Friday, February 10, 2023

Is IndyCar Fading to Black?

Or just “A Whiter Shade of Gray” like it’s current TV Audience?


Yeah, probably shouldn’t be so influenced by one single reporter. But I rely Heavily upon and Marshall Pruett for most of my IndyCar News on a Daily basis. Specifically since it’s the website that’s easiest to interface with “Zoey, the Princess Warrior!” My current Zoomtext Fusion 2023 Screen Reader. Since is a Royal Pain in thoust Keister to Navigate! And the Indianapolis Star’s Motorsports coverage is primarily an Afterthought. Yuhs know only during the (6 months) racing season and mired in the other 40-plus Stick ‘N Ball Sports stories, but I digress…


As I also really enjoy now finally being able to simply “Click” upon the Play Button and listen to Marshall Pruett’s weekly Podcasts, for which His MP1349 episode was “Priceless” for several reasons! Most notably the gifts that el Capitano’ and Ye Cheepster’ simultaneously gave Him for His Birthday!


Yet I do feel like I get a pretty good cross section of what IndyCar and Sports Cars Fans are feeling by reading the Racer Mailbag weekly, along with Marshall’s The Week in Indy Cars and Sports Car Podcasts…


And Yes, I know we’re All supposed to be Punch Drunk Happy right now that Indy Cars just tested for two days in the California Desert. But How many people saw it?


Yet I Still cannot put my fingers on why I’ve got such a Bad feeling in my gut over the listless direction the “SS IndyCar” Cruise Ship seems currently headed in. Which I’ll try expounding on below. But it basically seems to fester over the perceived lack of Overall leadership and what Indy Cars future is?


Being a lowly Basement Dwelling blogger. Hey Mom, turn on the lights! And the Heat please, Hya! I can only react to what I’m able to read or listen to via the Interwoods’, aka Internet and Print media, which naturally keeps Shrinking, Sigh! And thus, I do Not have any answers to solve Indy Cars problems…


For Mwah, the first shoe to drop most recently (last Fall) was the inept marketing Blunder of rebranding Indy Lights to Indy NXT! Which still creeps me out knowing that “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” WWE NXT came first!


But even worse was Penske Entertainment’s Slashing of the 2022 Indy Lights Champion’s Advancement Prize Fund by a staggering 60%, for which apparently will Freeze it’s “Next Gen” Lights Champion Linus Lundqvist out of a ride in the IndyCar series!


And then there’s the ongoing Disconnect between Penske Entertainment’s Bud Denker regarding the ridiculous price increase for this year’s Iowa Two Days ConcertFest, Err IndyCar Double Header race…


And then there was the announcement of IndyCar’s VP of Marketing SJ Luedtke leaving the Organization. Although I have to wonder if this has anything to do with the overall lack of Marketing the series received in General, since we naturally do Not ever Hear a Gory thing here in the Pacific Northwest! The overwhelmingly Negative reaction to the NXT Blunder, or All of the Above?


Look, being four Hours South of Portland International Raceway in rural Oregon, I’m Not expecting a whole lot of IndyCar News. But it appears IndyCar doesn’t even try promoting their Drivers even during the races!


And I Hate remembering that IMSA used to run Brilliant Driver Promo “teases” during commercial breaks a Zillion years ago. Which I’m pretty sure was during the Grand Am Days, Yikes!


In true IndyCar fashion, Penske Entertainment’s Number One Puffed Shirt CEO Mark Miles typically trotted out His Quit looking over Thar, we’re Hunky doory Press Speak Blather! Telling Racer’s Marshall Pruett that IndyCar is “significantly” upping it’s Marketing Budget this year, but wouldn’t give any figures. Along with laying out His Hopes for who’ll they’ll Hire to fill the VP of Marketing position. Seriously Dude? You’re the Employer! But Miles makes it sound like they’re Hopeful the can actually Attract the right candidate…


As this is classic Miles Speak. Since I know I’ve Belabored How many years in-a-row here on No Fenders? Miles Pontificating how Indy Cars TV Ratings that were perpetually in the Gutter, were Ahem, going Up! Which Thar were only two solutions, i.e.; completely Tank or Uh Duh, increase…


Whilst I’ll try giving the vaunted 100 Days to Indy Docuseries a “Pass” until it appears this Spring. Although for Mwah, it wasn’t a Good First look when finding out my Spectrum Cable TV service Doesn’t appear to even offer The CW Channel! Although I did find Vice Pacific, which Hopefully is the Vice TV channel IndyCar claims will Air Rebroadcasts…


And I understand it’s Not for Mwah, since I’m definitely in the largest IndyCar TV Viewer Demographic! But what sticks in my Craw most, is that this total lack of Young TV Viewers is at least partially related to The Split! Since IndyCar racing was Divided for twelve Gory years, which totally Decimated it’s attractiveness to New Fans. Not to mention IndyCar sticking to it’s same ‘Ol Business model for the last 20+ years, or is that 30?


I mean what happened the last time IndyCar tried installing a CEO with “forward” looking vision? Can Y’all say Randy “the Candyman” Bernard? As I have to wonder, which is thriving more right now, the PBR or IndyCar? And Nah, that Ain’t Pabst Blue ribbon Yuck-Yuck-Yuck!


And whilst I totally 100% agree on Marshall’s current assessment that the Owners and Top Executives of IndyCar Have a Zero tolerant policy for saying Anything Bad, Negative or Adverse to the state of Indy Cars.


I’d have to say I’ve felt this has been the standard Boiler plate Culture since I Dunno? The Tony George Dazes? And most definitely since Miles was installed as Randy Bernard’s replacement as CEO of Hulman & Company Wayback’ in December, 2012!


All of which is Arse-sumedly why I try steering well clear of the series House Organ’s Official website for any real News!


Yeah, I know that El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske’s a brilliant Businessman, ergo why He’s a Billionaire and Oh Never Mind! But I have to say that currently IndyCar feels like it’s being run by a Hedge Fund organization who’s awaiting turning it over for a profit! Even though I’m fairly certain that won’t happen upon Roger’s watch. But the ever present Slashing of anything Monetary that affects the bottom line vs. reinvesting into the Sport just has a bad feel to it! Not to mention the lack of Any true future Business plan.


And that’s before even getting to the Monstros Mistake of having let the iRacing league license lapse! Err giving it away to a Gaming Console Company’s Exclusive Rights to a Business that has a less than exemplary track record!


Since I’m Not a Gamer, initially I Didn’t understand the scope of this Massive Shooting Themselves in Thar Feet Blunder by the IndyCar Hierarchy! But talk about turning off a vital path to the so Fawned over Younger Demographic, who are rightly Royally Pissed Off at IndyCar! As how many of this Global Youth segment will IndyCar have now permanently Squandered?