The style of racing has been a topic of conversation after the Cup Series trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. Ryan Blaney said people run over each other while Alex Bowman‘s crew chief said there is a lack of professionalism.
Greg Ives appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on August 1 and provided his thoughts about the on-track product at IMS. He explained that this lack of professionalism is not good for the sport of NASCAR and that the top series in the sport should not put on a race like that. He then compared the professional drivers to his child.
“I see better racing out of my seven-year-old kid,” Ives said. “When we go to these Go-Kart tracks, they touch somebody, they get penalized for incidental contact or avoidable contact. We have professionals there running it like it’s an S&S Speedway slingshot race.
“It’s not good for racing, it’s not good for professionalism. Ultimately, NASCAR has to figure out how to make it so… like I said, one of these bodies don’t have hardly any detriment for running the next guy over in front of you. Maybe a bruised nose or a black eye might help.”
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Ives Provided More Context About an On-Track Incident
Bowman was in the middle of some on-track incidents during the Verizon 200, which all included Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick. The first sent the No. 4 spinning and led to angry comments from the former Cup Series champion. The second ended Harvick’s day and contributed to Bowman finishing 32nd.
Ives provided further details about the incidents at IMS. He explained that both Harvick and Bowman were going to make the corner without issue. However, SHR’s Chase Briscoe hit Ricky Stenhouse Jr. from behind and turned the No. 17 “into a plow” that collected both Bowman and Harvick.
Bowman had similar comments after the race at IMS. He explained on Instagram that he “got crashed” after another driver received the wrong information about the earlier incident. Bowman then came to Stenhouse’s defense after a fan blamed the driver of the No. 17. He also said that Briscoe was the one that started the incident.
Multiple People Want a Different Track Layout
There were strong comments in person and on Twitter after the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. Multiple drivers called out the lack of respect while others made a request. They asked to get the oval back on the schedule.
Denny Hamlin sent out a brief tweet that showed he wants the oval back. Meanwhile, his crew chief, Chris Gabehart, responded to FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass and said that NASCAR won’t need to add an access road rule if they go back to the “prestigious and awesomely famed oval.”
This was in reference to Ross Chastain skipping Turn 1 and using an access road to get back on the track while avoiding the carnage. This move put Chastain next to Tyler Reddick in the battle for the win, but it also resulted in a 30-second penalty from NASCAR.
The list continued with Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, who agreed with Gabehart. Interestingly enough, the driver of the No. 4 told NBC Sports back in June that he thinks the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course is “terrible” for the sport and that it’s “almost degrading.”
There may be calls for the series to return to the oval, but it will not happen in 2023. Roger Penske, the owner of Team Penske and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, told media members ahead of the race weekend that the Cup Series will return to the road course in 2023.