Jeff Gordon: Lights would be cool at Indianapolis

Jerry Markland

Jeff Gordon is in favor of adding lights to the 2.5-mile racing facility in Speedway, Indiana.

SPARTA, Ky. -- With $100 million in renovations coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon doesn't know where he would spend the money. He wouldn't mind seeing lights installed at the track for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race weekend, though.

Gordon spoke to the media at Kentucky Speedway over the weekend, answering several questions about Indianapolis in advance the upcoming NASCAR Kroger Super Weekend.

The four-time Sprint Cup champion frequented the Indianapolis 500 as a child but hasn't sat in the grandstands since before his own career began. As a result, he believes the fans should have the loudest voice when it comes to possible changes.

But he really does likes the idea of a nighttime race at IMS.

"Lights would be cool," Gordon said. "Lights are cool everywhere and I love racing under them. I don't know what it costs for lights around Indianapolis, but it's is already, to me, one of the top facilities that we go to. The garage area is immaculate. They just do everything first class there."

A lot like the Indianapolis 500 and most racing events in general, the Brickyard 400 has struggled to fill seats in recent years. Whatever changes are made, though, Gordon believes a priority has to be placed on ideas that will attract fans back to the Speedway.

"We know that our race has had its challenges as far as the crowd," Gordon said. "When I first started going to Indianapolis in 1994 with the Cup cars, the people lined up 10-deep around the garage and filled the grandstands.

"It was standing room only. It sure would be nice to know why that hasn't continued and how we can get back to that."

Lights could breathe new life into the NASCAR weekend as the Brickyard 400 is traditionally one of the hottest races on the schedule. Kentucky Speedway is geographically close to Indianapolis and that event is typically held under the lights to make it more comfortable for fans and competitors.

IndyCar officials have also discussed hosting a nighttime IndyCar Series race on the oval in early May, but nothing is imminent.

Speedway officials also want to improve the scoreboard, renovate the facilities and improve seat conditions. Indianapolis opened in 1909 and other tracks have modernized at a quicker rate.

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