Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 27, 2013

Consulting for IMS That Is Far Less Expensive Than BCG

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 9:59 pm

The WinnerI am as guilty as anyone of griping about certain aspects of the Indy 500, but was genuinely happy Tony Kanaan won the race. It was big for the fans, big for the team and big for a sponsor that is not really considered blue chip. The amazing number of passes for the lead made for edge of your seat excitement as cars got very wide into corners. Anyone who feels pulling those off at those speeds into narrow corners seems jaded and out of touch with reality.

There are already ‘fans’ who decry the racing as somehow artificial with much of the same derision they reserve for pack racing. Many of these critics are arrogant road racing enthusiasts who take sort of an Islamic approach to the propagation of their style of racing; i.e., their opinions about what racing should be are the only ones that really matter and everyone else should be eternally damned. Interesting that the Indy 500 saw 68 lead changes and Monaco saw ZERO.

Another popular yet vapid complaint among the nose up in the air idiots: The cars are ugly. To which I laugh after watching both Monaco and Charlotte. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, and if the beholder is stupidly predisposed toward that type of hollow criticism there is not much a real racing fan can do. Except laugh.

Yet another oft-repeated taunt among the darkly obsessed is that attendance for the 500 was off. One fact they do not like people like me pointing out is that the 500 outdrew both the 600 and Monaco combined. Plus you could probably throw in all the NBA playoff games and all MLB games too. In this day and age hardly any sports or entertainment venue even comes close to selling out.

IMS AdviceBecause there were, literally, hundreds of thousands of fans lined up to walk through Indy’s gates, it was going to take a while to get people through them, particularly since society today feeds on mostly irrational fear that some nutjob is going to blow something up. Here are a few helpful hints for the folks making decisions who jerked their knees and inconvenienced tens of thousands of casual fans who are not just as likely to not buy a ticket as to return:

-Make a lot more openings in the fences for entry and exit. Condensing the number of entrances makes zero sense for a crowd that size.

Belskus 1-Don’t screen the inside of coolers at the entry gates. Stop people with oversized coolers and use profiling at the track entry points, then pull out the suspicious looking ones for screening. It is easy enough to know what to look for.

-Check coolers at each entry to each grandstand. Spreading this fear-based illusion of security out over exponentially more areas would reduce wait times for everyone. I know this will cause Jeff Belskus and the bean counters to have strokes, but money should be no object when it comes to being hospitable to the paying customers. Why put 100% of paying customers needlessly through sheer hell on the off chance some microscopically insignificant percentage of attendees may bring a homemade bomb in a cooler?

IMS Management 1-Check general admission folks’ coolers on the other sides of the tunnels before they roam the infield.

The perception among those standing around waiting to get in Sunday was mostly anger, frustration and confusion. Why? There seemed to be little organization, and whatever plans seemed like a good idea to the brass did not consider half the crowd or more would not arrive until after 9. IMS cannot afford angry, frustrated or confused fans. They no longer have that luxury. On a positive note, I can probably look forward to another meaningful seating upgrade now that despite the massive, mostly unnecessary inconvenience caused for ticket buyers the price is rising significantly. Perhaps more legroom too.


May 26, 2013

That Was Way Too Fast! Another Magnificent Indy 500 In The Books…

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 10:01 pm

Observations about the 97th running:

The Winner-The race was, again, a thing of beauty. Lots of dicing and lead changes, great performances by multiple teams and the most popular winner in a generation.

-The fastest Indy 500 in history was finished before most of the alcohol-centric consumers had a chance to begin slurring their words and stumbling over fans in the stands to pee every 8 minutes.

-Carlos Munoz in 2nd place? Amazing. Simply amazing. After watching him run all month my prediction was that he would be the first or second guy to stuff it in the wall due largely to his unusual line around the track. I was wrong. Kid is pretty good.

-Team Ganassi got it wrong. A sick Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe finished ahead of the thoroughbreds. Allmendinger showed the way much of the day for Team Penske.

-How does Justin Wilson keep getting good results at the 500?

-Takuma spun but did not win, but kept it on the lead lap.

-Way to go Ana. She’s a race car driver.

-ESPN on ABC showed improvements in some areas but for the most part remained fingernails on the chalkboard annoying.

-The Verizon mobile app was crapped out most of the day.

-The pomp and ceremony brings tears to my eyes every single year, but the current Belskus-inspired philosophy of not spending any money for anything at any time is beginning to bring the institution down. Also the policy of sectioning aspects of the pre-race to not interfere with ABC commercial breaks pisses those in attendance off. Plus, the PA system at key moments was screwed up for the third year in a row.

-Sandi Patty doing the national anthem? Are you f^$#ing kidding me? How many panes of glass broke during that disjointed rendering? She is no celebrity. She is a religious music singer. But, she is a Hoosier and more than likely did it for free.

-I love Jim Nabors as much as the next guy, but as long as traditions are being allowed to slip let’s work on his replacement. Straight No Chaser works for me.

