Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

March 17, 2011

The Most Important Race In History – Now Just Weeks Away!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:06 am

Wednesday was a great day in the Disciple household. It was the day the big blue envelope arrived with the family tickets to the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500…billed as ‘The Most Important Race in History.’ As a lifelong devotee to that place and race it is easy to understand the significance. But what about the rest of the country and the world?

We are about 75 days away. We have broadcast partners. I cannot help but wonder where all the hoopla one might expect from a partner is. INDYCAR was featured in an ancillary way on ESPN2’s NASCAR Now show on Wednesday largely because Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swapped rides for a publicity

Indysoup.wordpress.com Gets A HUGE Thumbs Up!

stunt. Danica also got her usual mentions.  Problem is that is about it.

In a week when broadcast partners cut access to online streaming for a really weak excuse of a reason, meaningful promotion of the historic event seems unlikely. Irresponsible partnership, primarily by ESPN and mostly by people there without much understanding of the 500’s place in history, is the sad reality. Even so, the great race draws hundreds of thousands through its gates every May, and its television ratings remain respectable. Better television ratings are certainly desirable and the sky is definitely the limit, but adequate promotion should be the goal.

Now is the time…let’s start making that happen.




  1. If you wonder why the irl and the 500 are both treated like the red-headed stepchild by most everyone, take a look at how many people respond to your blog. Next to none, and half that do are laughing at you. Yet, you still wonder aloud.

    Editor’s Note: What was the highest grade you completed up there in Canada? Once again, all of my key points have eluded your grasp. The treatment (or lack thereof) of the 500 is mostly the result of ignorance. That ignorance is largely the result of lack of meaningful promotion that is necessary in this day and age. Trying to tie 500 popularity with the number of people who comment to this blog is well beyond foolish. I appreciate the 500 to 1,000 people who typically stop by here in a day, but I never use those numbers as any sort of bellwether for anything. That would be stupid, IMHO.

    Comment by jb — March 17, 2011 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  2. Most important race in history???? I guess it is a matter of opinion. The problem is, IMS worshipers like yourself will go around spreading that crap like the gospel and claiming everyone (especially ESPN) that doesn’t share that sentiment is wrong or “just doesn’t get it.”

    Editor’s Note: I actually agree with ‘The Most Important Race In History.’ It represents the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Without it there would be no racing in this country as we know it. Bill France used some ignorant redneck hard-on against IMS as the impetus to start NASCAR with a bunch of law-breaking moonshiners, so without Indy there would also be no NASCAR as we know it. With IMS there would have been no cart, or USAC or AAA either. So yes…’The Most Important Race In History’ is particularly apt. Actual followers of the sport get that.

    Comment by TroyM — March 17, 2011 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  3. One problem this time of year trying to promote ANYTHING having to do with auto racing is that the “March Madness” basketball playoffs trump everything else–even NASCAR gets less attention with all that going on. The hoops generate the most revenue on the courts and in front of the TV’s, so our sport gets lost in the shuffle. It probably wouldn’t matter if all the great ‘500 winners and drivers of the past all came back to life to drive this particular race, more people identify with basketball than auto racing. It’s sad for us, but that’s the way it is.

    Comment by DOUG — March 17, 2011 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  4. I’d agree this race is very important, but is it the most important in history? What about the first Indy 500? What about the first Indy 500 after World War II? I think those were equally important. I know, I know, its for marketing purposes.

    I am eagerly awaiting the whole Indy 500 experience this year though, mostly because we are going to have two of the 2012 cars there for us to see. And they will be real cars this time, not just holograms.

    Comment by Gary — March 17, 2011 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  5. It’s called marketing. Hype. Promotion. And it’s what the series needs and Bernard is providing.

    Comment by redd — March 18, 2011 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

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