There’s a reason Indianapolis has long been called the “Running Capital of the World,” but it really should extend to the entire Hoosier State.
It’s a prime week to back up the claim that Indiana is the center of the racing world in many ways.
All this week, weather permitting, USAC hosted Indiana Sprint Week with races across the state.
Last Friday in Gas City, 52 teams were in attendance and former Lucas Oil Little 500 winner Shane Cottle took the win.
This weekend, the 500 Sprint Car Tour will host events at Anderson Speedway on Saturday and Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on Monday.
Anderson Speedway hosts the first 100-lap Gene Nolen Classic for wingless sprint cars.
Nolen’s cars have won the Little 500 twice with Kody Swanson at the controls.
The Kenyon Midgets are on the racing schedule on Saturday.
The local track hosts a Friday night event for the Radical Ford Focus Midgets and the annual Grant Fritz/Greg Dietzen memorial for Legends cars.
A two-day ticket can be purchased for $20.
When the 500 Sprint Car Tour races at IRP on Monday, admission is free.
In addition to wingless sprint cars, traditional sidewalk dwarves are on the racing agenda.
NASCAR champion Kyle Larson is listed for both races at IRP with NASCAR driver Alex Bowman competing in a midget.
The 500 Sprint Car Tour has seen four different winners in the first four races, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see two more different winners after this weekend.
The Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards both compete in an IRP on Saturday.
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s Brickyard weekend.
The IndyCar and NASCAR Xfinity Series take place on the road course on Saturday and the Cup cars on Sunday.
It was an interesting weekend for NASCAR as Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch had their cars disqualified at Pocono, giving Chase Elliott the win.
NASCAR officials warned teams when introducing the new car for this year that there would be strict adherence to the rules.
Team Gibbs pushed their luck and paid the price.
Josef Newgarden crashed in the second IndyCar race in Iowa and is still awaiting medical clearance to race at IMS on Saturday.
I expect Martin Truex Jr. to be in contention for the Cup win at IMS, making the 15th different winner this year and locking himself into the Chase.
For IndyCar racing, there is a tangle of drivers battling for the points lead, but one of the early favorites has to be Simon Pagenaud, who always races hard on the IMS road course.
Oh, by the way, next Tuesday and Wednesday, the USAC Midgets will compete on a temporary track at IMS.
Does anyone really doubt that Indiana is the racing capital of the world?
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.