The 2014 Indianapolis 500 has piqued the interest of a wider variety of potential fans, and since that is what they are after that is a good thing. On track the micromanaged assembly of 33 chosen starters is coming into sharper focus. It was officially announced today that NASCAR journeyman Kurt Busch will drive the fifth Andretti Autosport machine and attempt ‘the double’ for Charlotte as well. My biggest hope for race day: No rain. Given the ferocity of what is hopefully a dwindling winter rain is a concern not only for race day but the remainder of the highly compressed half-month of May.
Multiple factions are represented this year by notable one-offs, and Busch joins long-absent Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Montoya in the field. Interesting for sure, and hopefully all have what it takes to compete.
The effort by IMS to further monetize almost every aspect of the activities during the month is also taking shape. My tenure as a fan dates back to the late 1950s. As someone who has crossed a couple of generation gaps I have no idea who ‘Hardwell’ is and before he was announced I always associated the term with ingestion of Cialis. Evidently he is a hotshot DJ who mixes techno-pop ‘music.’ I do not understand that either, and frankly it makes my ears hurt in a nails-on-chalkboard way. The important thing is not that I like or dislike that particular entertainment option. I won’t be anywhere near it. A generation to which IMS is trying to connect is enamored of the performer and the sound, and thousands of them are expected to pay a sizeable chunk of change to gather in the recently commercialized snake pit. That is a GOOD thing.
The half-month should be great for fans of all ages. Tradition remains important, and one big hope of many of us is that IMS will not lean too much toward Barnum & Bailey for qualifying. We shall see. Whatever they come up with will not work if it rains, and that needs optimism as well.