Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer believes the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is still one of the top races for a NASCAR driver to win. His comments come as some (including me) have questioned how great is the race and racing at one of the world’s most famous race tracks.
“I think it’s second — it’s the obvious second. It’s the Daytona 500 and then the Brickyard. It has been ever since I’ve been in the sport. You would hear people talk about the Southern 500 and things like that, but for my generation and my era I definitely think it’s those two trophies,” explained Bowyer Friday from the track.
One theory to spark more interest from fans into the race has been putting it under the lights. Normally that has worked to infuse some excitement to a race track. Bowyer doesn’t see why they would need to change it. Tongue in cheek, he’s not even sure how they’d power that many lights during the race.
“Boy, you’re going to need nuclear power to light this place. You’re going to have to shut down downtown to have enough power to light this track — it’s huge. But, I don’t know. I don’t know that that matters. I remember — just look back at all the races that have be run on this place. That’s what’s important about this track in my opinion is the tradition of coming back here. I think that’s why the fans have come here for years and years and years. It’s always been a day race. I don’t see why it shouldn’t be. Grip level would be really well in a night race. I think, 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,” said Bowyer.
Enjoying the history and prestige of the race, Bowyer knows that if NASCAR didn’t start coming here 20 years ago, he wouldn’t have a chance to run on the track. Not once has the thought of jumping into an IndyCar gone through Bowyer’s head.
“I was pretty much always a stock car guy. Modifieds don’t have front fenders on them, but they certainly have rear quarter panels on them. I need fenders. I grew up learning to lean on each other and put on a good show and those things wheel-hop pretty bad. I drove a sprint car one time and that was enough for me. That was my open wheel career. I think it’s fitting and I think it’s neat to watch these stock cars race on this race track. It’s important to all of us. The history and tradition behind this race track is so special for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you follow racing or not — everybody knows about Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the prestige that it holds. It’s an honor to be able to race here, it really is.”
Bowyer will look to collect his first win at the famous Brickyard this Sunday. The race can be seen on ESPN at 1 PM EST when the green flag is dropped for the Crown Royal 400.