Baltimore in 2011

Posted on: June 2, 2010 | Comments(12) | Race Tracks | By: Dave

At The Nest on West Pratt Street – across from the Baltimore Convention Center where city and state officials announced that an IZOD IndyCar Series race would be held in Baltimore beginning in August 2011 – lunch patrons were curious, if not outright enthusiastic, that a major sporting event would be coming to downtown.
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As Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said in opening remarks, “You don’t win a race by reversing and going backward. You win a race by putting it in drive and giving it full throttle.”

Over crab cakes and house salad alfresco at The Nest (which overlooks the main straightaway of the circuit and start-finish line; think this will be a hotspot?), Daniel McLaughlin highlights the economic impact projected, the tens of thousands of spectators that will flock to the circuit that includes the scenic Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. A fan, who watched flag to flag coverage of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, McLaughlin sees it as a win-win for the city and the series.

“We have the Orioles, who aren’t that good right now, and the occasional soccer (friendly) match and NCAA lacrosse finals,” he says, “but we miss out on much more because a lot of sporting events like the Final Four go to Washington. Sure there are going to be some people upset when they resurface the streets, but it’s a long-term gain. Plus the streets will be paved.”

The Inner Harbor is a few blocks east – with the National Aquarium, numerous restaurants (former First Daughter Jenna Bush lives in the neighborhood) and nightlife options – will be bustling.

“I might have to volunteer for the weekend,” McLaughlin says. “Maybe I could be the guy holding the umbrella over Danica while she’s in the car.”


There are 12 comments for this post.

  1. Jerry on June 2, 2010 4:35 pm

    AWESOME! Finally a race within a couple hours drive. I can’t wait to make the trip down from NJ. I plan on spending at least 3 days.

  2. Bill on June 2, 2010 6:08 pm

    As someone who lives a block from the proposed track I can’t tell you how exciting this is. Make your reservations now, Baltimore will be the place to be next August.

  3. B'more Indy Mark on June 2, 2010 6:51 pm

    40 years ago I envisioned a Cart/Indycar race in Baltimore. Thank the racing Gods, it’s gonna happen. We may not see Gordon Johncock’s lone star helmet but there is Marco’s cool Venom Drink Car. Do marbles make good gifts?

  4. Redrocket on June 2, 2010 8:30 pm

    I have nothing against Baltimore. But I am getting tired of Indy turning into nothing but a road course event. Indy started as a n Oval racing league. Now there are more road courses than oval and now another has been added. There are plenty of Ovals out there just look at Nascar. So why not add some Ovals. At this rate no better than F1 of some other roadcourse league. Where did the real Indy car league go?

  5. Kenny on June 2, 2010 9:10 pm

    Great, another boring street race. IndyCar will fade away as they become more and more street course heavy. American racing fans prefer ovals, that’s a fact. The average racing fan prefers ovals, that’s fact. Without the average fan, any racing league will die. Street racing is horrible for TV and even worst in person. Fans go to street races to get drunk because there’s no race to watch. You see your favorite driver go by for 3 seconds and then wait 2 minutes to see them for another 3 seconds. I really want IndyCar to survive but street racing won’t do it.

  6. Dick Winn on June 2, 2010 9:55 pm
    Dick Winn

    Indy was a one event race years ago too. I prefer road tracks to ovals. Street courses are a different matter. They are usually to narrow for much racing. If you want oval tracks, watch NASCAR, they usually turn left.

  7. Paul on June 2, 2010 10:08 pm

    Streets are for busses and taxis. Indy cars are like race horses, they need room to run. I agree with Kenny above. Temporary street circuts suck and should be limited. Stick to ovals and permanant road courses

  8. Joe on June 3, 2010 12:04 am

    I look at this as a great way to showcase Baltimore, and to bring racing to the fans in this area. When the idea for a NASCAR track in this area got ditched a few years ago, I was heartbroken. I’ve never been to a road race before, but love watching F1, because I get to see places that I’ve never been before. Why not bring a race course to an area where a lot of people have never watched a race before? This is a way to bring a lot of business to Baltimore, and gain a lot of new race fans. Who knows…NASCAR may be next to come to this area, when they see what Indycar as done for Baltimore.

  9. Al on June 3, 2010 9:56 pm

    I would suggest that the drivers wear diving suits and life vests for when there is one of those famous Baltimore water main breaks in the middle of the race. BTW, that was just about the stupidest remark that I’ve ever heard you make. O’Malley.

  10. Chris on June 6, 2010 12:31 am

    I’m looking forward to an IndyCar race close enough to take my nephew and get him hooked! I’ve been to the Indy 500 each of the last two years, and can’t wait to share that experience. I wish I could take him to an oval track, where the cars hit 215+, but I’ll be happy for any opportunity!

  11. Mitch on June 15, 2010 10:52 am

    If any of you who are against this race haven’t looked at the layout, take a look. This is far from a boring race here, 3 long straight aways with hairpins at the end of 2 of them, and one a right hander similar to the first corner in St. Petersburg. St. Pete is probably the best overtaking street course on the schedule, and Baltimore beats it out easily. This will be a great race barring the water main breaks (Shoutout to Al! haha). Live in Indy and I’ll do what ever I can to get to this one. Very excited

  12. Fred Schwantz on July 21, 2010 12:28 pm
    Fred Schwantz

    Road courses are extremely boring. Please lose the IZOD girl in the winner’s circle….dumb dumb….

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