Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, located in Lexington OH, is an amazing road course that hosts a number of unique events. Indy cars race there yearly. Since 2013, NASCAR Xfinty series has raced there as well.
We missed the inaugural race. But we have been to every one since. It is close to home, and doesn’t break the budget like some NASCAR races might, It’s a wonderful facility, and the track staff are great people.
Having attended nearly every Xfinity race at Mid Ohio, I have to wonder how much longer they will be racing there. Moving the race to Memorial Day weekend spells doomsday to me.
The first race we attended in 2014, the Midway and food vendor area were packed, with fans and vendors alike. I’ve watched both dwindle over the years. There was not even a lemonade vendor this year (you know what I’m talking about, that overpriced fresh lemon and sugar concoction…the one thing I look forward to at the fair or other events…)
And as a media representative, I have also observed less media coverage over the years (altho the Media Center did seem more crowded this year than last). And when I first started covering this race, there were scheduled Q&A with drivers, now it is just 15 minutes with whomever happens to be available. Not to mention, in the early years, they fed the media. now, you can get stale coffee and bottles of water.
And let’s talk about the Midway a little more. It was packed with vendors in the beginning, including team merch haulers, representatives from various branches of the armed forces. The Midway these days is a desert. Here’s a breakdown of exactly who was there:
B&L Transport, the race sponsor
REI, the folks who provide scanners
Mid Ohio School–racing on their track, promoting their driver training schools (which, BTW, they offer a teen driving course which I have no knowledge of or affiliation with but sounds like a really good idea)
Leaf Filter–sponsor of a couple of cars in the series, and an OH based company
NRG has been there the past couple of years, and disclaimer, I signed up with them a couple years ago. They offer alternative supply for your utilities.
Oakley had a hauler there this year. It was the first time I’ve seen them there. Sorry, but too overpriced and over hyped for me,
JR Motorsports was the only team merch hauler present. There have been years NO team merch haulers were there, so this was a plus in my eyes.
There were no armed forces stands in the midway. This stunned me. There were also no fraternal organizations present. That was interesting, considering the FOE, a sponsor of Justin Haley, had been there previously.
As i previously mentioned, there was no lemonade vendor this year. The food vendor area had maybe 5 or 6 vendors. Of course, the track has it’s own food sales, and those were all open. But the lack of indepent food trucks/vendors is alarming.
Another note of interest…We have gotten t shirts every year denoting the Xfinty race and Mid Ohio. But last year, there was no race specific t shirt. Nor was there one this year.
I love the Xfinity race weekend at Mid Ohio.
But based on my observations, it will be a race that will be removed from the schedule. Which is a shame. It’s a great facility, with great hospitaiity, and the camping rocks. Just be sure to rent or bring a golf cart so you can enjoy the full course.