Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

August 11, 2008

My Old Kentucky Temporary Home

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:37 am

What a great race at Kentucky Motor Speedway!

 

The Defender family and a contingent of friends made the journey to the middle of nowhere in rural Kentucky between Louisville and Cincinnati near the river to the always spectacular Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Indy Car race. That track is severely underrated in terms of its quality. It reminds me of a giant bowl. The lowest portion of the track is the infield. Its racing surface is slightly higher and all of the seats are well above the track. There is not a bad seat in the house. It is wide and not too banked and provides consistently outstanding oval racing. More about that in a moment.

 

As is the case with all Indy Races, most of the clueless blithering idiots in cyberspace concentrated on attendance instead of actual stories. Some of the most idiotic even took pictures of television screens so they could chide whoever might read instead of discussing racing. The discussion of racing is unfortunately reserved for actual racing fans. Armchair quarterbacks who sit there watching the old Philco paying attention to grandstands instead of watching the race are a complete disgrace to the sport.

 

Kentucky Motor Speedway is in a weird space right now. They sued NASCAR over some implied, non-written agreement there would be a Cup race and lost, and there is a pending sale to Bruton Smith and SMI. The track announced a sellout…even indicating they were putting standing room only seats on sale. Of nearly 67,000 possible (which would be an actual sellout), only about 48,320 were actually there. Egg was left on their face.

 

One of the possible reasons attendance underwhelmed those specifically (and foolishly) looking for that is because entrance and exit to/from the facility is severely compromised by the people charged with pointing the orange flags. The track is quite rural and is surrounded by a lot of empty land. Theoretically there should be few problems getting in or out. The flag wavers (and for that matter the state troopers) act as if they have never, ever seen a crowd. This was evidenced by the fact that many got there before the race began but did not get seated until well after the green.

 

Bruton Smith himself attended the event checking things out along with master promoter Eddie Gossage, who took the opportunity to publicly politically posture, as is his style. One of the things that eluded coverage from the outgoing cable partner (who joined the coverage 9:00 behind schedule so that not one second of the wildly more important young girls softball game would be missed) was the fact they handed all 48,320 or so attendees a big white logo’d towel along with instructions to wave them on the pace lap and with each green flag. The crowd did that every time.

 

What the attendance-obsessed morons obviously missed was some great racing. Those actual fans who actually attended had to keep their eyes on two to three packs the entire event. Quite a lot of two- and three-wide racing all the way around provided excitement. Helio Castroneves almost turned a late race fuel strategy into a win. Many are tired of Scott Dixon winning all the races, but that guy is hooked up. Yesterday it came down to the final turn. It does not get any better. My personal pick was Vitor Miera. He would never cite anyone else but himself but members of the Defender family wonder what could happen if his pit stops were just one second shorter consistently.

 

The story of the day was Sarah Fisher. She started 18th and was running just outside the top 10 at the end until a bearing broke on the last lap. The Dollar General sponsorship package she put together reminds me of the Target package Chip Ganassi has had for years. It would be outstanding if that package could be kept for years. Some of the loudest cheering of the day occurred as she battled Danica Patrick for position. Sarah’s effort was first class all day long.

 

 

Next up: Road racing in California. Memo to self: Arrange flights to Chicago to attend the great Indy Car race in Joliet. Suggestion to attendance obsessed Internet stooges: Find something you can actually enjoy or grow up.

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2 Comments »

  1. I was there also and it was great where did you sit

    Comment by planet irl — August 11, 2008 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

  2. How can I get tickets for Chicagoland?

    I used my real email so any help would be appreciated.

    Sam

    Comment by serious question — August 11, 2008 @ 9:03 pm | Reply


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