Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

August 17, 2009

They Even Showed Indy Car Highlights at the Michigan NASCAR Race

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:11 am

During the sparsely attended Michigan NASCAR event, Roger Curtis, the guy who runs the track, was interviewed during the rain delay of the race. Roger indicated the track was spending $50 million for the fans. They want to ‘give the fans what they want.’ Evidently they made some of the seats more comfy, freshened some things up, and are preparing to rehab the infield with some new buildings. They are even lowering ticket prices on every seat. You know, to ‘give the fans what they want.’

Indy at MISRoger, here is what some other fans want: Indy Cars back on the track at MIS. When will that happen, Roger?

I am sick and tired of the game playing ISC tracks play. If they actually cared about fans at places like MIS and RIR, they would not screw fans. I am aware that a certain amount of blame can correctly be laid at the feet of those running the IRL, whose latest crowning achievement is to create a bidding war between gullible towns fighting over economically shady potential street events, which is not Indy Car racing.  Blame assessment is easy, but does not solve the problem at the center; i.e., the continued screwing of loyal fans. People like Roger Curtis need to put their money where their mouths are.

What Fans Do NOT Want at MIS

What Fans Do NOT Want at MIS

Indy Car needs to expand the number of teams that participate, and they need to be 65% oval. This is what we must work toward. Limit road courses to real road courses. ALMS provided a relatively good viewing experience today opposite NASCAR.

Sam Hornish got a top 5 today, and a Toyota won the big Michigan race. That will stick in the craw of the ‘big 3.’

Indy Car needs a 2 mile oval, and Michigan is about the best one. One of these days leadership may come to their senses.



  1. I totally disagree with you. Why should the IndyCar series be 65% ovals? Because that’s what YOU want? Memo: it’s not about what you want-I realize that is something you’ll have trouble dealing with-but what is best for the series as a whole. And-in my opinion and what has proven to work in the past-facts which you-how convenient-ly left out of your last diatribe about IndyCar making the same “mistakes” as CART-a series you clearly know nothing about-is a mix of short ovals, longer ovals, street and road courses. Of course, being the myopic person you are-you believe that racing began in 1996-and nothing happened before that. Here’s a suggestion-which I know you won’t take but I’ll make it anyway: before shooting off your mouth about something, get the facts. Of course, I don’t expect this to happen, given that facts will interfere with your narrow-minded, myopic, insular agenda. Thankfully, the folks running the IndyCar series are intelligent enough to ignore the unstable rantings of know-nothing bloggers like you.

    Have a nice day.

    Comment by Edward — August 17, 2009 @ 2:16 am | Reply

  2. First CART, then the IRL, lost a TON when Penske sold his tracks to ISC. It was probably a good move for him, but it was a dreadful move for motorsports in general. Michigan, California, and Nazareth all held good races in both series (better than the NASCAR races at those tracks), and NASCAR knew it and didn’t want the competition, which since they own the tracks, they can do that. It seems like the intermediate tracks on the schedule are some of ISC’s worst too: I think Michigan and California are much better than Kansas and Homestead; presumably they want to give IndyCar the weaker races. If Penske still owned the tracks, no doubt IndyCar would still be racing on them, and Nazareth and Rockingham wouldn’t have died. However, people would be complaining about conflict of interest with Penske owning tracks and competing on them. Of course there’s tons of that kind of conflict of interest now with AGR promoting the St. Pete and Toronto races. The Rock never had any major open wheel races (that I know of…perhaps they did in the USAC era), but that’s an idea that intrigues me…I think it would be much better than the ill-fated Dover race in the early IRL, and now that NASCAR has ditched that track and it’s ARCA only, I think that might be an interesting choice as a replacement for Richmond.

    For IndyCar’s part, they’re too afraid about going to tracks with two NASCAR races. I guess that’s why they keep dissing Loudon, which makes no sense. One problem with the ovals is that the ones owned by ISC aren’t interested in IndyCar because NASCAR will try to keep IndyCar from becoming a threat. Several of the ones from SMI should probably come back, though, and Loudon would be first on my list…I prefer flat one-milers to mash-the-gas intermediates like Atlanta and Charlotte. Unfortunately, almost nobody else owns any major ovals. That’s why Penske selling his was really, really bad for open wheel. If he had sold to SMI instead, open wheel would be in better shape, but then NASCAR probably would have blacklisted him.

    Comment by Sean — August 17, 2009 @ 2:30 am | Reply

  3. I think IRL honchos would trade their teeth for crowds that sparse. Before the IRL packed it in at Mich, the atmosphere could best be described as desolate.

