Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

January 31, 2012

Will Super Bowl Week Be Super For Indy Car?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:23 am

The big news this week is, of course, the Super Bowl. Indianapolis is in the national spotlight all week and is doing a bang-up job with it’s first ever Super Bowl hosting privilege. The national media has arrived, and IMS/Indy Car has done a great job exposing its brand to the visitors. Center stage of that promotion is the re-purposing of the old Dallaras dressed up in the schemes and colors of all of the NFL teams. Local media from all over are including stories and pictures as part of their ancillary coverage, and a sizable number of visitors are finding their way to 16th and Georgetown this week.

That is not stopping most of the Indy Car obsessed critics from doing what they do best; i.e., doom and glooming about the series. It is nice, however, to be included in the national spotlight even if it is on the coattails of the NFL.

Indy Car is doing a great job of promoting itself this week, but meantime the road racers running the series are still trying as hard as they can to turn the clock back to 1993. One effective tactic is recycling old Formula One drivers who find themselves out of rides. KV Racing tested 19 year F-1 vet Rubens Barrichello this week, and the crapper community can hardly contain their glee. Given the overwhelming majority of non-ovals currently on the far out of balance Indy Car schedule, Mrs. Barrichello may actually capitulate since ‘ol Rubens probably won’t have to deal with all those ultra-dangerous ovals. LOL.

For my money I would rather see a hot young shoe, even if from Argentina, than an F-1 retread. I keep hoping that team brings Esteban Guerrieri aboard. He has the fearlessness of and more youth than E.J. Viso, but a lot more sense in terms of taking care of the car.

For the middle of winter the off season for Indy Car is doing quite well. 



  1. Well, some drivers who have come over from F1 have done well, or very well, but unfortunately, and I could be wrong, but I don’t think Rubens will be one of them. Any driver who’s had some of the rides he’s had and failed to capitalize on them is mediocre at best. This may please the Brazilian faction, but they already have other drivers on the IndyCar circuit who have proven themselves. ANY young talent, and I mean talent, would be welcome, no matter where they’re from.

    Comment by DOUG — January 31, 2012 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  2. Barichello would be an interesting story for a year. He’d certainly bring some S. American eyes to Indycar, but I don’t know that he’d do much for live attendance and tv ratings. I don’t think he’s taking anyone’s place though–if he gets a ride it’s because they’re making a ride for him.

    Also, the Dan Patrick Show (radio and DirectTV) is broadcasting from Victory Field. Lots of focus on Indianapolis. Tomorrow Patrick’s staff (“the Dan-ettes”) are taping some deal at IMS. Hopefully Indycar will have some drivers there.

    Comment by redcar — January 31, 2012 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

  3. It’s refreshing to see IMS only toy with intangibles on this great week of Indy in the spotlight. Wouldn’t a well placed 30 sec commercial introducing Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon or Dario Franchitti complete with a DW12 debut amid all the carnage B footage Versus/ABC runs in-season be a great promo for the series on Super Bowl evening? Why wont they do it?
    Why would they spend $4 million on one :30 spot when they will have, for example, a captive audience of 3,000 media members at IMS today for a big party? If you do not believe they are working that particular crowd you are even more out of touch than you appear.

    Comment by Goran Liddy — January 31, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  4. Out of all the indycar blogs I read yours has been the most doom and gloom. Not enough ovals: whine. Owners in charge: whine. Randy Bernard: whine. You are the problem with a negative outlook on Indycar and you will prove unable to embrace 2012 because you believe in the failed IRL, which is no different that being a CART-er.
    Editor’s Note: Get back to me once you spend the amount of money to attend most of the events every year that I do.

    Comment by Redbull — January 31, 2012 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

    • I went to Long Beach, Indy, Milwaukee, Toronto, Iowa, and Infineon Raceway. All from Chicago. Douche.
      Editor’s Note: Congratulations. That’s almost as many as me. Fun, huh? As a paying customer I retain the right to comment on the product, and I do….both in positive and negative ways when warranted. I also communicate with leadership fairly regularly. Besides, most of my criticism is centered around the encroachment of self-interested road racers who are now driving the Indy Car Series to the same fate as the twice failed cart deal. Thank God we have Indy to prop the whole thing up this time. Oh, and is the derogatory name calling really necessary?

