Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

June 6, 2011

The Indianapolis 500: Did It Really Go Somewhere?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 5:36 pm

One of the more interesting questions posed by many in the media and some fans is whether after the 100th Anniversary event the Indianapolis 500 is ‘back.’ This makes me laugh. Back from what, exactly? Being a lifelong fan of the event tells me it never left. I have heard the same mostly clueless sentiment many times over the years. For some it left when the rear-engined cars came in. When the turbines arrived. When the foreigners took over. When cart mutinied. It always seems to be something. Yet every May there it is….drawing the largest number of spectators anywhere, the highest television ratings for Indy Cars and most importantly the attention of most.

We get all varieties of negative spin every year, whether it originates from the media, other racing organizations, disenfranchised fans, etc., but the 500 always comes through. It has survived all sorts of calamity and tragedy locally and nationally. This includes depressions (including the Great one), recessions, two World Wars, cart, media attacks, mismanagement and more. It has additionally weather two sales.

The vast majority of those who believe it went somewhere are cart enthusiasts whose experience base is somewhere between 1979 and 1995. As usual, these people are incorrect in their beliefs. They equate perceived greatness with the series that walked away from Indy. They chide the early IRL, in so many words, as undeserving of Indy glory. That in and of itself is proof such people have no understanding of what makes Indy ‘Indy.’ This does not stop such arrogant fools from using words such as ‘diminished in both popularity and prestige’ even though the series that supposedly had both unceremoniously killed itself, twice, because they were too stupid to figure out how to stay in business.

‘Buzz’ is usually codespeak for ‘the media has finally taken its collective head out of its own ass.’ Perhaps one day everyone will acknowledge truthful reality. The Indianapolis 500 is, and has always been, the greatest spectacle in racing. It is not ‘back’ because it never left.



  1. It’s only ‘back’ in the minds of their pointy little heads.

    Comment by Robin Mueller — June 6, 2011 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  2. Highest rated Indycar race? Isn’t that like claiming to be the tallest midget? Or the smartest guy on the short bus?

    Comment by TroyM — June 7, 2011 @ 2:59 am | Reply

  3. Great article, I could’nt agree more. The issue is that their has always been the critics and now it alls, look at Paul Tracy and Jimmy Vasser. Jimmy Vasser said at the US500 WHO NEEDS MILK and Paul Tracy was quoted at saying IndCars in the IRL were crap boxes. Both of those men are eating crow to this day, and neither one has won a race since the buyout of champcar. Big mouthes and small minds. Jimmy vasser was the first owner to not want to go to new aero packages in 2012, why because Lotus is behind in their 2012 package. Simply said it goes back to the self serving cart days.Rany Bernard along with Ganassi ,Honda and Chevrolet want the new 2012 aero kits. It isnt the money its the fear of survival so instead of working harder some of the teams and owners want the easy route. As a fan I have to save money to go to races so maybe the teams need to get drivers that dont wreck like E J Viso then maybe their budgets would go a little further. Mark my words the Judd engine and the lotus package aero kits will be the slowest, so Jimmy welcome back to familiar ground. Winners drink milk!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by steve — June 7, 2011 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

  4. I hope CART is not like a cat. That would mean that CART will have to be killed 7 more times.

    Comment by Andrew Johnson — June 7, 2011 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  5. Dear Defender:

    As I have said in the past, I commend you for your dedication and unwavering support of the 500 and IMS. However, I don’t think that you are dealing with reality when you state that the Indy 500 never went anywhere and that the 500 is strong as it ever was…just last weekend, on the Centennial race, I had to content with these types of stinging comments from NASCAR and F1 enthusiast friends- “Oh, you watch the Indy 500? I didn’t know that they still raced anything but NASCAR there anymore?” or my favorite “I used to watch the Indy 500 before the IRL was formed but I haven’t watched in years”…let’s face it, while the 500 got a much needed boost from the Centennial celebration and better than average promotion from ABC and the World Wide Leader, Indy Car is still way off the national motor sports radar and all but us die hard fans have little interest in Indy Car racing in its current form…and when we lose Danica to the dark side, I fear that whatever traction we got out of her story will be lost on a sporting public that still continues to choose NASCAR over open wheel racing.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — June 7, 2011 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

    • Defender, this sounds like a good topic for your next posting. Why does the sporting
      public still continue to choose Nascar over Indy car open wheel racing. I think we all
      have an opinion and this might be a very spirited post!

      Comment by Bob F. — June 8, 2011 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  6. Apparently the Indy Car Series isn’t too far under the radar that it couldn’t produce the name Danica Patrick. The world has been watching, that’s where they found her.

    Comment by Robin Mueller — June 8, 2011 @ 9:18 am | Reply

    • No, she was actually “found” by the British and Europeans in 2000/1, largely by courtesy of her second place finish at the Formula Ford Festival. You lot in the US just took another four or five years to notice…


      Comment by Andrew — June 9, 2011 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  7. She began karting here before going over there, but nice try anyway. lol

    Comment by Robin Mueller — June 10, 2011 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

    • I know that she did but you’re not kidding anyone by trying to pretend that she was known to anyone outside of the immediate karting fraternity prior to her moving to Europe…

      Comment by Andrew — June 14, 2011 @ 10:11 am | Reply

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