Friday, July 27, 2012

Day Two: The Silent Tears Of IRP

Update: Leaving this up as the lead story on Friday, got some great comments and feedback. There seems to be a lot of emotion about IRP and also about what NASCAR is currently doing at the Brickyard.

Built in 1960 on farmland seven miles down the road from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the motorsports complex known to veteran fans as Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) is legendary. The facility contains a drag strip, a road course and a flat oval track with the famous length of .686 of a mile.

On Labor Day weekend, the NHRA holds a celebration of speed known as "The Big Go." Just before the IndyCars race at the Brickyard, the USAC midgets stage "The Night Before The 500" race. When NASCAR comes to town in late July, the Kroger Speedfest gets underway with three nights of racing.

Designed as a companion event to the Brickyard 400, Speedfest became a mandatory destination for fans. Three classes of USAC and the ARCA series raced on Thursday. The Camping World Trucks raced on Friday and the Nationwide Series was the star of the show racing on Saturday night. It truly was short-track heaven.

The grandstands were full, the drivers loved it and watching the trucks and Nationwide Series battle it out at the bull-ring made for great TV. It was the perfect lead-in to the Brickyard 400 and the spectacle of the Sprint Cup Series teams racing on a track made famous by the IndyCars.

One year ago, ESPN.com's open-wheel reporter John Oreovicz reported news of a change in plans. Click here to read his story. In order to deal with sluggish ticket sales at the Brickyard, NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) were expanding the racing being offered on that weekend.

Two of NASCAR's in-house properties, the Rolex Grand-Am and Nationwide Series, would start racing on the Brickyard 400 weekend at the big track. In order to make sure the fans focused on IMS, NASCAR also cancelled the Camping World Truck Series race that weekend. Just like that, it was over for IRP.

"It was a complete shock and obviously we're pretty disappointed by it," IRP general manager Wes Collier told Oreovicz. "This was pretty much NASCAR's decision and there wasn't a thing we could do about it. We were willing to do whatever it took to keep the event here. But it was a business decision between NASCAR and IMS that left us on the outside looking in."

The new pitch for the Brickyard 400 weekend is three races for fans to see. The Grand-Am cars race on the infield road course Friday, the Nationwide Series on Saturday and the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday. What is left of Speedfest at IRP is the ARCA series and three classes of USAC open-wheelers.

The current title sponsor at IRP is Lucas Oil. Company founder Forrest Lucas is not happy about the change. "They're going to give up a really good race where the fans love the racing," Lucas told CompetitionPlus.com. "It's good television and the fans can watch it. There are some races that are better to watch on a short track. They might make that weekend bigger to have all three classes there, but I can't see 'em having any fans."

"I hate to see it move," ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett told Oreovicz. "Races like that one that are separate from Cup races helped give the series its own identity and I think they need more of those." There are currently seven Sprint Cup Series drivers who will cross-over and race on Saturday at the Brickyard.

NASCAR's goal is to elevate the relocated Nationwide Series race to high-profile status. The race gets ESPN exposure on Saturday with the network using all the special TV equipment brought in for the Sunday event. It's also important for ESPN to pull-out all the stops for another reason.

During the Nationwide Series pre-race show, ABC journalist Katie Couric will interview Danica Patrick in a pre-produced feature as the centerpiece of the program. The ability to promote a media star like Patrick on a big stage is what ESPN does best. The ultimate script for NASCAR, IMS and ESPN would be for Patrick to finally get her Indy win in the inaugural Nationwide Series race at the Brickyard.

Meanwhile, over at the small track the beat goes on. The loss of the two NASCAR races will not sink the facility. In fact, Lucas Oil is staying on as title sponsor and there will be over one hundred events on the calendar this year alone.

Change is certainly a constant in life, but after 30 years of NASCAR racing with more than 15 in support of the Brickyard 400, the silent tears of IRP are easy to understand.

We invite your opinion on this topic. Comments may be moderated prior to posting.

63 comments:

Colorado said...

The downward spiral of NASCAR continues. Follow the leader parade laps will be the norm. You had mentioned 7 Cup drivers will be in the Nationwide race. My prediction is that the top ten at the checkered flag will be 7 Cup drivers, plus 3 Nationwide regulars. NASCAR needs to not race at Indy at all. No Cup, no NNS, and No trucks. I don't care how "sacred" the ground is. It's a priviledge to go to the moon, but we don't race there, do we? Brian has flipped his lid. Oh, wait, I had already said that. And he knows that.

Bobby said...

The Truck teams want a race at Lucas Oil (where the drag strip is the big money maker - ESPN has coverage of the US Nationals in September) and continue the "Night Before" tradition at LOR -- the NHRA should seriously consider that.

Anonymous said...

The new president (or ceo) of INDY says "We hope a lot of people come out and can enjoy some good racing."
Apparently he's never seen the racing at INDY with stock cars.

AveryNH said...

This was the only true nationwide track left on the schedule. Always exiting racing there. From the ol white glove move sprague pulled on hornaday, to leffler winning toyota their first nationwide race. Always memorable. Even last years race was nuts. Algier having his car catch on fire while running in the top five. I expect the crowd at Indy to be dismal for the Saturday race. This is a huge mistake. In my opinion the John Wes Townleys of the world don't belong on a track that is one of the worlds finest. It just cheapens the name. After last weeks race in Chicago and seeing that bad crowd I got to thinking why don't the nationwide guys return to their own short track and return to the roots. Unfortunately NASCAR would rather disagree and count their green.