      Comment by redbull — January 31, 2012 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

      • And none of that changes the fact that if I had to pick a picture of negative for Indycar it would be you.
        Editor’s Note: I might suggest reading a bit more of my work then. If/when you do you may see a more well rounded body of work, provided you use objectivity.

        Comment by redbull — January 31, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  5. Dear Defender:

    Hold up just one minute…I spend plenty of $$$ to travel to Indy Car events each year and you don’t need to lash out at posters here on the Blog simply because you disagree with a quite correct assessment about your recent spate of negativity about the series and its direction….look at the bright side, we both will be in attendance at the series opener in March to watch hopefully a full field in a new chassis with three engine manufacturers….if Randy can turn around the series with a significantly better marketing and promotion package, there will be more ovals to satisfy your needs as well as road and street courses to keep the diversity which is the hallmark of the series. Stay positive…we can all call out dozens of shortcomings in the series but we can save the complaining for later….

    Comment by Neil Rubin — January 31, 2012 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

    • Here, here. Good points all, Neil. There’s a lot of positive stuff going on for 2012, to the point where when I read or listen to a negative diatribe about all that’s wrong with the sport, I sometimes wonder if we’re talking about IndyCar in 2012 or IndyCar in 2007 (when I can assure you, things were not so good, same as they were not good on the ChampCar side of the fence). If you want to focus on all that’s negative while ignoring just about all that’s positive (and all the positive that could come after 2012, like a return to more ovals, which I do believe will happen, and more manufacturers and more sponsors…all the same sorts of things that you, Mr. Defender, like to upbraid the CART-centric and “down with the IRL” types for screaming will never happen, but now you seem to be wallowing in), I guess that’s your perogative, but I think that’s kind of pointless.

      As for Rubens vs. Esteban for the 3rd KV seat…what? Dude, did you watch Lights much last year? Yeah, Esteban was fast, but I would not call his the most patient pair of hands in the series last year. At this point, throwing him in a Big Car would very much make for an interesting comparison with EJ, in that KV might be comparing a couple of very impressive repair bills at the end of the season. Esteban, I think, could be very, very good, but he needs another season in Lights. Let’s see him dominate (as I’d predict he would, should he go back to Lights this year) there in 2012, and then step up in 2013. Rubens, meanwhile, could drum up some extra eyeballs, like right now, without having to crash 15 cars and finish in the low-teens for a full season before possibly gaining some attention later (as I’d predict Esteban would, if he moved up now). Attention on IndyCar would increase overnight. No, of course, not among the USAC set that a lot of people claim (erroneously, to my mind) are absolutely essential for IndyCar’s long term prospects as a going concern, but international and domestic attention among anybody who knows anything about F1 from 2000 to 2009. How’s that not a good thing? Didn’t Emerson FIttipaldi’s arrival to the States do something for the sport back in the ’80s? Or Nigel Mansell’s in 1993?
      Editor’s Note: Great points, but I’m not really certain the attention of even more road racing enthusiasts in all of their smarmy arrogance is something we need long term. That is what Formula One is there for.

      Comment by The Speedgeek — February 1, 2012 @ 3:40 am | Reply

      • What, TV ratings don’t count when they come from “smarmy, arrogant road racing enthusiasts”? Do I count in that column, since I do love road racing, even though all 7 of the IndyCar races I’ve attended since 2009 have been ovals (the ovals have worked best for me, geographically, until my recent relocation)? And what are you afraid of here, exactly? That IndyCar will lose the three remaining non-Indy ovals that they have left? Given that two of them are among the five best attended (percentage of seats filled, anyway, in Iowa’s case) races of the year, I’d think that they’re probably safe. And it’s not like they’re going to leave IMS. It’s in the Series’ freaking name, after all.

        I just don’t get this. For somebody who continually chides people who don’t see eye to eye with him as being “fixated on an evolutionary period of the sport” (the CART-era), you appear to be incredibly fixated on a different “evolutionary period of the sport” (the late-’90s/early-’00s, what with your constant yelling for IndyCar to go to as many 1.5 mile ovals as possible). How is that one iota different? If the sport is continually evolving, as you repeatedly say here, what is so different about what IndyCar has become in 2012 as opposed to 1972? Or 1982? Or 1992? We’re evolving, right? IndyCar evolved away from going to board tracks back in the 1920s. And it evolved away from dirt back in the 1970s. Now, it’s evolved away from going to the mile and a halfs (though they may yet return someday, should the new cars be proven to be safe there and the business case can be made that enough tickets can be sold to make those races worthwhile). If we’re supposed to all evolve personally and embrace the future (as you always tell the CART enthusiasts to do), aren’t you sort of required to do the same? Or are the rest of us all just supposed to “evolve” to match your viewpoint the the exact letter?

