Still on the fence about attending this weekend’s Kentucky Indy 300? We’ve got 5 great reasons why you need to attend this race:
Bang For Your Buck! Even if you missed out on the great INDYCAR Nation deals this go-around, there’s no reason to panic. Kentucky Speedway is still a pretty affordable track. If you’re ordering online, and are a fan of Andretti Autosport, check out the offer code that will get you premium seating for only $35! If you’re doing walkup tickets race morning, you can jump in for $55. Anyone who’s been to a race at Kentucky will tell you there’s not a bad seat in the house, and it’s easy to find the right ticket deal with minimal searching. That one ticket will get you into the Autograph Session, INDYCAR Fan Village, Firestone Indy Lights Race, and of course the main event itself!
Day Trip! Kentucky Speedway is only a few hours away from population centers such as Indianapolis (2.5 hours), Columbus (2.5 hours), Cincinnati (45 minutes), Louisville (1 hour), and Nashville (4 hours). Even St. Louis or Detroit is manageable at 5 hours! If you do decide to make it an overnight trip, there are hotels in the area that can still be found at reasonable prices, not to mention great parks and campgrounds nearby.
A Plethora of Entries! With 29 official entries, this race is packed. Ed Carpenter returns as last year’s pole winner and holder of two straight P2 finishes here. Buddy Rice will be there with Panther Racing, and Pippa Mann will continue her rookie campaign with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Throw in Wade Cunningham with AFS/SSM and Dillon Battistini making his debut in the #34 Conquest Racing machine, and you have a lot of drivers potentially racing for their future. It’ll be a busy track, with plenty of opportunities for breakthroughs and heartbreak alike.
Wheldon’s Warm-up! As we all know, Dan Wheldon will be contesting the Las Vegas finale with an eye towards winning the $5 million GoDaddy INDYCAR Challenge. Before that, the two-time Indy 500 champ will warm-up for his historic challenge by contesting Kentucky in the Sam Schmidt Motorsports #77 car. Wheldon finished P3 here last year, and knows his way around the track. Will he show any rust? Can he find some speed to help get this car sorted out (while earning a nice pit position) before Las Vegas? Can he go 2-for-2 for races so far this year? We’ll find out this weekend!
IZOD IndyCar Racing At Its Best! Fans at Kentucky last year were treated to a thrilling battle between drivers such as Helio Castroneves, Ed Carpenter, Dan Wheldon, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and the rest of a field that seemed intensely, evenly matched. There’s no reason to think this year race won’t be just as thrilling.
This is one of those tracks where you can go through the entry list and find no shortage of drivers who could win. Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Ed Carpenter, Dan Wheldon, Helio Castroneves—the list goes on. As the second-to-last race for the current Dallara and with both the A.J. Foyt Oval Trophy and overall Series Championship on the line, it should be a no-holds-barred kind of race!
Do yourself a favor and join the other INDYCAR fans at Kentucky. Carpool, camp out, make it part of a couples getaway, surprise a friend with a day trip—however you work it, make sure you’re there bright and early on Sunday. If you’re within any sort of driving distance, you do not want to miss this race.
Zachary Houghton runs www.indycaradvocate.com, which features regularly-updated INDYCAR, IZOD IndyCar Series, and Mazda Road to Indy interviews, commentary, and more. You can find him on Twitter at @indycaradvocate.