IRL: Drivers react to Pike Peak closing

PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, LOCATED IN FOUNTAIN, COL., JUST SOUTH OF COLORADO SPRINGS, HAS ANNOUNCED IT HAS BEEN SOLD AND WILL BE CLOSED. THE SPEEDWAY HOSTED NASCAR BUSCH SERIES AND INDY RACING LEAGUE EVENTS WITH MIXED RESULTS IN THE ...

PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, LOCATED IN FOUNTAIN, COL., JUST SOUTH OF COLORADO SPRINGS, HAS ANNOUNCED IT HAS BEEN SOLD AND WILL BE CLOSED. THE SPEEDWAY HOSTED NASCAR BUSCH SERIES AND INDY RACING LEAGUE EVENTS WITH MIXED RESULTS IN THE GRANDSTANDS.

HERE IS WHAT SOME COMPETITORS HAD TO SAY:

SAM SCHMIDT, Car Owner (IRL/IPS):

"My initial reaction is it is a shame. Pikes Peak is the type of track that makes for good racing, especially for the open wheel cars. The one-mile layout was one that really brought the drivers into it, and I think the IRL fans saw some pretty good races there.

"From what I was seeing in the grandstands, the open wheel cars were making some headway there. There was a lot of appreciation for our style of racing from the fans in that area. I hated to see it off the schedule to begin with, and really hate to hear it's going to be closing.

"I'll be anxious to see what happens. This leaves a pretty big void for major league motorsports in the Rocky Mountain area."

T.J. BELL, Driver (NASCAR):

"It's sad news. Pikes Peak is a real driver's track and they had some pretty good racing there.

"You didn't always see the crowds on a regular basis but it sure looked like they were making some inroads. There is a pretty big base of racing fans there, and it doesn't leave them a whole lot of options. The next closest track isn't very close.

"What the problem was, I don't know. The track is on the south side of Colorado Springs, so it's a pretty good ride from Denver, which is the largest city in the area. Maybe if somebody built something between Denver and Colorado Springs . . . I don't know. I just know there is one less race track in the world, and that's never a good thing."

JEFF GREEN, Driver (NASCAR):

"Anytime a race track goes away it's a pretty sad day. Riding past North Wilkesboro or Rockingham is pretty sad these days. Riding past Pikes Peak isn't going to be a happy time either . . . then again, maybe that was the problem. There isn't much 'riding past' where that race track is located. It's kind of off by itself on the south side of Colorado Springs, and that didn't help it any."

-wca-

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Series IndyCar , NASCAR