AVONDALE, AZ – The stage is already set for the attention to be high when the Verizon IndyCar Series visits the Phoenix International Raceway during the first weekend of April. It’s the first time in 11 years that open wheel racing would be back at the one-mile track as the demand has been strong so far in the lead up to the race on April 2.
But, after today’s opening test session of the weekend, it is even more evident, that the Phoenix Grand Prix is going to be a must-see event.
The NASCAR race at the Arizona oval over the last several years has had no problem selling out or at least coming close to a sell out. They race here twice a year.
IndyCar is returning for the first time in over a decade, so that story alone will put some butts in the seats. But, I don’t think they will be sitting long as the action should keep them standing on their toes for the entire night.
Look no further than these four stats.
The fastest mile ever run by a human on this Earth was 3-minutes and 43-seconds.
The NASCAR track record at PIR is 143.158 mph set by Jimmie Johnson just last year.
The fastest IndyCar lap today was over 44 mph quicker than NASCAR’s with Helio Castroneves pacing the field at 187.850 mph, or just over 19-seconds.
All 21 cars that took part in today’s test were separated by under a second.
Basically, an IndyCar is 44 mph faster than a NASCAR at the same one-mile track, an IndyCar would lap that said track 11 times before the world’s fastest human completed just one lap and the field is basically all within one second of each other.
How can a race with cars like that not be exciting, especially under the lights?
If people find a NASCAR race exciting here where they’re a full “speed limit” on a lot of roads slower than an IndyCar while those same IndyCar’s that are 44 mph faster are racing closer together, they’re going to be in for a treat in April.
This is going to be like a bull ring as cars are completing laps in less than 20-seconds. That’s typical for a NASCAR 1/2-mile track, but these cars are doing this in a full mile.
That’s insane if you look at it in those standards.
Mix in wheel-to-wheel action and these drivers pulling more g-forces than an astronaut feels at take off, and you have one of the most physically challenging races of the season.
So, if you haven’t bought your tickets for April 2 yet, make sure you do as well as see these cars in person tomorrow.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indy Sports Report. Follow @Ericsportsguru and @IndySportsRep on Twitter