it one of the favorite stops on the NASCAR circuit.

    The list of drivers who have raced at Lucas Oil Raceway in Nationwide Series events reads like a ‘who’s who’ of NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Allison, Mark Martin, Randy LaJoie, Dale Earnhardt. Jr., David Pearson and Carl Edwards have turned many laps during their impressive careers at the historic facility.

    When the series was introduced at the track in 1982 by the late Bob Daniels and his wife Eileen, it was deemed a gamble by many in Indianapolis as NASCAR had yet to venture into the Midwest. With a handshake agreement, sponsorship was secured by the Kroger Corporation and for the past 30 years the grocery giant has been a proud partner of the event.

    The NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway features some of the best racing the series enjoys all year. This was no more evident than when two recent races were honored as top events in the sport.

    The 2003 Kroger 200 was deemed the top Nationwide Series race of the past decade in a NASCAR release that stated “the list of races for the poll was compiled following discussions with the three series directors, other longtime observers in the industry and from direct input from NASCAR fans.”

    The race featured tight, intense racing between Shane Hmiel and Brian Vickers during the course of 40 contested laps. Vickers went on to win the race and after the event he said, “it was an awesome race, I had a lot of fun, and sitting here in victory lane ain’t too bad.” Hmiel faded to fourth, but second place finisher Jason Keller said, “that was as good as it gets. If the fans don’t like that race, they don’t enjoy short-track racing. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that.”

    The 2009 Kroger 200 was named one of the best races of that season in a story published on NASCARmedia.com. That race showcased the incredible talents of Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, who battled closely for the win. That story said, “The race was the highlight of a spectacular stand-alone season on short tracks for the series.”

    The AAA Insurance 200 is always a highlight of the Camping World Truck Series as these drivers fight tooth and nail during the course of the hard fought night. Ron Hornaday Jr. has had tremendous success at the facility with four wins and eight top five finishes and has won the race the past two seasons.

    This event has also seen Johnny Benson, Mike Skinner, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards make their way into victory lane during the previous 16 races. Only once has this event been led by one racer for all 200 laps and that was back in 1996 by Mike Skinner.

    The 30th annual Kroger 200 benefitting Riley Hospital for Children will take to the track on July 30th with the green flag set to drop at 7:30 p.m. (ET). The AAA Insurance 200 Camping World Truck Series race will take place on Friday, July 29th at 7:30 p.m. (ET) and the race weekend kicks off on Thursday, July 28th with the Thursday Night Triple Header, USAC Silver Crown and Midget Series along with the ARCA Series. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at NHRAtix.com or at the Lucas Oil Raceway ticket office.

    One of five drag racing facilities owned and operated by the National Hot Rod Association, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis was built in 1960 and has presented organized racing events since 1961. From March through October, the facility hosts more than 120 dates of racing on three tracks, a quarter-mile drag strip, a .686-mile paved oval and a 2.5-mile road course. Home to drag racing’s biggest event, the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil over Labor Day weekend, the drag strip runs more than 50 days of point-to-point action, from national events to street legal community programs. The oval track draws racing’s biggest events, including annual visits from the NASCAR Nationwide, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and annual USAC races. The road course provides a home for several racing sanctions, while providing an ideal resource for driving schools, corporate outings and open-road tests for professional drivers.

     

     

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