The 2012 Indy Car was ‘officially’ (kinda) released in the days before Christmas. 15 events. Only four ovals including Indy and 11 non-ovals; mostly temporary street festivals o’ speed. Many aspects of this half-assed effort remain troubling, including vague promises of one or two more. This is the same kind of nonsense cart/champcar foisted before they killed themselves. Twice.
-It is admittedly early, but how on earth could the death of one popular participant in a sport that has had deaths of popular participants for over one hundred years bring the sport to a complete, grinding halt for a couple of months? Why was that allowed to happen? That is unprecedented.
-If leadership of the series preaches the importance of balance, what is balanced about a 75/25 non-oval to oval schedule?
-One of the easiest rationalizations Indy Car can make these days is that ‘ovals just aren’t popular anymore.’ How do they explain NASCAR’s continuing popularity then? It seems more like the self fulfilling prophecy of road racing enthusiasts who prefer non-ovals and are mostly scared of ovals.
-Indy Car dropping great ovals every year is revolting. The fact that even ONE of the Midwest ovals is nowhere to be found is insulting. Chicagoland? Kentucky? Milwaukee? All gone, mostly the inexcusable result of sheer neglect.
-Commit to making ovals work. Haphazard and inconsistent scheduling, unintelligible promotion, nickel-and-dime ala carte pricing, lack of any sort of meaningful show-biz presentation of oval events, including a dearth of non-race day activities and an arrogant approach to ovals will kill even the best ones off over time.
-Convince television ‘partners’ to stop relegating Indy Car to the same level of importance as Lithuanian womens junior soccer except when someone dies. That takes patience, education, cajoling, threats, bribes and all sort of other behaviors when the situation calls for them.
-The online presence and offerings (or lack thereof) of Indy Car remains an absolute joke.
-Change the way in which the pricing model is structured.
-Take control of their own destiny.
Disciple and crew wish all fellow racing fans a very happy new year in 2012, but Indy Car is going to have to something substantive about their unbalanced, loyalty killing schedule. Jettisoning ovals without regard to fans or potential will do far more harm than they are capable of understanding, and history is the best teacher of that. It could be worse. Indy Lights only has twelve events again. Three ovals. Way to prepare those stars of tomorrow.