It’s been three years since the NASCAR Cup Series ran the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), as the once prestigious race has since been altered into a road course at the track. Calls for a comeback have been prevalent, the latest coming from Richard Childress Racing star Kyle Busch.
Busch, who went back-to-back in the Brickyard 400 in 2015 and ’16, commented Wednesday ahead of this Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on if there was a staple of NASCAR’s past he’d like to see return.
His answer? The Brickyard 400.
Busch, the two-time Cup Series champion, has long been critical of NASCAR’s decision to do away with the Brickyard 400. Just last month, the 38-year-old said it was time to “go somewhere else” if the oval wasn’t enough to get fans to come out to IMS.
“But I don’t know why we ever went to the road course, to be honest with you,” Busch said. “I don’t think it did an uptick or changed a damn thing at Indy. If we can’t do a good enough job getting enough people to Indy to suffice us staying on the oval, then we need to go somewhere else — just like anywhere. I’ll say that about any track.”
Kyle Busch critical of NASCAR’s decision to do away with Brickyard 400
In 2021, Busch called the IMS road course a “parking lot.”
“It’s not a fun road course. It’s a parking lot,” Busch said. “I think the history here is built around the oval… The road course is built for Formula 1 to take part in history. You look at the list of drivers that have won here, and yeah, there were a few that backed into it, but the rest of the list is the best of the best, the who’s who of drivers and teams. You have to have horsepower., you have to have drag, you have to have downforce. All that stuff to have a successful run at Indy.”
NASCAR made the decision in hopes of providing a spark to its annual race at IMS. In 2007, 220,000 fans flocked to the race track to see the Cup Series’ best. The last fan attended Brickyard 400 in 2019, meanwhile, drew just 60,000 fans.