Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

April 13, 2011

Thank Goodness for Forward Thinking Promotion Partners for the Indianapolis 500

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:21 pm

Two out-of-the-ordinary things have been announced for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. We already know Donald Trump is driving the pace car. Now we know that Mattel and IZOD have teamed up for a Hot Wheels stunt of epic proportion. They will roll a specially constructed vehicle to the top of a ten-story ramp in turn four, and as a prop will have a giant, 100-foot door as kids would have in their own home. The vehicle and its driver will be released and a jump at the end of the ramp will take place in the infield. My big hope is that the weather cooperates.

Many folks who do not mind Trump behind the wheel of the pace car seem to have a large problem with the Hot Wheels stunt. I do not get that. Gimmicky promotion has been a part of the track since day one. Ask Donald Davidson sometime about the type of hype-filled promoter Carl Fisher was. One year he attached a car to a balloon, which ascended from the track and landed somewhere south of town, from where Fisher supposedly was going to drive the car back to the track to demonstrate how well it was constructed. There are definitely a few ‘hey, wait a minutes’ in there; e.g., the motorless car attached to the balloon was not the car he drove back, but the point is he was engaged in shameless promotion.

Personally, it appears to be a great idea from two decidedly active partners who actually know what they are doing. ‘Fearless at the 500’ is the title of the stunt. Testing has been done in California and the equipment is on the grounds at IMS and ready for construction. Bring it on.

The Trump in the pace car reality is a done deal, and for the long time traditionalists the sour taste continues to linger. The slap in the face to tradition is astounding. We are not even certain they asked A.J. Foyt, who would have done it. It is what it is, however, and we have to accept the most stupid ideas along with the pretty good ones. Thank goodness for promotion partners with brains like Mattel and IZOD.




  1. Mixed feelings. If any sport could use promotion–shameless or not–it’s Indycar. So good for sponsor/partners being so active. On the other hand, if that bigass door blocks sightlines to the third turn for ten of thousands of people, that’s sort of putting the cart before the horsepower.

    I never liked Trump before he went rogue. I like him less now. He’s an egotistical bully born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s a D-list celebrity with no ties at all to racing or the 500. But…he draws attention to himself. And Indycar needs attention. So I’ll live with Trump for now.

    Clowns and stunts can be the opening act for Indycar, but I’d hate to see Indycar be billed below clown shows and stunt jumpers.

    Comment by redcar — April 13, 2011 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

  2. Great post. I thought of Carl Fisher too when I first heard about this.

    This was a guy who wanted to be on the cutting edge of whatever was exciting and whatever was going to move the needle.

    I think this will be a lot of fun.

    Comment by Demond Sanders — April 14, 2011 @ 12:13 am | Reply

  3. Maybe after the jump they’ll open that door up so it don’t block anyone view of the race. Yyou can only hope.

    Comment by jb — April 14, 2011 @ 2:07 am | Reply

  4. I don’t understand though why they aren’t jumping a Dallara. That would be the best way to tie all of this into the 500.

    Comment by Gary — April 14, 2011 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

  5. On The Donald. I’m ambivalent about that. As I said elsewhere, by time the field of 33 reaches the first turn, the fans will be forgetting who drove the pace car ( or who sang the Anthem ).
    On the Hot Wheels jump, you’re right, promotion is good, I’m for it. I just wonder how long it will take to dismantle so that the view of the track is not blocked.

    Comment by Chris Lukens — April 14, 2011 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

  6. Dear Defender:

    Trump is the only man who earned $30M…by inheriting $30M! He is a boorish slob who rivals P-Diddy as the king of self promotion…loved his portray as the heavy who killed the USFL in the ESPN ’30-for-30′ documentary last year…and now he wants to be your president!

    Comment by Neil Rubin — April 15, 2011 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

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