Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues in its dogged effort to nurse the Brickyard 400 back to health.
Its latest endeavor, track president Doug Boles confirmed Tuesday, is to host a USAC dirt track race to kick off the NASCAR race weekend (Sept. 6-9).
In recent years, Brickyard attendance has nose-dived from the hundreds of thousands that used to attend to 40,000-50,000. No single countermeasure will be the cure-all for the event but Boles is hopeful this latest venture – in combination with others – will help reverse a troubling trend.
The near-quarter-mile race will be inside of Turn 3 and is scheduled for either the Thursday or Friday of race weekend. IMS plans to make an official announcement with final details, including the event name, title sponsor and date, early next week.
Boles added that the track is planning to add enough bleachers to seat 5,000 spectators around the track. IMS began bringing dirt into the track Tuesday morning.
"When you think about the total re-positioning of the Brickyard 400 weekend – a new date, a partner like Big Machine and now a grassroots connection, we think it kind of rounds out the whole weekend," Boles said. "Our goal is to grow the Brickyard 400, and that’s what we’re trying to do."