When you think motorsports in Indianapolis, chances are your thoughts immediately go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). But did you know there is another racetrack in Central Indiana? Lucas Oil Raceway, which includes a quarter-mile oval track as well as a drag strip, is located about 15 minutes west of IMS in Clermont, Indiana.
I took my family to Lucas Oil Raceway last week for one night of the 2011 Kroger SpeedFest. This is probably a good time to tell you that I am not a motorsports fan. I have never been to the Indianapolis 500 or the Brickyard 400, despite having lived in Central Indiana for almost 20 years. But we were guests of the Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau, so going seemed like a good idea.
We stayed at the races on Thursday for several hours. I didn’t leave there as a racetrack convert, however, I did have a lot of fun and will likely go back. Why? Five simple reasons:
- From our seats in the grandstand (I think that’s what it’s called), I could see the entire race track. There was never a point at which the view was obscured.
- BYOC. Bring your own cooler. For all events on the oval track and for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals drag races (see #4), coolers are allowed. No glass containers or alcohol.
- The lack of finesse. Indy cars are finely tuned machines. I’m not saying the stock cars or midgets that we watched were piles of junk, but they’d get banged up going into a turn, head to the pits and be back out on the track practically duct taped back together. In the stock car race we saw, one car re-entered the race without its front end. Something about that appeals to me.
- I’m fascinated by the idea of drag-racing. From August 31-September 5, 2011, Lucas Oil Raceway will host the grandaddy of all drag races — The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
- What says “this is Indiana” more than the picture below — racetrack meets cornfields. So it’s cliche, but it’s also true.