Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

October 5, 2010

When Indy Car Extracts Itself From Dysfunctional Relationships…

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

Why do jilted ISC track managers become classless jackasses when they fail to reach renewal agreements with Indy Car?  Some are worse than others. Richmond management went down that road last year when they attempted unsuccessfully to poach the Indy Car title sponsor for a Cup race then had the audacity to criticize the crowd and the racing. This became even more laughable after the last Grand National race at that track.

This week it’s Matthew Becherer’s turn at Homestead Miami. He’s the president there, and after the lame duck race that drew a high school football-sized crowd to his track he slammed the Indy Car Series for trying to raise the rate then said they would be more profitable not having the race.

I like to think this is part of the reason there are no more ISC tracks on the IZOD Indy Car Schedule. The job of track management is to promote the series that run on their tracks professionally and with as much emphasis as for any other series. To do anything otherwise is to screw a faction of fans. Evidently Indy Car fans are expendable.

It is not difficult to imagine a reluctance by ISC to limit the amount of promotion for a series that is much faster and often more closely competitive than their parent NASCAR. Anyone who claims the Indy Car product is boring usually does not attend and would not know good racing if they got hit in the head by a bag of marbles. Many of the critics are twisty course idiots who believe precision driving against a clock is as good as it gets. That has its place, of course, but Indy Car offers a lot more.

Hopefully as NASCAR crowds and ratings continue to dwindle ISC will understand Indy Car could comprise a partnership that went TWO ways. That would be easier for fans as well. There is no reason why Indy Cars should not be at Michigan, Chicagoland, Watkins Glen and other great tracks. For now, ISC needs to stop being cheesy.


  1. I wonder if the ISC track Presidents were directed not to spend any time and effort to promote the Indycar races. To make sure all of their efforts were focused on the NASCAR weekends, so the stands and hospitality suites were full. Then I wonder if Craig Rust, being the Indycar fan growing up, did not follow that direction? Then Craig Rust was fired.

    Comment by Steve — October 6, 2010 @ 1:08 am | Reply

  2. Dear Defender:

    As an attendee at every open wheel event staged at Homestead-Miami Speedway from Jimmy Vassar’s win in ’96 through Dario clinching this year’s title on Saturday night, I can give you but one observation…while Miami hosted one of the most successful street events ever held in 1995 in front of 50K + fans, the move to the then named Miami-Dade Motorsports Complex was ill-fated from the start…although thousands of us fans attended the CART races scheduled the first few years (’96-2000), the fans turned off of oval racing and the crowds dwindled…when the IRL took over in ’01, the racing was fast and competitive but the crowds continued to avoid the track…bottom line, open wheel oval racing simply does not appeal to a wide enough range of fans to justify the running of the races…we have seen once strong attendance numbers at tracks like Homestead, Phoenix, Michigan, California and Richomond disappear while NASCAR has reigned supreme…face it, Defender, some regions and venues simply do not want Indy-Car style racing set on an oval…let us enjoy the success the IRL experiences at Indy and a handful of other well attended ovals and look towards diversifying the series and growing the fan base both in the seats and on TV…CART was the best and most difficult series in the 1990’s because of four factors…short ovals, superspeedways, road courses and street courses and we are headed back in this direction…forget the ISC tracks and their lack of sponsorship and focus on the positives…

    Comment by Neil Rubin — October 6, 2010 @ 1:37 am | Reply

    • Neil. Spot on. You being up a point that many people refuse to acknowledge. Sometimes tracks don’t draw fans to IICS oval track races, because fans in that track’s area simply don’t want to see IICS cars race on an oval track. It isn’t about promotion, it isn’t about marketing, it isn’t about facilities, and it isn’t about track management. Some tracks, while they may pack them in for NASCAR, just won’t draw for IndyCar. I can tell a bus load full of Vegans how delicious a pork tenderloin sandwich tastes, but the bottom line is, no matter what, at the end of the day, they ain’t eatin’ it.

      By the way that line…”CART was the best and most difficult series in the 1990′s”, although true, it has set you up to be labeled as one of THEM. Prepare to be referred to as another pseudo-IICS fan, living in the past, always wants to look back, your series killed itself…twice, you want IRL to die, blame Tony George for everything, why can’t you get with the program, no constructive suggestions, CART-centric idiot. Welcome to the club.

      Comment by Steven Kornya — October 6, 2010 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  3. Doesn’t the track go out and get the title sponsor for a race? If so, how is it poaching when it was their title sponsor all along and they just want it for a different race?
    Editor’s Note: Not the way that particular deal worked.

    Comment by TroyM — October 6, 2010 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

  4. Wow, must be a hard pill to swallow when a race track president tells your race series to f*ck off because it can’t draw an audience. Very difficult to defend a vibrant enterprise like the IRL when a track makes more money by showing them the door. A sh!t sandwich is a sh!t sandwich, most people avoid them. Yet it appears a choice few love em so much, they get morbidly obese off them. Eat up!

    Editor’s Note: Well what do you know…another person who likes to cuss. How quaint. To the point…despite the whole ‘f*ck off’ deal the track president also says he’s welcome back the series.

    Comment by jb — October 6, 2010 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

    • Yeah… I’m sure they would always be open to a track rental.

      Comment by jb — October 6, 2010 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

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