Is Speedway In Lights Open Thanksgiving 2018? [Updated!]

Thanksgiving is one of the most exciting holidays for race fans as we get to enjoy some brilliant motorsport action without leaving the comforts of our sofas. With the season appropriately upon us, it’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on the previous 12 months and take a trip down memory lane.

For those who grew up in the ’80s, the phrase ‘speedway in lights’ is synonymous with the annual event that is enjoyed by fans of all ages. While many may see it as a nostalgic trip down memory lane, for those who follow the sport closely it represents yet another year of heartache as the uncertain future of the legendary oval continues to loom. The good news is that it looks like we may finally be heading for a resolution – for now at least.

The Biggest Loser In 2019

The year was started well for oval fans with the Motorcycle Speedway Center in Middleton, Wisconsin holding its Grand Opening on the 4th of January. The new facility will see bikes from the ’50s and ’60s being restored to full racing spec and put on display alongside those of today. This will no doubt be a source of great interest and excitement for motorbike enthusiasts from across the US.

In mid-January, the NASCAR Whelen EuroRace Touring Series visited the Kentucky Speedway for a double header. For those of a certain age, these will be familiar names as the series has been running annually since 1977 and is a great opportunity for fans to see high-quality cars and drivers from across Europe. The first race of the day was won by the French driver Eric Medoc who took home the win in the afternoon after the late afternoon break. The final race of the day was won by the German driver Martin Rumpold who used the evening session to establish a comfortable lead. It was a double header for the German fans as the DTM was holding its opening race at the same track just eight days later. This was both exciting and heart-breaking for the German and American fans who had to wait until January to see their heroes race. For those who follow motorsport closely, it was another sign that the season was not going to be as kind as in previous years. The good news for those who love ovals is that the 2019 season will feature some of the most iconic races in the history of the sport.

Is There Any Chance Of A Resolve?

With the calendar year starting to wind down, it’s time for some positive news as we reflect on one of the most eventful years in motorsport history. The big news is that the speedway world is looking to put a positive spin on things and are aiming to end 2019 on a high note. With that in mind, we need to reflect on one of the most iconic events of this past year – the 2019 NBA All-Star Game which was a sell-out for the entirety of its duration.

The format of the game was changed for its 67th edition – for the first time in its history the NBA All-Star Game was played at a basketball court instead of a traditional sports venue. The game was moved to the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California due to the pandemic. The rationale behind the decision to take the game to Oakland was to give fans from across the country an opportunity to see their favorite players in person. The day before the opening ceremony, the teams were announced with the West taking on the East in a thrilling match-up. The West came roaring back from an early deficit to stun the fans in the arena and the basketball world with a 143-140 victory.

The game marked the culmination of a great effort by the NBA and the Madison Square Garden Company who worked tirelessly to bring the game to America’s most iconic arena. The success of the game was a huge boost for the sport as a whole heading into the final lap of the year. Sadly, the year wasn’t all positive as we also had to endure the Bachelorette finales – the last episodes of the hit shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette were both very sad episodes. One of the best-liked contestants on The Bachelorette was eliminated in controversial circumstances, which continues to cause unrest among fans of both shows. Nonetheless, the NBA All-Star Game put a smile on the faces of many fans as the year drew to a close. It was a fitting end to one of the most eventful years in recent memory as we prepared for a new decade.

What About NASCAR?

In the world of motor racing, there were a number of major events that we were eagerly looking forward to this year including the 500 Miles of Shanghai, the return of the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the debut of the all-electric series. The biggest news came in the form of the National Hockey League (NHL) returning to the speedway for the first time in 14 years. The NHL has been one of the most prominent sports leagues to shun the idea of holding games in the spring, as it usually coincides with the Southern Hemisphere summer. This year, the NHL will stage four regular season games at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the first game kicking off on March 25. As exciting as this news is for hockey fans, it’s also a bittersweet reminder of how far things have come in the last 14 years. Back in 2001, the idea of seeing a hockey game in the spring was considered completely alien – the new millennium had changed all that.

Another positive piece of news for fans of NASCAR is that the sport is scheduled to stage the season finale of the checkered flag season at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 10. This will mark the first time that the Indy 500 and the season finale have been held on the same day since 1985. A great opportunity for fans to see some brilliant motorsport in the company of some of America’s most esteemed automobile manufactures.

Overall, Looking Back

Looking back on 2019, it’s fair to say that it’s been one of the most eventful years in recent memory. We saw so many iconic moments and were privileged to witness some historical events. We saw some drivers struggle for a majority of the year while others flourished, creating some truly memorable stories. What will 2020 bring? Will we see another dramatic turn of events or will we get yet another year of largely stable, sometimes dull, but always enthralling motorsport? Time will tell, but until then we can take a trip down memory lane and enjoy some great racing nostalgia while taking our minds off the present. Happy trails.

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