-Breath of fresh air: No off key warbling of GBA by aunt Flo. Let’s make that permanent as well.

-Jim Harbaugh behind the wheel of the pace car? If IMS people had any meaningful cognizance of the tradition they are supposed to be upholding the no-brainer choice would have been Parnelli Jones on the 50th anniversary of his win. But Harbaugh probably didn’t cost anything either. Way to endear yourselves to Colts fans.

-Do we know who waved the green flag?

-Why was there no last row party?

Pissed Off Fans-The current trend of scaring the living sh!t out of people in public places over the remote chance some nutjob may bring an explosive backpack has probably alienated enough new casual fans to discourage their future attendance after the idiotic display of overreaction at a limited number of open gates. Lack of any meaningful organization or staffing had a high percentage of the crowd standing outside the gates for the start of the race. The only thing IMS really does well is continually shoot its own appendages off. The combination of keeping tens of thousands of fans waiting for hours in pointless lines OUTSIDE then raising ticket prices for next year makes IMS management among the most clueless, stupid people ever to walk on earth. Perhaps they are working toward a more manageable crowd size through alienation of anyone who arrives into the vicinity after 9. Idiots. Every year these people figure out brand new ways to alienate what fans they have left. That level of stupidity is staggering.

Bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of my experiences at the track this month. Still wish it was longer. My hat is tipped to the drivers and teams who put on another whale of a show. They were exempt from the abject stupidity that was occurring all around them.

May 20, 2013

Indy 500 Qualifying – What A Weekend!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:21 pm

A few observations following a great weekend of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500:

Polesitter-Ed Carpenter on the pole is a fantastic story. It was very popular with the locals, short track enthusiasts, other drivers, most actual fans and the press. He did a wonderful job beating the big boys with his little team. He also has a sponsor that is actively involved. Bitter lunatics still living in a previous century have already been chiding the effort, using such insane rhetoric as ‘the fix is in’ and other such blatant insanity/immaturity. The racing community cannot cleanse itself of such poisonous vermin fast enough for real racing fans. Can you imagine the incoherent howling if he wins the race?

-Those same yelping, obsessed mental patients were wrong again this year. Checking the box scores I see that 33 teams and drivers will start the race again this year.

-Most of us still do not really like the gimmicky qualifying games IndyCar seems insistent on playing. Artificial bumping after 24 get in the first day seems really silly and manufactured. The fast nine is fine, but the way they did it after the rain delay this year should be the template. One shot, slowest to fastest, and line up the first three rows accordingly.

-34 cars for 33 spots is simply not enough. ‘Bump Day’ featured zero bumps. Mark Miles and crew need to figure out a way to attract over 40 teams a year to make it compelling. The limits placed upon capacity by manufacturers, costs, etc., must be resolved this year. Now. I stuck around until 6, but don’t really know why.

-The flirting with 230 this year titillated the thousand in attendance on Friday and Saturday. It’s a big draw.

-IMS needs to expand the racing line and cut the grass between the track and the warm-up lanes in half. That said, once the cars qualified and practiced race setups on Sunday, there was plenty of two-wide through the corners.

2013indianapolis500logo-To anyone who actually (and foolishly) believes the month of May should be contracted even more to five days or less: You still do not understand what Indy actually means to the entire sport. You are crazy. Such ignorance can never be tolerated. If anything it should be expanded. Marginalization of Indy and its relative importance is the same type of whacko logic that led IMS to create the IRL in the mid-90’s. Instead of spending so much of their time on mutinous behavior and actions perhaps those who actually believe the sport would be better with just a few days in May should embrace the one institution that gives all of them 100% of their legitimacy. I know that for many sliding down a rusty 50 foot razor blade on their scrotums is preferable to dealing with ‘the family’ and their minions but get past it and try a continuously positive approach. It would be a lot better for the sport in general.

-Kudos to IMS for having E-Stand and parts of B open all weekend.

-Phoenix would certainly make for a really great early May race on the schedule. While they are at it, they really ought to consider re-adding Richmond, Michigan, Chicagoland, Kentucky, Loudon and Pikes Peak. I would also add Memphis and Rockingham. Andy Hillenburg was strolling the garages over the weekend and really I hope someone from the Hulman-George cabal has spoken to him. That track could be another Iowa.

-I feel really bad for Michel Jourdain. He is a better driver who was saddled with a monstrous pile of seemingly undiagnosed dung on wheels.

-Got some fine ladies in the field again. My feeling is that Simona and Ana may run well if they stay out of trouble.

-I am amazed by the amount of affection the fans have for Tony Kanaan. Even though he seems like the Lloyd Ruby of this generation it would be really great to see him punch through for the win.

AntonKanaan-I am wondering how long Marco Andretti’s newfound patience will last. The kind of patience he needs is the reason the entire Unser family has nine wins and the entire Andretti family has one.

