Is Speedway Racing Still Happening? [Fact Checked!]

Few sports rivaled the excitement that surrounded the Indy 500 in the 1950s and 1960s. For a few glorious years, the greatest drivers and teams in the world would congregate in the heartland to determine the best single-handed racing machine (or team of two) and claim their share of the $100,000 purse. With great personalities like Roger Penske, Rick Mears, and Chet Fillmore rubbing elbows with the greats of Formula One, NASCAR became the ultimate test of skill, strategy, and longevity.

While the Indy 500 may no longer hold the allure it once did, racing at the highest levels hasn’t lost its charm. And as popular as NASCAR has become (especially considering its engagement with younger audiences), there’s still one place where the racing spirit lives on: the European supersport series. Since the 1950s, the continent has been the breeding ground for some of the greatest race teams in history. Many Indy 500 winners spent some of their formative years racing over there, and many still go on to represent the green and white somewhere in the world. Similarly, Formula One has had an important role in popularizing racing in some countries, and many successful grand prix drivers started out in single-seaters before moving up to F1.

With all this in mind, it’s worth taking a look at whether or not the sport is still happening. That is, if we consider the original definition of ‘happening’. Was it just a fluke that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was in the right place at the right time, and has it continued because people have been doing it for sixty years? Or is there something more to it than that?

Racing Is Still Popular

First off, let’s establish one thing: since the inception of the Indianapolis 500, the popularity of motorsport has risen along with the sport itself. While the former has dipped in recent years, the latter has found a permanent home among teens and early 20s around the world. This is in part thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, which has dramatically altered the way people follow, engage with, and broadcast sports.

To put it into perspective, the Indianapolis 500 hasn’t always been associated with motor racing. Established in 1911, the race was initially called the ‘Indianapolis 500′ and contested on an oval track. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the race took on its current name and was transformed into its present form. Back then, the sport was still relatively unorganized, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway didn’t have the luxury of a research and development department. This is why, when they did finally establish a team, it was originally called the ‘Indianapolis Motors Speedway team’. As you’ll soon discover, however, the ‘speedway team’ didn’t last very long.

There Are More Opportunities For Women In Racing

Speaking of changing times, things aren’t exactly the same today as they were sixty years ago. Back in the day, it was mainly men who were interested in motorsport; however, this is no longer the case. Thanks in large part to organizations like the ‘International Motorcycle Association’ (an affiliate of the ‘Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme’), women are now much more likely to be found on a racing team than they are in a garage.

The IOMSA is a big deal, as it promotes motorcycling as a sport for all genders and offers opportunities for women in motorsport throughout the world. Since its establishment in 1972, the organization has invested heavily in women’s football, hockey, and racing; and it has been very successful in opening up careers in motorcycling for many talented ladies. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that with the right attitude and some determination, anyone can succeed in motorsport. We wouldn’t have companies like Hoonigan Sports, Bike Rack, and Motorcycle Training specializing in equipping riders for their adventures; and it wouldn’t be farfetched to suggest that more female-run teams could emerge at any level of competition.

The Future Of Racing Looks Bright

Even though the sport is far from being over, there’s still plenty to look forward to. First off, if you’re a fan of motorsport, then 2020 is looking to be a fairly exciting year. Not only will there be a return of the Indy 500, but there are also plans for a French Supercar race, which will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the ‘Formula One’ (pronounced ‘Fórmula Uno’) season.

Formula One, as we mentioned above, has seen a lot of popularity over the years, especially in countries like Germany and Italy. Still, outside of its core European base, the sport has been relatively unknown. This could change in 2020, as a new German firm, ‘Red Bull’, has entered the fray with a bang by purchasing the exclusive license to hold a Formula One Grand Prix in one of its countries. Although the company has yet to reveal where the race will be held or which cars they will field, it’s easy to see how this could boost public interest in the series.

As for the Indy 500, after several years of rumors and speculation, we finally have an idea of what is going on behind the scenes. In January 2020, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway revealed that it had reached an agreement with the ‘Indy Car’ series to become the official organizer of the race. This will allow for a few changes, the most significant of which will be the implementation of a points system to determine the winner of the race. Additionally, the owners of the Speedway have pledged to donate half a million dollars to the American Cancer Society. This is on top of the millions of dollars they already donate to various causes each year.

The Historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway

One of the main reasons why racing has endured is because of the Indy 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s fair to say that without these two things, there would be very little left of the sport. This is also why they will always have a special place in the hearts of motorsport fans.

The historical value of the Indy 500 is impossible to overstate; it’s not simply that they are the nation’s oldest continuous sporting event (having been held annually since 1911) or that they are the inspiration for millions of people around the world. What makes the Indy 500 so special is that it was the breeding ground for many future greats. After the Second World War, many veterans were looking for something fresh to do, so they got involved with the team; and it wasn’t long before they were putting in extensive hours. The same went for many of the drivers and teams who competed in the 500 during this time period. There were so many talented people who went on to have successful careers because of their time at the Speedway. And let’s face facts: without the Indy 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would not be what it is today. It’s practically a given that some of the track’s current assets (a research and development department, for example) were put in place because of the initial success of the Indy 500.

The Future Of Motorsport

In the foreseeable future, the most exciting times for motorsport fans will be the early years of the next decade. Not only will we see the revival of the Indy 500, but it’s also likely that F1 will undergo some significant changes. For one, the sport will be impacted by the ongoing pandemic. While activities have been restricted in some regards, it hasn’t stopped F1 teams from competing. In fact, the whole season was effectively cancelled until the end of June. This is significant because it means that many of the cars will have been built before the summer break, therefore creating a backlog. Not only that, but with the lifting of the restrictions in some countries, more and more people are getting behind the wheel. Teams like Mercedes and Ferrari have even opened up their doors to anyone who wants to become an F1 driver.

Similarly, the IndyCar series will be expanding its reach, with several new races being added to the schedule. This is a direct result of the pandemic and the subsequent need for a more relaxed approach to race weekends. After years of grueling season-ending battles, the series is taking the opportunity to regroup and rethink its approach to creating exciting content. The sport is also going through a transition phase, with younger fans taking the reins and changing the face of what the IndyCar series is and will be.

With so much going on in and around motorsport, you can be sure that there will always be something new to look forward to. One of the main reasons why this sport continues to endure is because as a fan you can’t stay away for too long. The appeal is too great and the talent involved is incredible. This is something that will never change.

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