Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

December 3, 2013

The Noble Recycling Efforts of IndyCar

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:36 pm

Hes BackThe IndyCar Series recycling project included an announcement this week that Paul Page, the former ‘Voice of the 500’ who took over after the legendary Sid Collins expired in early May of 1977, is back after a 27-year absence.

From a fan of my age standpoint the re-hire of Page is great. He always did an outstanding job and effectively applied what he learned over the years from Sid Collins. The only potential problem is his age, currently 68, and how that might draw younger demographics. On the other hand how many millennials listen to the radio? Most are more likely to stream content, but they need pictures. So no matter how inspiring an audio picture Page will paint (and he is extremely good at that) it may only matter to those who listened to the radio before the Internet and before the 500 was broadcast live. Most wish Mike King all the best; he sat in the chair for fourteen years.

GrandmaAnother active recycle project involves the return of Juan Montoya after he washed out of NASCAR. His 5+ year absence does not seem to bother Team Penske who found a seat for him. It will be interesting to see how he does after all these years, and his pedigree is pretty much without parallel. Many cannot help wondering when the big teams will take a chance on a youngster with years of upside potential.

One of the chronic problems that have plagued the sport for years involves drivers who pay for their seats from owners willing to whore them out for such support. When Eric Bachelart was around his What it takes to drive an IndyCarConquest Racing outfit should have had a car rental sponsorship on sidepods. Dale Coyne has picked up that torch today, and now Sam Schmidt is doing it. It is easy to understand. The economics are difficult and the sponsor selling efforts are difficult given the ratings. But are these guys not perpetuating the malaise by continuing such habits? How difficult is it for potential new fans to get hooked when what happens to about half the field involves musical chairs for cash?

IndyCar recycling has also become enamored with former NASCAR-involved business folks. There are Vice Presidents of this and that popping up all over the organization chart. The NASCAR angle is probably smart. These people have contacts and know what it takes. But when? For well over a year we have heard lots and lots of ‘it’s going to be huge’ talk but we still have a spec car, two motors, one tire provider, a reduced schedule with hardly any ovals and continued pushing off of any meaningful innovation such as aero kits.

I wish them luck. I do not want to see the sport flail any more. Actions speak louder than words.

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6 Comments »

  1. When I saw this news on Facebook last night, I posted that this MAY have been a concession to us “senior” fans, although Page always was better suited for radio. Now, to complete my IndyCar Christmas list, can we please have someone nearly as good to tae Marty Reid’s sport on the TV side, and maybe a title sponsor for the series?

    Comment by SkipinSC — December 3, 2013 @ 3:55 pm | Reply

  2. With Paul Page returning to Indy, the question now is who will ESPN get to cover the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest!

    Comment by PB2Y — December 3, 2013 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

    • Page will likely still cover the hot dog eating contest. That gig probably pays more than the IMS radio network job.

      Comment by TroyM — December 5, 2013 @ 12:52 am | Reply

  3. Tough to be a fan of this garbage, huh? Do the right thing, throw in the towel. This isn’t what you wanted was it?

    Comment by youowemeabeerasshole — December 6, 2013 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  4. “half the field involves musical chairs for cash”

    It’s the Euro-way, chap. Spot-on, and all that, by jove. Everyone knows, if they do it across the pond, we need to be doing it here.

    Comment by Andrew B. — December 11, 2013 @ 2:29 am | Reply

  5. with great respect, i can not see putting paul page in charge of anything,,he insulted many drivers with very off color jokes,almost attacking them personally.also
    during the races i would spot something going on,and paul and crew,just took so much time to say,hey look we have a new race leader,or what a fierce battle going on here for 6th place,,i was always seeing things happen,that they just did not see,hearing that paul is now 68,make me think,,why are they going backwards in this,one car,2 engines,few ovals,etc,etc,
    at this point,it is actually like they are deliberately trying to just drive the indy 500 into a non safe barrier wall at 200 mph,,,i love the indy 500 since 1971,i was 12,the next year my dad took us to pocono schaefer 500,i have donated many of my art to the speedway hall of fame museum,many times,worked to help racing for kids,greg moore foundation,the brain injury association of indiana,together with roberto guerrero organized red cross emergency relief for colombian earthquake in 1999,,worked in timing and scoring with bill and barbara funk for many years,met myriad drivers,fans,mechanics,hollywood celebrities,etc,etc,but it was all about the racing for me,,and always will be.and still i have yet to set foot on the indianapolis motor speedway.in many ways,watching the downfall of the 500,is like the downfall of america itself…….just thinking of that pocono race in 1972,when they said the green flag is out,and on the back straight,little green lights went off in my head,moments later the rumble,the power of 33 turbocharged 200 mph racing machines roaring past,,i was where i belonged……well,all good thoughts to the powers that be and to you robin,i only wish for the best in all this,as it has meant and given me so much,so very,very much,,in my life,
    cheers to all
    robert
    torino, italy

    Comment by Robert O'Rourke — January 10, 2014 @ 4:43 pm | Reply


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