-Carlos Munoz impressed, and he is in the middle of row one. My fervent hope is that he does not pull a ‘that damned Coogan’ move at the start.

-The Andretti Autosport team had a dream month. Will they squander it in the big show?

-It is easy to remain ambivalent about Dario or Helio reaching four. There are others we would rather see sipping milk. Like Tony Kanaan.

-Dave Calabro gets more grating by the year. He tries too hard. There are no Tom Carnegies waiting in the wings, unfortunately.

See you next weekend. It is going to be great. Again. I am very glad I get it and am going for personal race 49.

May 15, 2013

The Merry Month Of May In Indianapolis at the 500 and Related Pleasures

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 8:48 pm

Yummy SammichOne of the most enjoyable traditions about the month of May in Indianapolis at the track is consumption of well-prepared pork tenderloin sandwiches.  I like it best when it is dipped twice in buttermilk and egg, and floured then panko’d, then cooked in actual fat in a cast iron skillet. Gastronomically it is about the worst thing one should eat, but when considering only taste buds and not health, once or twice a year is not going to kill anyone.

I like mine in the Hoosier traditional way. Plain white bun, lots of yellow mustard, some pickles and raw onions. The meat must be pounded flat like an elephant ear at a country fair, and there must be way too much for the bun.

It has been nearly a year since my taste buds were so titillated, but that ends tomorrow. In terms of the 500, the dreaded breaded pork tenderloin has become a tradition for many. Some people do not understand that sort of craving either, and it is not worth trying to explain to anyone who has not tried one.

Formula IdiotsSo far this month in and around the track has been mostly free of assholes, but not entirely. Eating tenderloins is always a great asshole repellant. Between 1996 and just a few years ago, there were lots of them. Fortunately many have either grown up, died off or have otherwise developed maturity. There remain a select few, however, whose lack of maturity defies logic. Some of the best racing fans I know have a general interest in the entire sport, and most of them like Formula 1 the best. Some of the best fans I meet every May love Formula 1….but also love Indy and the 500. Some of the worst excuses for fans I know also obsessively attach themselves to Indy and screech about how bad they think it is. These are obviously lying hypocrites.

That is why God made tenderloins. They make dealing with such non-race fans a whole lot easier and spending time with the real ones that much more pleasurable. So if you see a well girthed, aging man in funky shorts devouring a tenderloin, stop by and say hey.

May 14, 2013

Just a Racing Fan Enjoying The Best Month of the Year…

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:08 pm

2013indianapolis500logoPeople have asked this month ‘Disciple, why aren’t you blogging about Indy every day….after all it’s May?’ True dat. Truth is I am having way too much fun actually enjoying the sights and sounds to stop and comment. Perhaps if it was raining non-stop it would be easier, but to my way of thinking even a rainy day at Indy in May is better than a sunny day anywhere else.

May is a time when it’s best simply not to care about the politics, the leadership, or anything else. Just the Indianapolis 500 and those who compete actually matter. For those who fancy themselves racing fans that have never been it is worth the time. You will always be greeted with open arms. For those of you that venture back every year, it’s good to see you again. If the two most recent 500s are any indication we will be in for a whale of a show again this year.

There are plenty of stories to follow as we head into qualifying weekend, and hopefully the weather holds up on Memorial Day weekend. Want to know where to find me for the rest of the month? Somewhere near 16th & Georgetown is the best guess.

May 7, 2013

May in Indy – Let’s Hit The Big Track in Speedway!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:18 pm

Indianapolis 500Now that we are in May it is time for anyone who fancies themselves racing fans to focus on the one event that defines the sport – The Indianapolis 500. A list of items for which I have hope include:

-No rain on any day the track is open. The compressed month of May schedule makes this wish urgent, especially for those of us who need to travel to Speedway for practice days, qualifying and the race.

The Man-That the folks in charge get on the stick with regard to taking a flatbed over to the Home Depot on High School Road to pick up a slew of day laborers to freshen up the grounds or whatever they do at the last second to make it look presentable. Recent visits included dismay toward knee high weeds, lots of rust and a museum parking lot that is literally crumbling. It has not been that long ago that the philosophy of keeping the place pristine was paramount and embraced. This has not been the case since Anton was forced out.

-That the race is as exciting as all of the others in the recent past. If these drivers and cars can create the kind of excitement we saw in the most recent race in Brazil, we do not have a thing to worry about.

-It appears the chicken littles who portend less than 33 about October of each preceding year are incorrect. Again.50 Years

-That IndyCar eventually figures out how to make qualifying less gimmicky.

-That Parnelli Jones drives the pace car on the 50th anniversary of his win. That one is unlikely because there is a movie (Turbo) to promote.

-That D & R figures out a way to keep it going for the rest of the season.

The season thus far has been a pleasant surprise. One glance at the point standings indicates compelling head scratching. And welcome relief. The Foyt team and a driving Andretti in the top 3? Who would have ever believed that was possible?

Now….let’s get cars onto the track!

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: