What a grand and glorious short track IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway this past weekend! Despite interruption from thundershowers, the threat of weather more severe and a schedule that changed to conform to the bad weather they managed to get all 300 laps in despite a stoppage. When the track was green the racing pleased the fans.
Despite the bad weather they race was very well attended. Iowa is the kind of track that draws a lot of motor homes and various other campers, and those areas were full. The hospitality tent in turn one was also packed, probably from folks avoiding raindrops.
The track was built as a drivers track and remains unique in its configuration. It is almost as bumpy as a typical street circuit. Even the anemic field of barely over twenty cars provided great racing.
It is always better in person but a review of the DVR playback on NBCSN occasionally sounded odd. Imagine Darrell Waltrip calling a Formula 1 race. That is the same kind of feeling I get when the F-1 team and Paul Tracy take the mic. A few examples of things that make me cringe include ‘safety car’ (it is a PACE CAR over here, fellows), ‘shunt’ to describe a wreck (what’s wrong with ‘he hit the wall’ or ‘he hit the fence’ or ‘he had a wreck?’), or the lack of the word ‘the’ when talking about a driver visiting THE hospital. Saying ‘he was in hospital’ is strange. And why is Nigel Mansell’s name brought up so regularly? He was a cart flash in the pan in the early 90s who won a championship but not Indy after a nice run in F-1. What relevance does he have today? He remains, after all, one of those nose-in-the-air types with regard to IndyCar after ’95 so who cares? At least they have eased up on the papal-appointment-to-sainthood of Alex Zanardi, who is most famous (other than the accident) for making an illegal pass. But I digress. Let’s talk about the drivers of today on the broadcasts, many of whom could eventually become legends.
The usual Mark David Chapman-type squatters here will no doubt pull their chicken-little attendance shtick eventually, but as we know their ignorance will not prevent them from portension of doom over what they stupidly consider ‘bad’ attendance because a few ticket holders did not show up after seeing the forecast.
On a similar note Robin Miller offered a column in Racer in which he bemoans the lack of effort on behalf of IndyCar with regard to ovals and the presentation of them (which is embarrassing), something pointed out over and over on this blog. Job one of IndyCar is to ensure a balanced schedule, something that is rapidly shrinking away given the proclivities of those making decisions. Even the often acrimonious relationship that has evolved over time with ISC and SMI should not prevent IndyCar from getting creative. There are plenty of non-ISC/SMI ovals to consider more seriously. The two that might be fascinating are Memphis and Rockingham. Gateway, Nashville and others are simply waiting. IndyCar also needs to be back at Chicagoland and Kentucky. They could even get creative. Chicago in even years and Kentucky in odd years with consistent dates.
Off the soap box and on to the next event in Toronto. After Mid-Ohio the fabulous Milwaukee Mile will be back in a month. See you at the track!