Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 21, 2011

How a Racing Star Is Born: Good Advice for INDYCAR

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:32 am

The INDYCAR Series is on a roll. Sponsorship dollars are up, as are ratings in demographic targets. Management is forward thinking and is taking chances that have positioned the series very well for the upcoming season. The series has a diverse group of drivers from all over the world. Theoretically that is great, but is it practical?

In other words, what about the winner of the Indianapolis 500? One driver who could very easily win it is Ryan Briscoe. He is very talented, relatively young, has sufficiently matured behind the wheel, and drives for one of the top two teams. But if he does will it matter?

In the Daytona 500, a 20 year old whose looks resemble Jimmy Kite in just his second Cup race won the big one. Trevor Bayne became a star. The fact he drives for an old school legacy team that has seen better days makes it even sweeter. His victory made the boring tag team nature of a wreck infested parade irrelevant.

INDYCAR should learn from that. Ryan Briscoe is really good, but would a victory by him tangibly enhance the stature of the series? If another foreigner won there could be compelling story lines; e.g., Helio winning number 4 or Tony Kanaan finally crossing the bricks first. But imagine what a young American could do driving for someone other than Penske or Ganassi. People often chide NASCAR for being contrived but their 500 today produced a new, young American hero. That is precisely what INDYCAR could use this year.

Racing season is underway!




  1. It’s a good story, but it would have been just as good if Bayne was from New Zealand or Canada.

    Comment by redd — February 21, 2011 @ 4:25 am | Reply

  2. Mate, Briscoe is from Sydney which is in AUSTRALIA. NOT THE STUPID F***ING USA.

    Editor’s Note: Perhaps remedial education, specifically in the area of reading comprehension, is in order for you li’l fella. The point in this blog that eluded your grasp was that Ryan Briscoe could win as easily as any other Penske or Ganassi driver at the Indy 500, even though he is, as you so eloquently and professionally stated, from outside the borders of the ‘stupid f***ing USA.’ But would that enhance the stature of the Indy 500 anywhere outside the bottom of the earth? NASCAR made a star out of a fresh faced kid one day removed from a teenager. That is a script INDYCAR could definitely use. Are we on the same page now or shall I slow it down some more?

    Comment by nosh — February 21, 2011 @ 6:47 am | Reply

    • mate, You imply he is a f*ing Yank. I wouldn’t mind if he bloody wins, but will power winning would be heaps better as he is more aussie.

      Comment by nosh — February 21, 2011 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

    • NASCAR did not make a star out of a fresh faced kid one day removed from a teenager, the DAYTONA 500 did.

      Comment by mike hunt — February 21, 2011 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

  3. No use, D. These imbeciles can’t read anyway. Their behavior is not unlike the primates that trashed an Indy bar last night and whacked each other’s noggins with bowling balls. I’m sure they pick bugs off each other and toss feces around too.

    Comment by Robin Mueller — February 21, 2011 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  4. I think that CART and Champcar were much better at letting forigners win, I guess that was why the failed, twice. A good homegrown win would do Indycar a whole lot of good and show those damn bootlickers

    Comment by The Truth — February 21, 2011 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  5. I have to admit that my first thought was this could not happen in the Indy Racing League. My second thought was did he try at all to get into Indy cars and suffer the same fate as Jeff Gordon?

    I don’t know his background, but the fact that I, a bigger Indy car fan than Nascar fan thought it, highlights a problem with the league that I think Randy Bernard also recognizes.

    And I have to disagree with redd. It does make a difference. They call it American Open Wheel racing for a reason.

    Comment by Bob F. — February 21, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

    • I think the problem isn’t that he tried to get into IndyCar and failed (like Gordon, and likely Kaehne, and Yeley), but that he didn’t even bother trying to get into IndyCar in the first place. And honestly, at this point, why would he? NASCAR is more popular, draws more fans, more tv viewers, pays more money, and, if you’re good enough, you don’t have to show up with a big check to get a ride.

      Comment by Steve Kornya — February 21, 2011 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

      • My 5 minutes of research shows that Trevor Bayne was born and grew up in Nashville (more a NASCAR area than an IndyCar area, even with the IndyCar race they had for a few years), and shows that he’s been in on the stock car path since he was 13. It’s OK that some kids grew up from the time they were able to walk wanting to get into NASCAR, same as it’s OK for kids in England or Germany to want to go to F1. Same as it’s OK for kids to want to get into baseball or football or whatever. IndyCar is taking measures to get the sport in front of the eyes of more kids (and adults, for sure), and hopefully more kids will grow up with a love of the sport that we’re all into. This is going to take some time, but at least IndyCar is trying to get out there, try some new stuff and grab some more fans.

        Comment by The Speedgeek — February 22, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  6. Nice to see the Wood Brothers back in Victory Lane, and yes, this is a Cinderella story. One can hope the opening IndyCar race could be as exiting, even if wreck-strewed, as this Daytona 500. But the “real” season in NASCAR really starts next week. We’ll then see how good this Bayne kid really is.

    Comment by DOUG — February 21, 2011 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  7. I think Derick Cope pulled this off but faded. NASCAR has great drivers, but that race yesterday was way too long.

    I don’t know that it matters how young Trevor is if he does not continue wining. However, he has made a lifetime achievement. Perhaps he got the call to be the Justin Beiber of NASCAR.

    Comment by mmiller — February 21, 2011 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  8. No, it wouldn’t. Nor would a victory by Power. Or Castroneves. Or Franchitti. Or Dixon. Or any of the other foreign drivers who race for Penske or Ganassi. Because people will look at the race, say ho-hum, another red car win, and let it go at that. Honestly, if you offered an Indycar fan the following bet: I’ll take the Penske/Ganassi drivers and you can have the field, and I’ll give you odds, would anyone be stupid enough to take it?

    Yes, IndyCar could use a young American hero. But until they (meaning IndyCar owners) are willing to do what Roush-Fenway and the Wood Brothers did with Trevor Bayne it isn’t going to happen. Trevor Bayne got his ride in Nationwide because Jack Roush put him in the car first, and then worried about sponsorship later. Same with the Wood Brothers. They didn’t require him to show up with a check, or a personal services contract, or rich parents. They took a kid who could drive, put him behind the wheel, and then went after sponsors. And if they didn’t find them, (as Jack Roush has said) they were going to run him anyways. Contrast that to Indycar. Trumpet all you want about Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball, but if they don’t show up with Service Central and Novo Nordisk backing already, they don’t have rides. Period. The fact that a young, personable, well-spoken, second generation AMERICAN driver who wants to race open wheels has to go hat in hand to sponsors to find money to buy a ride illustrates an ongoing failure of the series.

    Finally, what race were you watching yesterday? Were there wrecks and cautions? Yes. 57 laps of cautions. (FYI, there were 49 caution laps at Indy last year. Must have missed that ‘wreck infested parade’ description of the 500.) Was the tag-team draft a little goofy? Yeah, but it worked. Do 74 lead changes and 23 different race leaders qualify as a parade? Not even close.

    Oh, and the ratings are in. Overall eyeballs up 13%. Total viewers over 30 million. M25-54 up 14%, M18-19 up 16%. M12-17 nearly double over last year. And your beloved M18-34? Up 46%. Methinks NASCAR’s doom has been greatly exaggerated.

    Comment by Steve Kornya — February 21, 2011 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  9. In 2006 Sam hornish jr won a photo finish Indy 500, now go ask the average sports fan in their 20’s who he is. You’ll get shrugged shoulders and blank stares because nobody knows who he is. Indycar racing just doesn’t have the gravitas it once had.

    Comment by John Reid — February 21, 2011 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

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