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A NASCAR double-header at Indianapolis next summer? Now, can NASCAR find a car for Danica?

  NASCAR's Grand Am cars testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early September (Photo: IMS)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Next summer's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis could be part of a novel double-header -- with NASCAR's Grand American sports cars also running at the Speedway on the Formula One road course during the Brickyard 400 weekend.
   "It's a matter of how they might be able to change over to the road course from the oval," NASCAR president Mike Helton said.
   NASCAR ran both the Grand Am and Sprint Cup events the same day at Daytona in July, in what is seen as a test of track changeover techniques and promotions for other similar double-header weekends for NASCAR's stock cars and sports cars.
   "But Daytona is a lot different than Indianapolis," Helton points out.  "It used to take a long time (as much as six to eight hours) to change over Daytona from one to the other. But they've figured out how to cut time down."
   NASCAR's Cup, Nationwide and Trucks all run exclusively on Goodyears, while the Grand Am series's exclusive tire contract with Pirelli runs through the end of 2010. Goodyear would likely make a bid to add the Grand Am series to its NASCAR exclusivity contract.
   What could make such an Indianapolis Grand Am/Cup double-header weekend even more intriguing is if Danica Patrick -- who drove for Richard Childress in the 24 Hours of Daytona this year -- were to run in the Indianapolis Grand Am car at the Brickyard that weekend too. However Patrick appears to be ready to sign a new Indy Racing League contract (in addition to maybe running a dozen or so NASCAR events) for next season, and if she were to run the full IRL tour in 2010, she would be racing in Edmonton, Canada, that weekend.

Indy needs to wake up and

Indy needs to wake up and have the IndyCar Series there for a second race in late summer instead of getting a lesser series there during Brickyard weekend. There is plenty of racing at IRP during Brickyard weekend, so there is no need to add Grand America to the schedule. NASCAR does not need to screw up a great event in the Brickyard 400. Let it be. It's great like it is. Trying to put cars on the road course during the same weekend is asking for trouble.

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