Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 12, 2011

The State of the IZOD INDYCAR Series for 2011

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:55 am

The ‘State of INDYCAR’ address took place downtown at the series’ latest commercial partner, the Starwood hotel folks (Westin, Sheraton, etc.). There is a new corporate logo that looks a lot like the old one, only with fewer colors, a roll hoop instead of an airbox and INDYCAR in all caps.

Highlights: Las Vegas is a ‘probably’ but that is not yet official, although Edmonton’s airport race is. Pit assignment has changed and will now be determined by how well you finished in the previous like event.

The ‘Milka’ rule was officially enacted using what is called a 105% formula. I have not yet figured out the math (not my strong suit) but suffice to say if you are a slowpoke you will not make the race. And as long as the slowpokes are out, that makes the prospect of double file restarts less daunting, and those commence at Indy. Lapped cars will not be shuffled back either. That may bring about some passing right away, and the ‘cone zone’ will be a lot closer to the flagman. Hopefully yellows do not breed yellows. Powering the cars in 2012 will be 2.2-liter engines with a maximum of six cylinders, and turbo charging returns.

The 40+ year partner ABC gets five races, including St. Pete, Indy and 3 other ovals (Milwaukee, Loudon and wherever the finale is held). Hopefully they will begin to understand the significance of the 100th anniversary and actually act like a partner. INDYCAR officials are also optimistic about the closing of the Comcast takeover of NBC by the end of the month. It is probably too late for any synergy that affects the 500, but who knows?

INYCAR Nation, the organization that took over the Downforce deal, will have unpaid and paid levels, but we do not know much more. One of the latest partners is an insurance company with the mailing list, so hopefully the membership does not get spammed unmercifully. That fan organization has never come close to reaching its potential, and hopefully folks running it now will get serious about it. Speaking of fans, those who are as young as 9 can now gain admittance to the garage area. That is a great common sense item to build new fans for life.

A topic near and dear to the hearts of old timers is the manner in which the 100th anniversary will be celebrated. IMS is taking the classy approach, as they usually do. Every living veteran is invited back for autograph session in May (there are 269 of them). For the 500, a ‘stunt’ is planned along with a unique flyover. In May at the museum they WILL have as many winning 500 cars as they can get in the museum, and we are told it is around 70.

My concern is, and always has been, promotion of the event on a national level. To that end, they announced a special Sports Illustrated issue dedicated to the event, and a new television spot about bricks will soon hit the air. There is also a Hollywood-area office that is opening that will be headed by a lady who did the same type of work for NASCAR.

Hopefully all of that is just the beginning. We’re less than six months away and time is wasting.



  1. Whether or not you like it, at least all can agree that Randy and Indycar have a plan laid out that takes the series in a concrete, laid out direction. Some may see the plan as a vision that will lead the series back to the forefront of racing, some may see it as yet another clusterflop that will only drive the series into the ground, but at least there seems to be a plan, rather than a week by week thing that someone pulls out of their backside.

    I like ABC’s selection of the races they’re going to televise, especially Loudon and The Mile; to me, the short, lowbanked ovals really show who can/can’t drive, and provide plenty of actual passing, rather than pack racing. Now if we could only convince the Broadcast (cough, allegedly) PARTNER to bring their A-level production team and broadcasters to the race. Sorry, but when Marty Reid has to do IndyCar instead of the tintops he looks and sounds like a third grader who’s been sent to detention, and Scott Goodyear has the personality of a log.

    Just a question, is anyone but me wondering how they can have double file restarts, yet can’t figure out how to do an actual three wide start at Indy? I can just hear Barnhart now…’okay, the leader of the race has earned the right to lead the first lap out of a yellow, and no racing for the start, blah, blah, blah.’

    Comment by Steve Kornya — January 12, 2011 @ 3:05 pm | Reply

    • Lets pray that Barnhart is in a different position or doing different duties for the Indianapolis 500.

      Comment by rosco — January 12, 2011 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

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