Iowa announces race weekend names and race distances, why the change is being questioned

INDIANAPOLIS — Hy-Vee, Inc. and INDYCAR announced March 22 that the two NTT INDYCAR SERIES 250-lap races during the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway will be focused on honoring America’s heroes and fighting hunger across the United States. Hy-Vee partners Instacart and Gatorade will support the weekend efforts with each industry-leading company serving as a presenting sponsor of the Saturday and Sunday races.

The key wording there is “two NTT INDYCAR SERIES 250-lap races.”

Last year, you had a doubleheader, but each were different distances. That very much played a role in strategy and differing the two shows, so it wasn’t the same thing on two separate days.

Saturday’s race last year was 250 laps compared to 300 on Sunday. Did the 44 extra miles of racing on Sunday make it a different race than Saturday?

“We looked at the last time it was a double-header, and the guys who pitted for new tires for the last stint like passed everyone insanely, and then you try the same thing the next day, which I did, and it didn’t work as well,” Conor Daly told me last year.

“Each day is going to be different, and each race has its own profile to it. Veterans for sure know, but the young guys and everyone in this series is extremely talented, so it’s hard to really say anyone is at a disadvantage.”

The problem now is, you have the same race, at the same time, on each day. Would it have been better for just one 500 lap race?

Granted I know you can’t do that because that would be way too physically demanding, and part of this atmosphere is a two-day carnival. I get that. However, what separates the two races from one another now? This essentially is the same race, twice in a 24 hour span. Doesn’t that get redundant? Why would drivers on Saturday be any worse on Sunday and vice versa?

If it was going to be the same distances, why not have one at night and the other during the day? Different track conditions that way. This way, I do question on if it’s a good idea.

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