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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been holding IndyCar races since its inception in 1911. However, there was a major change when, in 1994, NASCAR entered the scene. Despite being motorsports, IndyCar and NASCAR are unique with requirements right from the vehicles to the track. Earlier the Indianapolis track was exclusive to IndyCar but the entry of NASCAR has stirred quite an issue for IndyCar. In a recent conversation with Kenny Wallace, Michael Andretti shared his insights about NASCAR’s influence on IndyCar Racing. 

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During a recent conversation with Kenny Wallace, Michael Andretti, the former IndyCar racer and owner of Andretti Autosp,,rt expressed his disapproval of NASCAR’s entry into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He mentioned that’s what started the challenges for IndyCar. Andretti said, “And then that, you know, obviously it, it just about killed IndyCar racing, you know, with the two series.”


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IndyCar does not just share the speedway, they also share drivers. Drivers are allowed to compete in both NASCAR and IndyCar races, a recent example being Kyle Larson. Wallace touched upon the topic and said, I didn’t like to see some of the drivers over here, some of the drivers over here.”

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IndyCar also has to keep up with the huge audience that NASCAR has and that isn’t easy. His remarks showcase the dynamics that formed after NASCAR arrived in Indianapolis. However, in the same podcast, the two also talked about Roger Penske, the owner of Penske and also of the Indianapolis Motorspeedway.


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Andretti’s neutral stance on Roger Pensky’s role


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A conversation about IndyCar racing is never complete without mentioning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so naturally Kenny Wallace asked Michael Andretti about the inevitable. Talking about Roger Penske, who bought the iconic venue in 2019, Wallace went ahead to ask the burning question, “Do you think the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, obviously, Roger, smart as he is, one of the most iconic businessmen in the world, do you think the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in a good spot right now?”


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Andretti, though, had a very neutral answer. While he appreciated Penske’s role in the venue’s upliftment, he also mentioned how something else instead of the Speedway could do with a bit of help. “It’s a tough question. Okay, that’s all. Roger loves the Speedway. That’s everything to him. And I guess when it comes to the Speedway itself, I think Roger’s done a lot of really good things. And, you know, I think it’s more the series that I think needs more help to help raise the 500 as well. But, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s in a better spot or not. I mean, I know Roger’s, you know, got a lot of things he wants to do yet with it and stuff, which I hope..happens,” Andretti shared. 

 Andretti’s take certainly reveals the complexities and challenges IndyCar team owners and drivers face. But do you think NASCAR drivers might be taking away the limelight from the veteran IndyCar drivers with their involvement, or maybe NASCAR is overshadowing IndyCar? Let us know in the comments below.