With Indianapolis Motor Speedway aiming for significant upgrades in the near-future — which could possibly include a new lighting system to allow night racing at the Brickyard — there's been a lot of buzz about its NASCAR event, the Brickyard 400, eventually moving to a night-time format.
Lights would also open up the possibility of the Indianapolis 500 being shifted from its traditional day-time start as well. But in an interview with ESPN.com's David Newton, IMS chief operating officer and vice president of communications Doug Boles indicated that the Speedway wasn't thinking about the idea:
"The Indianapolis 500 has a long history of starting at 11 [a.m.] or noon,'' Boles said in the interview. "I would see that as continuing to be the start time.''
Boles also told Newton that while a lighting system is "on that list" of potential IMS upgrades, the prospect is not yet a concrete one.
The Speedway has officially supported new Indiana state legislation that would create a "motorsports investment district" around the 2.5-mile oval. The new district would collect multiple forms of taxes from that area and put the money towards improvements at the track.
Besides a lighting system, other potential upgrades that have been mentioned by the Speedway include high-definition video and LED boards, grandstand renovations, and infrastructure work. The proposed legislation, if passed, would land IMS at least $70 million to make those improvements.
Indiana state senator Michael Young, a Republican, was slated to introduce the legislation in the state's General Assembly today.