    Comment by Boo Boo — August 17, 2009 @ 2:57 am | Reply

  4. I have never attended a race where I was treated the way I was at MIS, Tuesday after the race I sent an e-mail to the track, no reply two weeks latter I sent a letter attention Roger Curtis, again to this day no reply, the security there think they are the CIA and treat people like they were terrorist.

    Comment by Rosco — August 17, 2009 @ 5:38 am | Reply

  5. I’m actually okay with the 50/50 mix. And I understand the current economics make street parades more attractive to promoters and the IRL. And I get it that economics has dried up sponsorships and delayed technical changes. It’s too bad, but it’s sorta the way it is. But running at Michigan would still be great both for the racing and the history.

    I guess some people won’t be satisfied until the IRL looks exactly like Cart/Champ. I’m not one of them.

    Comment by redd — August 17, 2009 @ 3:55 pm | Reply

  6. I agree with Edward. What’s with the whole 65% Ovals thing Defender? Just because that’s what you want doesn’t mean it’s what is best for the sport, because clearly it is not.

    By having 65% Ovals you lose one of the major selling points of the series which is diversity. You definitely can’t say a schedule of 65% Ovals is a diverse schedule…..especially when most of those ovals are 1.5 Mile clones of each other.

    I know this is hard for you to accept but a large reason that CART was so popular in the 90’s was because it had by far the most diverse and challenging schedule in the world. Believe it or not that huge range of diversity was a major selling point for the series. I know it was certainly a big part of the reason I followed CART…..as the top-drivers had to be good at everything.

    CART was extremely successful in running a schedule that usually only had 33 to 35% Ovals. Personally I would of like to have seen that number around 40 to 45%……but one of the key things is most of the tracks they raced at were among the best for their particular genre.

    In the 90’s Cart Had:

    Big Ovals
    Medium Ovals
    Short Ovals
    Road Courses
    Street Courses
    Airport Course

    The fact that in a 4 or 5 week period the cars would race on 3 or 4 different types of tracks was very intriguing. I know you hate the word “ratings”, but the fact is the ratings don’t lie and further proof was evident in the amount of sponsorship, manufacturer support, and full grids of cars.

    So while the series may be getting closer to what are probably the correct percentages of different types of tracks, they still lack the complete diversity that CART had and they still don’t race at many of the best tracks in their particular genre.

    The problem with the series now is they race too many 1.5 Mile ovals while not having enough big and short ovals. They also need a couple more natural-terrain road courses and of course Cleveland.

    I think the ideal 18 Race Schedule would include:

    2 Big Ovals
    3 Mid-Sized Ovals
    3 Short Ovals

    5 Road Courses
    3 Street Circuits
    2 Airports

    Editor’s Note: Where are they today?

    Comment by Serg — August 17, 2009 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

    • Typical clown response from you. You know damn well why they are gone and your boy Tony G. was partly responsible for putting them in the grave and like I told you before….CART made damn sure to finish off what Tony started and killed themselves.

      Regardless of that, only a kool-aid drinking fool with an agenda could deny that CART was successful in the late 80’s and for most of the 90’s. Yes they did die in the end but they had a good run…..certainly a better run than the IRL has ever had (that is unless you call barely surviving a success)

      Many long standing successful companies eventually crash and burn, sometimes due to their own making and sometimes because of things they can’t control. Look at Mervyn’s and Circuit City. Sure they have recently failed but for a longtime they were very successful.

      You and your warped logic probably look at them as total failures but it’s better to have had a lot of success (and then lost it) to have never had any success at all.

      The original IRL formula that you so love and cherish has also long since died. It was a complete joke to begin with. While CART had a lot of success and then ultimately failed….the IRL was never successful. The only thing that kept it going was a big checkbook and the Indy 500. The only measure of success that the IRL has had is keeping itself alive and afloat, in that regard they do have that going for themselves.

      However the IRL could only dream of getting the ratings, sponsorship, manufacturer support, and cash-flow that CART had in the 90’s.

      Clearly they are dreaming and hoping that things could get even half as good as they were back then and that’s why they are going to a CART-like formula. Don’t you think if the power’s at be thought an all oval or mostly oval formula was going to be successful, they would of kept it that way?

      They didn’t keep it that way because it failed and it was never going to go anywhere. I guess they figure it’s better to go with a formula from the past that worked and hope it works today…..than to continue to stick with a failed formula.

      Comment by Serg — August 17, 2009 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  7. I have had the “honor” of talking to the President of MIS about this. He informed me directly that both MIS and the IRL want to have a race there but the only date that the IRL would give MIS is a couple weeks before a Nascar event. It is understandable that MIS wouldn’t have an Indycar race if it was right on top of anther event.

    Comment by Kohl — August 17, 2009 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

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