The Indiana State Fair Commission announced in early April that the Indiana State Fairgrounds will discontinue auto racing at its one-mile oval after one final race, the 2019 Hoosier Hundred. This leaves only two, the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois and the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, as fairgrounds miles that continue to present auto racing.
A great deal of attention has been given to such changes as moving the season finale from Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida to ISM Raceway in Arizona, and moving the Brickyard 400 to the July 4 weekend. A western swing follows the Daytona 500 and the summer race at Daytona moves to August. Races elsewhere will see date shifts, some to better exploit potential weather conditions and some to exploit interest in the “playoffs.”
But the biggest change, in our view, is the shortening of the racing season by one week, accomplished by combining the two Cup races at Pocono Raceway into a single weekend doubleheader.
Colton Herta won the NTT Indycar Series’ race at the Circuit of the Americas on March 24, thereby putting himself in the record books not only for the victory, his first in an Indycar and the first Indycar race run at the splashy Texas facility, but also for becoming the youngest driver ever to win in an Indycar, just days ahead of his 19th birthday.
On March 17, 1834, Gottlieb Daimler was born in Germany. Had he been born 100 years later, he would have seen an automotive industry the likes of which early automakers could hardly dare dream, and yet, had he been born 100 years later, that very auto industry might never have come to pass.
True, it was no national championship event, and it wasn’t Super Dirt Week, the hugely popular season-ending race that, after more than 40 years, was evicted from the fairgrounds after 2015 and forced to move to the half-mile Oswego Speedway. But it was racing, it was at the New York State Fairgrounds, and by all appearances, it was a success.