Monday, January 20, 2014

INDYCAR: What Will the Future Hold?

The following "Talking Points" by are NO means all of Indy Cars perceived problems, instead they're just a few ideas I've wanted to touch upon now for awhile in regards to my current feelings towards the future vibrancy of Open Wheel Racing upon this side of the pond...

  • Apparent lack of Series-wide promotion
  • Lack of True Manufacturer Competition
  • Stupidness of "Winter" series
  • Autonomous Driving Cars - what's the point?

There's a repetitive theme Kevin Lee, Trackside with Kevin & Cavin's Band leader repeats monthly, or is it weekly? About how it's time to try new ideas in the pursuit of  fixing television ratings for IndyCar - proclaiming that only the Diehards are watching - with continuous 0.2-0.3 pathetic ratings achieved by NBCSN Broadcasts, which I personally feel are a zillion times better than the pathetic ABC TV portion, albeit I DON'T record the Indy 500 since fortunately I've been there in person "live" the past few years. As let's cut the Bull and realize this is the only race that either of the "Major" television networks are interested in...

Thus I've previously scribbled how I'm adamantly opposed to an IndyCar road race  at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is not to say that I wouldn't welcome this type  of event at IMS, just that  I really think it smacks of desperation as one clever person tweeted last year regarding holding  a road race as the kickoff event to the month; Err Twelve Days 'O May at Mother Speedway, not to be 'Cornfuzed with thy 12 Days 'O Christmas; Hya! As who all Yuhs foolin' by proclaiming that the Indianapolis Grand Prix 2hr "Infomercial" will magically fix all of the TV ratings problems, not to mention "Pump-up" sales for the Indy 500...

And if Y'all have been watching Indy Cars lately, then Yuhs know that last year's On-track action was fantastic for the majority of events, as I can't even recollect what was a bad race per sei. (having missed some of the races) albeit I found Baltimore's Bashathon a bit  too much over the top even though I totally enjoyed its outcome, but hey! After all, if I wanna see wreckin' I could just tune into a 'RASSCAR race, right? But I digress...

Thus as typical IndyCar seems in its perpetual fork in the road state of crossroads, as I know I'm supposed to be being patient for Mark "I've Got a Plan" Miles plans to come to fruition, as that'll become another clever No Fenders poem one day shortly, yet I've been patient for how many decades now, especially having lived thru what NOBODY wants to discuss, that 'lil thingy affectionately known as "the Split!" And thus I'm starting to feel the need to recycle one of 'Ol Ronnie's favourite 'Taglines: "Are Yuhs better off today than Y'all were four years ago?" As although the Indy Racing League had finally conquered its rival Champ Car - I'm still somewhat bemused that I happened to be in Indianapolis the day that 'lil Napoleon, aka 'TG (Tony George) got Fired!

As if we're truly gonna try new ideas to breathe life back into Indy Cars, then perhaps the powers-to-be should think about tapping into new or past markets, as I won't belabor the fact that the Pacific Northwest is still being shunned for its loyalty to the IRL's de facto rivals, i.e.; CART & Champ Car, but isn't it ironic that whilst two of Seattle's top Stick 'N Ball franchises continuously pull in record crowds, with the  Sounders FC having averaged 44,038 per match, setting Major League Soccer's attendance record for the fith year in-a-row, while  I believe the NFC West Division Champion Seahawks have sold out ninety-plus consecutive games averaging 68,000+,

Yet Hulman & Co simply seem solely focused upon propping up their bottom line and only making the Speedway profitable while not worrying about the  rest of the Indy Car Series season partners...

Thus Mr. Miles has condensed the forthcoming season into a ridiculously short span of five months, bizarrely ending upon Labor Day weekend in the heat soaked climes of California, while most Diehards will be Jones-in' for some IndyCar racing in oh I dunno, let's say September and October shall we?

Yet IndyCar will allure those of us pining for true manufacturer competition by finally releasing the long in-the-tooth promised vaunted "Aerokits" which by golly, I'm certain will really spice up duh show, right? Since we'll all be sure to waltz down to our 'Chebbie 'N Honder' dealerships and pick up one of 'Dem swoopy  looking "different" racecars... As let's call a spade a spade here and just quit A-L-L of the nonsense that we'll still be running a spec-series into the inevitable future - since breaking the  qualifying record for the Indy 500 is nothing more than manufactured HYPE! As in DON'T look behind the Curtain, Y'all!

But instead, while everywhere around the world we're swoonin' over 'Dem Honders' and 'Chebbies, we'll have our penchant for more IndyCar racing quenched by having a winter series of Indy Cars, which I mean if it hasn't worked in Surfers Paradise, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Rockingham, Montreal, Rio, Assen TT, Edmonton, the Lausitzring and Mont-Tremblant to name just a few, then by golly we should probably set our sites upon the more popular confines of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, right? As once again I'll belabor the point of why not fix what's broken, i.e.; Australia, Mexico and Canada instead of traipsing off to far away confines which probably won't be around very long if at all?

As I've said before, I think Messer Miles and company should take a very long look at the names of the following DEFUNCT racing series I'll spell out for them. Repeat after me: International Formula Master; 2005-09, A1 GP; 2005-2010, Speedcar Series; 2008-09, GP2 Asia; 2008-11 and Superleague Formula; 2008-11. As ALL of the aforementioned single seater series (except Speedcar which were "identically" prepared Stock Cars) were designed to either "Pump-up" motor racing during the off-season or create motor racing fans in the untapped markets of Asia. And that's without even mentioning how Formula 1 has just pulled out of Korea, as I've not even bothered bringing up the past failures of IndyCar trying to crack this country along with China...

But the real dilemma is the future fan base, as after all what happens when your roving reporter; Err  No Fenders Keyboard Warrior and his generation of Diehard IndyCar fans kick the bucket... Will there be anybody else who cares about this relatively forlorn segment of American motorsports?

After all, having just recently talked to somebody who's ridden in one of Google's "SmartCarz," nee Autonomous Cars, will this be the death knoll of today's forms of motor racing?

I mean if today's "Millennial" Generation doesn't want to learn to drive, due to the overbearing expense of owning & maintaining an automobile, and nobody will know how to turn a steering wheel, "Heel 'N Toe;" Err drive a manual transmission or push a gas pedal or apply the brakes, not to mention craining your neck to check your blind spots then what will be the appeal to attend motor races at all anyways?