We did not go to the nationals because of the fact that you could not camp at the track,instead you had to incur the extra expense of motel etc. I really don't understand the big deal of racing in a parking lot behind the garages just because it is at IMS.When was the last time anyone actually went to the Indy 500 anyway.USAC is doing a great job with the .25 program but I think we could tweak a few things and make it better, and cutting the cost is the biggest one.
As far as the USAC .25 Nationals go, no matter what series or where a national race is held you will have to pay to play.
Having a race at IMS makes sense in the fact it is easy to get to and drivers that were in the area came out to watch like Little Al, Ryan Newman, Mel Kenyon, Lynn St. James etc.... IMS is one of the most prestigious tracks in the world, for my son to say he raced and won there is a big event in his life. These kids may never race the INDY 500 but can say they raced at the track.
I met many people at this event some from California, Florida and as far as camping you could park your motorhome in the IRL lot if you chose to. The hotel rate wasn't bad either. We went to dinner with many families and got to bench race.
When we started racing, and I might add we have been involved in racing for over 25 years, we knew there would be costs involved like in any sport it is your choice on how involved you get and how much your willing to pay.
I don't know why you feel the INDY 500 isn't well attended I go to the INDY 500 yearly and about 200,000 attend the race.