Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

August 10, 2010

Indy Car: Kissing the Hindquarters of NASCAR Since 1996

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 10:59 am

I know Randy Bernard is trying to make nice and maintain strong professional relationships with various France family members and other higher-ups in the NASCAR organization (which is great), but it is awfully creepy to me that Indy Car seems so beholden to NASCAR with regard to its own schedule. For years the rap against Indy Car was having a long schedule with few races and lots of big gaps. Shared opinion is that Indy Car should never have races spaced further apart than two weeks. People lose interest in our ADD-addled society. In recent years they have done a good job at condensing the schedule so they do not get killed by football.

NASCAR is trying to address their own slipping attendance and ratings by shuffling their schedule dramatically. The first ‘chase’ race of the year next season goes to Chicagoland, which is far too close to the  ‘normal’ Indy Car date. That means if Indy Car wants to race there they MUST move their date. People who ignorantly dismiss NASCAR 1.5 mile ovals as cookie cutter stab and steer tracks have probably never been to the track outside Joliet. Indy Cars routinely put on great racing there. My most fervent hope is that fans do not get screwed out of that great track as we have at so many others (Michigan, Richmond, Pikes Peak, etc.).

A fine ISC track Indy Car is very likely to lose next season is Kansas. With two Cup dates on their horizon, their ‘enthusiasm’ for Indy Car is likely to wane even more. That is not saying much; over the past few years their enthusiasm for staging the race has seemed akin to most folks’ enthusiasm for contracting gonorrhea. Worse, Indy Car has seemed to just phone it in over the past few years, and recent schedule changes to less weather-reliable times of year kept many away.

Over the past few years many of us have become hooked on KC barbecue, and that alone may inspire future visits. It would certainly be nice if the visits coincided with Indy Car dates. Do not hold your breath. With the impending arrival of a casino, two Cup dates at the ISC track, an outlet mall and a Cabelas, what was a large field just years ago has been transformed into one of the most prodigious white trash (meant in a good way) destinations in the entire nation.

On the other hand, the loss of a second Cup date at NASCAR tracks would most likely fuel demand for an Indy Car event, perhaps better promoted this time. New Hampshire, with new management willing to promote, is back. Could the return of Fontana and Atlanta be far behind? Eddie Gossage always seems to have something creative cooked up, and he has scheduled a large press conference this month with leaders of both Indy Car and NASCAR. Whatever it is has Robin Miller pitching a small pup tent in his sweatpants, and that could be good. ‘Ol Robin has been in a really good mood now that he has fallen head over heels for Randy Bernard.

Primary takeway: Making then remaining nice with the Frances is good for business, but SMI is a far better partner that actually promotes Indy Car at their tracks.



  1. It’s official Defender. The Nascar boys are racing at Kentucky Speedway Saturday evening July 9, 2011 (with the Nationwide race the night before). With the move this year of the Indy Car race to a prominent position over Labor Day weekend (Sunday Nite) it may well become one of the top races on the Indy Car schedule (and Kentucky one of the top tracks)

    Looking forward to spending a lot of time at Kentucky and Indy!

    Comment by Bob F. — August 10, 2010 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  2. And this comes as a surprise to you, how? Why would ISC want to actually HELP Indycar? When has the France family looked out for anything OTHER than the France family? Given that they, when given the opportunity, have taken EVERY opportunity to benefit their series or their tracks to the detriment of Indycar NUMEROUS times in the past, why would you expect anything different now? I’m not saying this to refight the war, but in 1995, TG made his bed with the devil (aka France family/NASCAR/ISC), and the series has been taking it in the can from them at every turn ever since.

    So what should we do? I’d love to see IndyCar go completely away from running at ANY conglomerate track; unfortunately, that likely isn’t going to happen. There just aren’t that many of those tracks left. There are, however, SEVERAL SMI tracks available that we…and in decent markets too. Las Vegas. The aforementioned Atlanta. Why not talk with Dover Motorsports? I recall the races at Nashville being very entertaining. What about Milwaukee? How about giving The Glen the boot, and go back to Road America? Or Portland? Or Laguna Seca? Brandon Igdalsky at Pocono has said he wants IndyCar back…why not see what it will take to get there?

    I think the series needs to tell our so-called ‘partners’ (ABC/ESPN, ISC) that with friends like them, who needs enemies? What would I love to see? The day when the series is strong enough that they can tell the France family to take ISC and their tracks, turn them collectively sideways, and shove them up their a**. (Pardon my language). Oh, and don’t let the door to the Brickyard hit you in the fanny on your way out of town.

    Comment by Steven Kornya — August 11, 2010 @ 2:01 am | Reply

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