        Editor’s Note: Whoa….hold on there cowboy. You are adding entirely too much drama. Let’s look at facts. If you chart the number of ovals and road courses since 1996 you will understand my concern about losing ovals. If the road racers who slithered back into Indy Car after killing themselves twice by their version of substituting soccer for football get their way all ovals will soon be gone, and they may even want to run the road course at Indy. Actual, measurable trends are backing up my words.

        The excuses being given for dropping ovals are also weak and are basically obfuscation that masks bad management and in many cases outright neglect of that style.

        I do not begrudge road racing enthusiasts and I also attend (and enjoy) quite a few non-oval events. They have a definite place on the schedule. Just never more than half. Ever. The fact that the majority have just been lopped off so unceremoniously into such an out of balance condition is deeply offensive to me. I understand your points, but you need to understand mine as well.

        Comment by The Speedgeek — February 2, 2012 @ 4:02 am

  6. I see you trying goat me into your superiority-of-intelect hooey you pull on folks who threaten your grasp of reality. I’m ok with it. However, IMS foots the bills for a Las Vegas race with all accoutrements that only goes 15 laps, with 10K fans in the stands, and shatters momentum for the series, and cant muster approval for a 30sec commercial that will expose the series to 100’s of millions? YOU are killing the sport with your lemming-like behavior!
    Editor’s Note: ‘Goat?’ Really? Goat?’ LOL. ‘Intelect?’ Do you know how tedious it is trying to exchange even basic interaction with a crapper-centric borderline illiterate person? Look, spending $4 million on a Super Bowl spot is not going to move the needle given the foreign road racers that occupy the series at present. Nor would spending many more millions on any sort of spot buy anywhere. You seem obsessed with slamming Las Vegas for no apparent reason in typical crapper fashion; i.e., underestimating attendance, overestimating presentation….all without even being there. Typical. I believe things like 3,000 media people at an IMS party today, Marco on Jimmy Fallon, the Today Show live from Indy, etc., will be effective brand exposure tactics. It’s a good thing your kind doesn’t contol the purse strings. You kids would make Tony George look as fiscally conservative as Jeff Belskus. Sorry if that analogy leapt over your head. Baaa-aaaaa. LOL.

    Comment by Goran Liddy — January 31, 2012 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

    • Ok then, you’re a hypocrite. Esteban Guerrieri? You want him in the series, yet complain about ‘foreign road racers’ in the series. Something is VERY wrong with you.
      Editor’s Note: Nothing wrong with me. What is wrong is your ability to comprehend what you believe you read. But that is hardly surprising.

      And the leadership at IMS, which you support, stinks. A piece of work you are.
      Editor’s Note: Nice obtuse crapper-centric blast. Also typical. And pointless.

      Comment by Goran Liddy — February 1, 2012 @ 2:57 am | Reply

  7. Dear Defender:

    You gotta admit that the leadership at Indy Car has been brain dead for years and that even Ropin’ Randy, armed with his success at promoting bull riding from a regional sport to a….regional sport, is having trouble turning around a marketing and promotional program that consistently misses the mark at growing the series and attracting new and younger fans to the sport….from disastrous campaigns like ‘I Am Indy’ to resigning with ABC/ESPN for another decade of deficient telecasts to falling completely off the national media radar despite having Danica the Darling of American Racing in the series, you could write a textbook for a sports marketing class entitled ‘What Not To Do in Sports–the Case Study in the Decline of American Open Wheel Racing’ that would highlight the ludicrous decisions which both sides in the destructive and pointless war and made by characters like Andrew Craig, Joe Heitzler and, of course, Tony George and his Hammer.

    Defender, I think you and the fools who correspond with you on this Blog could do a better job of running this series and coming up with better plans at attracting the next generation of fans…otherwise, we are the last in the line!

    Comment by Neil Rubin — February 2, 2012 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

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