Report: IndyCar CEO calls IndyCar-NASCAR doubleheader a ‘long shot’
Mark Miles characterized the idea of a race weekend featuring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NTT IndyCar Series at the same track a “longshot,” according to The Indianapolis Star.
Miles is CEO of Hulman & Company, which oversees the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
While Miles said he’s “not opposed” to such a weekend, he told The Indianapolis Star: I don’t know if I feel like there is a lot of momentum (behind it). It’s certainly not a new idea. I haven’t had any direct conversations with (NASCAR) about it recently, so we’re not any closer to getting it done than we were previously.
“I think making it happen is a bit of a long shot.”
Talk picked up last month about the idea of Cup and IndyCar running at the same track on the same weekend.
Jay Frye, IndyCar president, said last month that he would be a “huge supporter” of an IndyCar-NASCAR doubleheader weekend.
“It could be a cool American motorsports extravaganza-kind of weekend,” said Frye, who was a former Cup team executive before moving to IndyCar. “We’ve talked about we’d run Saturday night and that Cup stays in its normal spot on Sunday. There are a lot of crossovers with manufacturers and amongst teams. We’ve talked about the friendships we have with them.
“I think it would be a game-changer in a good way. It’s not something you do every week. If you did it once or twice a year. You have to do it one time first. See how it goes. There would be certain tracks we would go to that would fit. At end of day, why not try it? It’s good for NBC, good for IndyCar and good for NASCAR.”
IndyCar driver Graham Rahal is all for such a doubleheader.
“We have to all help each other grow,” Rahal said on the NASCAR on NBC Podcast. “Doing these joint events that only certain tracks can do are huge. We have to do it. We have to build our sports together. To do it independently, yeah, we might make ground here or there, but ultimately we’ll never make enough.”
There is support from some in the NASCAR garage for a weekend at the same track with the IndyCar Series.
“I think it’d be great,” Denny Hamlin said. “I mean I think that sometimes our fans are not the same and so it would be an opportunity to introduce each other. I’ve never been to an IndyCar race before, so it would be an opportunity for me to kind of see it up close and personal and I wouldn’t mind wandering around the garages and seeing how they do things.”
Miles scoffed at the notion of conducting a third IndyCar race at Indy, according to The Indianapolis Star. He also made clear that neither the IndyCar Grand Prix nor Indianapolis 500 would be interested in sharing their weekends with NASCAR.
Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO and President Marcus Smith said he is aware of the topic but “I wouldn’t say it’s on my top 10 list at this point. But we’re certainly open for discussions because we like to do things that are different and fun. So who knows? Our schedule for NASCAR is set for next year. I’m sure if it’s interesting to IndyCar after they finish the Indy 500 then they’ll want to talk about it.”
SMI owns such tracks as Texas Motor Speedway, which hosts the IndyCar Series this weekend. NBCSN has coverage of the race beginning at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.