Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 25, 2009

Back Home Again In Indiana!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:48 am

HelioThe day after race day in Indianapolis is always depressing because we have to wait a year before the 94th running. The racing gods are not smiling on Concord, and maybe it’s about time. King Richard spent his day in Indianapolis.

Let us all hope Vitor Miera is doing OK today. His racing luck was horrible a couple of times yesterday. I am as tired as anyone of spec Dallaras with Honda engines and the single file droning they lead to, but the entire package did its job again and combined with SAFER and competent response it appears everyone is doing well. Do you know it has been 45 years since there was a fatal accident at the track during the race, and 36 years since a driver died of an injury sustained in the race? That is amazing.

My initial impressions (have to see the recorded version first) are that people like Townsend Bell and Oriol Servia need rides. The expense of running a team has to come down. Rides that paid for by drivers but not necessarily earned is a horrible reality that makes being a fan a challenge.

No one can deny Helio’s day, but kudos must also go out to Panther and Wheldon for a great race, and Danica too. It looks like Tony Kanaan is the Lloyd Ruby of this generation.

More race commentary this week, but since the Internet seems to be a haven for those who like to complain, here are my two of the week:

1.  Camp and Brew is an amazing gathering of racing fans from all walks of life. It is a great social event. It raises money for ALS research and remembers one of the best Indy fans ever. Attending used to be fairly simple; park across the Coke lot driveway and attend. This year the Penske hospitality people assimilated all the pieces of the parking area they had not yet absorbed, and Camp & Brew attendees had no place to park. Even IMS could not arrange anything, and worse, did/do not seem to care. The off the beaten path spot they occupy is not prime real estate, but it used to be the most convenient. Glenn and Tommy and everyone who bust their tails making it better every year deserve a whole lot better than the ‘so what’ treatment they are receiving. 

2.  Radio broadcasting in May in Indianapolis is an abomination. The Indianapolis Star, despite their frugal ownership, has begun coming around again. But radio in general, and in particular the 1070 AM frequency and WIBC on FM, is awful. I used to think Emmis knew how to do it, but compared to many recent years they have slipped badly. Except for the occasional segment or show with a person like Mike King or Donald Davidson (who is as real on the air as it gets), the rest of anyone doing local sports talk on Indianapolis radio do not even deserve to be on the radio on a small market daytimer. I heard clueless idiots all month doing nothing but stick & ball rambling, even while they were at the track.

Radio needs knowledgeable homers in May, not idiots in love with the sounds of their voices. Some of the clueless nonsense that tumbled out made me cringe every single day I heard them. Whoever is programming for Emmis needs to go back and listen to, say, Fairbanks-era recordings of WIBC for May inspiration. The current incarnation of once great properties is embarrassing. It is little wonder radio is failing so badly.

Other than those two problems, it has been a GREAT month, and more about the race and the month this week!



  1. “Do you know it has been 45 years since there was a fatal accident at the track?”

    Huh? Not that I wouldn’t like this to be true, but Jovy Marcelo and Scott Brayton died much more recently than that…
    Editor’s note: Updated with the caveat of occurring during the Indianapolis 500 which is what I meant to write. But was a little hung over.

    Comment by Sean — May 25, 2009 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  2. On deaths at the track: yeah, there hasn’t been a race day fatality since 1964 and no race day fatal injury since Swede Savage, I think. We need to start thinking about testing and practice, though. Tony Renna, Scott Brayton, and Jovy Marcelo are three that IMS would dearly love to have back.

    On radio: Imagine having to live with some of these clowns on a daily basis. Bob Kravitz and Eddie White’s show is a loudmouth stereotypical radio personality matched with the worst journalist in town, and it can get so beyond annoying that it’s ridiculous. The Dan Dakich Show is pretty good, all things considered, but Dan doesn’t really know racing anywhere near the level that he knows basketball. Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee are spectacular with their knowledge and their lack of sensationalism about controversial topics. Of course, there’s Donald Davidson, and he needs to have more than just one month of airtime, but what can you do.

    What, no thoughts on Security Chief Charles and Brian Barnhart trying to keep Helio from celebrating? Every time something good happens to the IRL, they have to counter it with something completely idiotic. I understand the tradition of going to victory lane, sipping the milk, and politely waving to the fans, but you cant take the greatest story in years and be like the parents from “Footloose” about it.

    Editor’s note: The week is still young. 😉

    Comment by H. B. Donnelly — May 25, 2009 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

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