New Orleans at 200 Miles Per Hour

Come one, come all to the Verizon IndyCar Series at NOLA Motorsports Park this weekend, April 10-12, as the young season heads into its third major weekend and the first of a three-year deal for the Avondale-based track. While the biggest draw of the weekend will certainly be the race (Sunday, 3:00 PM, NBC Sports Network), fans will be able to enjoy a broad slice of Louisiana culture in and around the track. In an interview on March 14, track President Kristen Engeron described the testing of Honda’s AeroKit and the testing of the track as “historic.” On the expanse of the weekend, Engeron said, “It’s a slice of Louisiana at every turn. Even though there’s on-track activity going on from 8 [AM] in the morning to 6 o’clock [PM] at night, we’re gonna have Grammy-award winning acts on the Bud Light Stage…Rebirth [Brass Band]…it’ll be like a mini-French Quarter Fest…there’ll be an 80-foot ferris wheel right next to the track, next to pit lane. We’ll have ‘Taste of Louisiana’…restaurant village. We’ll have Cafe du Monde that’ll have a huge tent here serving beignets and coffee…it’ll be rides, it’ll be music, it’ll be the IndyCar fan zone, there’ll be karting…our karting zone that’s always open to the public seven days a week, if you decide you want to go fast on the track, you can. It’s a very wholesome, family-friendly, affordable environment.” On the necessary involvement of the public, Engeron said, “We can’t do this unless the public embraces us and comes out and makes us the second-largest event in IndyCar next to the [Indianapolis] 500.” On the importance of securing such an impactful event for the economy of New Orleans, track owner Laney Chouest said, “We built it and they’ll come…it was a matter of getting support from state politicians to make it happen…a lot of people did a lot of really, really good work.” With food, music, and rides all abound, Sunday’s race is only a part of what is shaping up to be a landmark weekend for both IndyCar and the City of New Orleans. Tickets are still available for the weekend at and you can follow all the action on Twitter @GPofNOLA@NOLAMotorsports, and @IndyCar.