End of an era?

Will tonight see IndyCar’s final show at Chicagoland?


Some of the best racing in IZOD IndyCar Series history has come at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, site of tonight’s PEAK Antifreeze/Motor Oil Indy 300 (7 p.m. ET, Versus). But the ISC-owned facility appears less and less likely to be a stop on IndyCar’s 2011 schedule.

The series may not have any events at ISC tracks next season according to The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin, who writes today about why IndyCar will probably not be able to find a suitable 2011 date at Chicagoland. Recently, Chicagoland got word that it would host the opening race for the 2011 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship and their other events got shuffled around as a result. As such, IndyCar could be the odd series out.

It’s just one more sign that the 2011 campaign will be sporting a much different look with new tracks such as Baltimore and New Hampshire, as well as the recently announced night race at Iowa Speedway.

If tonight sees the last event for the IndyCars at Chicagoland, it will be a shame considering how much wheel-to-wheel excitement has been created there over the last decade. But it also will not be a surprise considering that ISC has its own priorities (i.e. NASCAR) to take care of.

With the seemingly imminent end of an era on tap for later on, I’ve posted a video of Sam Hornish Jr. taking down Al Unser Jr. by .0024 of a second at Chicagoland in 2002. It remains the closest finish that the IZOD IndyCar Series has ever had.

History was made that day and history could be made again tonight. Unfortunately, it might not be the good kind.

Video credit: “rbb9753” on YouTube.