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Indianapolis • Traditionalists balked and some were downright outraged at the mere suggestion stock cars dare set their fenders on the sacred ground of Indianapolis.
Stage a NASCAR race at the home of the Indianapolis 500?
May as well make Indy 500 winners swig orange juice in Victory Lane or have the track install lights for a night race. None of it could have been worse than big, bad NASCAR storming into their open wheel city.
"I think Indy cars belong at Indy and stock cars belong at Daytona," 1986 Indy winner Bobby Rahal said more than 20 years ago.
"I think it's a big mistake because Indy has all that tradition and romance and I don't believe it should be tampered with," said Johnny Rutherford, also a former Indianapolis 500 champion.
Well, it's time to pucker up and kiss the bricks once again when NASCAR runs its 20th Cup race Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are as much a slice of Indy racing history as A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears.
There's a generation of drivers coming up who dreamed of racing at Indianapolis for 400 miles, not 500.
"You have the Daytona 500 and then the Brickyard 400," Gordon, a four-time Indy winner, said. "Some people may rank it different than that, but that's how I look at it."
Nationwide Series • Kyle Busch dominated to win the Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch had the fastest car Saturday to win for the eighth time in 15 races. Busch led 92 of 100 laps but had a late scare after he fell back to third on the final restart.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
P Sunday, 11 a.m.
TV • ESPN