Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

June 8, 2009

Beautiful Race Weekend

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:26 pm

What a great race weekend. The Texas Indy Car race was very entertaining and well attended, Tony Stewart became the first NASCAR owner/operator to win a points paying race in over a decade, and Formula 1 put on a reasonably entertaining show in Turkey that aired delayed on Fox.

Here are a few observations I cannot keep to myself:

Indy Car on Versus is a large step up in terms of quality from ESPN/ABC. What will keep folks from watching in droves, however, are the following items:

-Commercial breaks every ten laps, especially at the end of the race. Enough. Figure out a better way. Side by side is not that big an improvement. An interruption is an interruption.

-For the love of God, change the creative every couple of weeks. The most teeth-grinding annoyance of all is the IZOD spot that features the metrosexuals, the fugly Indy Car with the really odd paint job and the weird rock jingle. Even my wife, who rarely watches, asked when they were going to find a new spot. CHANGE THE COPY. How hard can that be? I can’t even find that overpriced, ugly, out of my demo crap in any of my local Macy stores on the east coast. It is not difficult figuring out why there are lots of unsold pieces on clearance racks in Indianapolis.

It is hard enough to simply attract people to the broadcast. There is not a chance in hell they will be retained by running the exact same spots in break after break every ten laps.  Why squander a perfectly great opportunity with a partner who actually cares and is enthusiastic by driving people away with really small market thinking? It is idiotic.

Marco and DaniMarco Andretti’s genes showed after the race in Texas. By and large ever driver respected every other driver and drove a clean fast race with lots of side by side. Toward the end he had a pretty good battle going with Danica, and in car cameras showed plenty of room for both. Marco had a difficult time getting by Danica, and when he did he took off. After the race he inferred she was not a very good teammate and spouted off in the grand tradition of his ancestors. It would be nice if someone could infuse the young man with wisdom and grace, but that is not in his heredity.

Congratulations to Helio. Will any team other than Penske or Ganassi win an Indy Car event this season?



  1. Yeah – the “bad teammate” comment from Marco. The same guy that made a bonehead move at Indy last year and took out his teammate and leader of the AGR team.

    Comment by knobcreekfan — June 8, 2009 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  2. Love how Marco said: 3 outta 4 of us get the AGR concept… WOW!!! He ripped on himself because Tony, Danica, & Hideki seem to be the drivers who grasp the “AGR” concept. 🙂 🙂

    The IZOD spot: Desperately need a second advert in the rotation. This commercial also reminds me of a half-a$$ed marketing effort from IZOD. Their IRL gear features #37, yet no one @ IZOD had the “vision” to reguest the #37 for Hunter-Reay? Also, IZOD is a fashion company… every detail is important (especially to the metro-sexual demographic) yet they do NOT invest in an inexpensive “wrap” for the race car featured in the commercial! ( its the left-over RLR/ Ethanol livery…) Lots of reasons to intro a NEW spot ASAP.

    Comment by AZZO45 — June 8, 2009 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  3. I agree with most everything you said…except for the fact that the Texas race was entertaining. By Long Beach or Belle Isle standards it was entertaining. By Texas standards it was very boring. This is usually the most exciting race of the year. If this is the best this package can produce, it’s going to be a long, boring season between four cars.

    I couldn’t agree more on your comments about the IZOD commercial. I now cringe when I see it. Not that I would buy their ugly shirts anyway, but the repetitiveness of the commercial would turn me off from doing so. Kudos on the metrosexual comment.

    Side by side is nice, when they use it…but we saw the Foyt crash happen. They should have immediately cut away from the commercial. They knew there would be down time for a yellow, they could resume the spot then. Plus, they never showed a single replay of the Foyt crash. If you missed it in the small side-by-side window…too bad.

    Comment by oilpressure — June 8, 2009 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

  4. Marco was miffed about Danica’s cut across his bow in Turns 1 & 2 towards the end. Someone should probably show him a replay of Lap 199 of the 2006 ‘500’ before he complains about someone shutting the door in a turn. Also, Dan Wheldon was throwing a mad block party on Danica just a bit earlier, and Danica didn’t say a single word…the tables have certainly turned at AGR.

    Comment by H. B. Donnelly — June 8, 2009 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  5. I know I’m going to get ripped for this, but I think this was more boring than most street races, simply because on ovals now, four cars can win, while on the road/street races, there are actually more drivers who can win who wouldn’t have a prayer on ovals (Rahal, Doornbos probably although he’s been very disappointing, Wilson, Hunter-Reay, and perhaps Tracy…) Okay, I could see Kanaan winning one or Wheldon in the Panther car on an oval, but at the moment, I don’t think either of them are going to. Kanaan is injured and Wheldon’s car just isn’t good enough.

    This had all the problems everyone criticizes NASCAR for: single-file parades due to aero push, the only passes occurring on pit road, the finishing order basically being decided by team before the race even begins, even an artificial debris caution… The Marco/Danica battle was good, but basically that was IT. Although Chicagoland still is usually good, most of the 1.5-2 mile tracks have been very boring the past few years because there’s only one chassis manufacturer and one engine manufacturer. Back when these races were exciting all the time, there was at least some diversity in the field. Trying to get a second chassis manufacturer is essential for a more exciting race (more than a second engine manufacturer I’d say), but they’re not interested in doing it, and admittedly, that’s too expensive and they probably can’t afford it. I recall they were initially trying to get a new engine manufacturer for 2010, but then it got delayed to 2011 because Tony George wanted to wait until the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500. This is an instance where I don’t think the tradition matters because it’s going to make the ovals in 2010 VERY boring just as in 2009, which will be painful for a lot of fans.

    Commercials are virtually always annoying. I doubt people will turn off to VERSUS because of that. They won’t be coming to VERSUS because few people have heard of the channel and it’s not a channel that people would flip to randomly to see what was on (like ABC or ESPN). Sure, they have WAY better coverage, but I wish they could have had those same announcers minus Jack Arute on the ESPN crew instead. ESPN did treat it like it was second class, but they had the ability to give some attention to it, while nothing on VERSUS will attract serious attention. VERSUS wants to say they’re on the way up and will “grow” the IRL much like ESPN “grew” NASCAR in the ’80s. I don’t think that’s very likely. When ESPN grew up, it was the ONLY sports channel (and it helped IndyCar racing grow in the ’80s too, until it made its bed with NASCAR sometime around the inaugural Brickyard). Now, there are SO many television viewing options and more and more people are turning away from television towards the Internet as well. There’s no chance that with fifty sports channels that VERSUS will grow anywhere near as big as ESPN. But the coverage is better…why couldn’t ESPN have kept Bob Jenkins and Jon Beekhuis and used them instead of people like Todd Harris and Scott Goodyear?

    Comment by Sean — June 8, 2009 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

  6. Defender said: “The Texas Indy Car race was very entertaining.”

    Dude, were you talking about this year’s race?

    The entertaining part must have happened when I fell asleep while trying to be entertained by this spec-car, spec-tire, spec-engine race between Ganassi and Penske teams.
    Were you one of the 90K who attended or one of the unfortunate television viewers who tried to watch snippets between the one IZOD commercial?

    Silly me. I enjoy Indy Car racing in a general sense. IMHO it was better than the 150mph ‘hope I don’t run out of gas’ NASCAR ‘race’ at Pocono or the F-1 parade from Turkey, where Button has won all but one this year.

    Comment by Hal Raimey — June 8, 2009 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

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