Racing in a parking lot isn't easy

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Are there any other venues that can host a race that DON't force you to race through a parking lot?

IndyCar is racing in a parking lot this weekend.

And it shows.

The series has been forced to change up the weekend schedule to work on the track surface in turn 1 of the 10-turn track.

Circuit of the America’s, Mosport, VIR, Road America, Road Atlanta…those are just a couple places off the top of my head that the series can show up to and know the track will be ready to race on, and safe for the drivers.

Why are we racing in a parking lot? Is it the business model of promoters being able to pay to have the series? I am not exactly versed in how these deals work, but I assume its something like this…

The Houston track is finished
The Houston track is finished

Photo by: Chris Owens

Promoter gets sponsors and a track, and call up IndyCar, bidding for a race. IndyCar makes the call on where they are going, and get a cut of the gate…

Gate. Being the amount of money that is paid for admission to the track. For the gate to be large, a large amount of people have to attend. I have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that there are more race fans near a dedicated racing facility, than in the heart of some metropolis, that requires so much work to its roads and parking lots that it delays a three-day show.

Please folks, don’t get me wrong. Street courses are incredible. When they are done right, they are some of the most interesting challenges that come along each season. But when it becomes a problem for the city, and the promoter to actually get the cars on track that coincides with a schedule that was put forth months ago? That is no good.

In all the comments from former Champ Car drivers, I have heard nothing but, “it’s really bumpy”, “that place is the roughest track we will go to.” You know why? It’s not a track. It’s a parking lot, plain and simple.

If it’s a visit to Texas that is needed for IndyCar, I hope they will consider COTA in the near future. I won’t miss this race, as the championship race is very interesting at the moment, but I certainly won’t attend a Houston Grand Prix any time soon. Let’s let the professional cities like Toronto, Long Beach and St. Pete put on the road races. Houston should stick to baseball, or football, or whatever they are known for.

With that said, lets hope for a safe weekend over the bumps!

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Commentary
Tags crash, hinchcliffe, houston, indycar, parking lot, reliant stadium, will power, winner