Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 28, 2008

The 92nd Running

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 7:16 pm

The 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 is history.  As usual, it was a great time for the Defender crew; this year enjoyed from E-Stand Penthouse.  I wish there had been fewer yellow laps.  There were no en masse green stops and that proved disappointing.  I believe the blame, if any, can be pointed to weather conditions not experienced for most of the month.  Items worth noting:

 

-It was only a matter of time until Scott Dixon would win the 500.

-Vitor Miera and Panther ran a fantastic race.  I hope he wins more than anyone else who has not.  

-Milka Duno stayed on the lead lap until nearly the end.  She looked a lot better (on the track) than many, including a former winner.  

-I hope more than ever that Sarah Fisher is able to keep going.  While the racing gods are at it, it would be great if Davey Hamilton ran the whole year too.  

-Scott Sharp was missed this year by a few of us. 

-EJ Viso has a lot of potential.

-Many feel really bad for Tony Kanaan.  He is as deserving as Lloyd Ruby was in another era.

-Many feel kind of bad for Tomas Scheckter.  

-I personally believe Danica Patrick, although talented, is a royal bitch in a general sense.  That said, that little accident in the pits with Ryan Briscoe was 90% his fault (and the other 10% probably lies within his team).  That episode was a needless shame. 

-Those who like to make fun of Ed Carpenter and take the nepotism approach probably ought to rethink that stance.  

-Why was Brian France at the Indianapolis 500 instead of in Charlotte all day? 

-Why did virtually every single speaker at the victory dinner thank Tony George and the Hulman-George family?  I had been led to believe they all hate Tony and that family.  

-Honda and Firestone appear to be in it for the long haul.  

 

And now the items that drove me crazy:

 

-An overemphasis on the ‘unification’ angle.  There were only a handful of absorbed participants who can legitimately make any ‘we’re back’ claim.  Everyone else has no right. 

-Continued positioning of champcar as an IRL equal continues to be a joke.  That sentiment only serves to make those who boycotted the 500 in the first place feel better about the utterly stupid decision they made.  

-I wanted to swing a bat at the head of anyone who used the words along the lines of ‘we’re back.’  You are not ‘back.’  You are ‘newly joined’ or ‘absorbed.’

-ESPN on ABC cannot suck enough.  They are actively attempting to kill the brand.  Why else would a fossilized relic like Brent Musberger be trotted out for hosting duties?  Most of the real action was completely missed, as usual.  The isolated cool items; e.g., scanner chatter at the start, was overshadowed by incompetence.  ABC/ESPN does not deserve anything to do with the upcoming centennial era.  They have done nothing to earn it.  My local action preceded and followed Indy 500 coverage with NASCAR programming.  

-Ratings went up, but not nearly enough as they could have. 

 

It is always difficult to get back on track after the Indianapolis 500.  May always goes by too fast. 

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May 22, 2008

Why ESPN/ABC Must Go As ‘Partners’

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 7:17 pm

It’s the month of May.  Race month in Indianapolis.  The very place that gave the entire rest of the sport in this country its legitimacy.  The current issue (May 19th) of Sports Illustrated features a great shot of Danica Patrick on its cover and a good story inside.  Media from all over the world is in town.  There is a great buzz in the wake of the Indy Car Series bailout of Kevin Kalkhoven’s venture cloaked as a ‘merger.’  Brian Williams and NBC Nightly News will originate from the Brickyard on Carb Day.

The ESPN/ABC folks enjoy crowing about their 40+ year partnership with IMS.  If they are sincere, why does Dale Jr. adorn the cover of the the May 19th issue of ESPN The Magazine?  That is as hideously inappropriate as placement of Mother Teresa on a Hustler cover.  It is insulting.  ESPN cannot be beaten as an avenue for dissemination mass marketing messages over multiple platforms.  Their expertise and effectiveness is unquestioned.

Why, then, would they choose to ignore their 40+ year partner?  It is as if they are willfully attempting to marginalize the Indy Racing brand.

If there is justice in this world, a new network platform will acquire the rights to Indy Car BEFORE 2009.  ESPN/ABC’s continuing behavior is unacceptable.

May 6, 2008

Cars On The Track!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:36 pm

Opening day.  It seemed a little underwhelming.  Don’t get me wrong; a large, talented rookie class took to the track in fine style.  Some of the early attractions; e.g., the Unser reunion (strange without Bobby) are great.  Opening day, however, needs a bigger bang.  People wait all year for it.  For the diehards any car on the track is great, but the day the veterans hit the bricks is the one that seems right.  

 

Otherwise, the month of May has begun in fine style.  Hopefully April showers stayed in April.  I much prefer May flowers.  Thanks to IMS for offering free streaming video each day for those of us who have to work.  We’ll see you at the track for qualification weekends, Fast Friday, Carb Day and RACE DAY!  Don’t forget Camp & Brew, either. 

 

Business notes:  Thus far, ESPN’s treatment of and coverage for the Indy Racing Series is a continuing abomination.  Folks like to tout a 40+-year ‘partnership,’ but one side sees only as far as NASCAR.  If there is any justice, the leadership of the IRL will move the ‘partnership’ to a genuinely enthusiastic, professional partner who will treat the franchise better and attempt to grow it.  This will ideally occur before the many planned century celebrations.  Allowing ABC/ESPN to hang on given their shoddy treatment is unacceptable.  

 

The new guys look pretty racy so far!

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