GinaV24 said...

As always, NASCAR can find a way to screw up a good thing. The races at IRP were always fun to watch with lots of action. Now we can be bored 3X at the Brickyard in one weekend.

I'm glad to hear that IRP will still continue with good racing even though NASCAR and Indy made a stupid decision. I realize its all about the benjamins, but once in a while, someone needs to take a minute and THINK about what is the right decision, not just the one about the money.

The Loose Wheel said...

This is quite simply put: A CRIME!!! IRP, ORP, LOR, whatever you want to call it put on one of the best shows in the entire Nationwide season. As with the trucks. That track is phenomenal and we almost always got solid TV out of it.

Hopefully someone in NASCAR will remove their heads from whatever hole they are in and at least give LOR a race date in 2013 even if it is not Brickyard weekend.


Wasn't that the original plan anyways?

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all the above

Anonymous said...

I understand the NASCAR dilemma. There isn't enough money, there aren't enough sponsors. They are trying to appeal to more people. Here's the problem: this is not about NASCAR failing to entertain. This is a problem of an industry that continues to require more and more spending in an economy that has collapsed. Teams are spending millions to be competitive in the new cars. Engineering, testing and building elaborate facilities to have more in-house advantages. Businesses who sponsor and fans don't have the resources to support a growing business. At the height of the NASCAR boom hotels, venues and other racing dependent businesses began gouging customers and became dependent on the extra income. As the economy continued declining prices remained exorbitant. Hence, the loss of attendance. Brian. And NASCAR do not have their finger on the pulse of the one thing that keeps it running- the fans. If anyone at NASCAR thinks I'm shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars in this economy, to attend a race I can watch on tv, they are sorely mistaken. If NASCAR's need to feed the beast it has become continues to eat up short , smaller tracks like these those of us who love racing will continue to retreat from big, intimidating business and go back to our grassroots days.

Anonymous said...

Baby boy France, you'll never learn will you? Dumb decision after dumb decision, this guy is hell bent on running the sport into the ground. If no one will show for the Cup cars on Sunday, how do they expect a crowd for Saturday? IRP was a cool race that I always made sure I watched. Go away Brian.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, the best race this weekend will come from the ARCA series.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Shame ...shame ...shame ...typical 'management decision' that ignores the business that pays their salaries ...fond memories of hearing a race call through the static of a 5,000-watt AM signal 60 miles away ...and a great ESPN telecast with Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie wise-cracking, but feeding solid info along the way ...don't remember PXP, but surely remember the boothmates ...great track for TV ...always entertaining racing action ...sorry to see it cast aside, a la North Wilkesboro and Darlington (at one time) ...sadly, to be expected from current NASCAR leadership
Walter

Buschseries61 said...

IRP races were always very fun to watch. Shame NASCAR messed it up.

Anonymous said...

I've done the Brickyard 400. It is easily the most boring race I've ever attended. And I've gone to 4 races in Phoenix. Also a snoozer though thankfully a short one. The Nationwide cars will be a worse race than the big one. I'm guessing ticket buyers were forced to buy a package so maybe the track and NASCAR make some additional money. But what of the fans? They seem largely forgotten here.

Flash3917 said...

I understand the hype and prestige of the brickyard, and I understand why NASCAR wants to race there.

Since there is a lot of hype to this race I imagine it has brought a lot of new fans to the sport over the years. I imagine that's why NASCAR wants to be at the brickyard.

The flip side is, the race sucks, it's not a stock car track. If a new fan tunes in and sees the boring parade that is stock car racing at the brickyard will they return? Will they give Bristol/Martinsville/Atlanta/Darlington any of the tracks actually worth watching a try or will they dismiss it as "cars going around in circles"?

MRM4 said...

This is a perfect example of NASCAR not fixing a problem with bad racing at IMS and instead taking away good racing at IRP so fans won't know they're seeing bad racing at IMS. I predict the crowd for the NNS will make the track look like a ghost town as big as that place is.

I sure do miss all those NNS races at Pikes Peak, Myrtle Beach, South Boston, and other unique venues. Instead, NASCAR has turned the Nationwide series into Cup Lite.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason fans quit going to Ontario to see NASCAR races (it was a clone of Indy)....I think IMS is finding out the same reason (hard to put on a good show on that track with these cars).

Tim S. said...

The only upside to all of this is that without the Friday/Saturday IRP double-header, I'll have much more time to get things done at home. I couldn't care less about Nationwide at Indy and I'll bet lots of the fans feel the same way.

Tracy D said...

We went to Indy once. Left early, found it was boring from the stands. IRP though? Wow, some of the best Nationwide racing around. Fun track. Fun crowd. We would have gone back just for the NW at IRP.

Such a shame IRP lost the trucks and NW rsces.

Anonymous said...

Used to hang out at IRP before Nascar even came to Indy - fun place to be. Particularly for Fall Nationals. Nationwide racing there just made it even better. Bad, bad decision on the part of IMS and Nascar!

Colorado said...

I had to laugh at Brian's commentary from London. The press release was a joke to. He says there are things to improve the racing product, 'Even though there are fans that think there is nothing wrong with the racing right now." WTF? Who is the Master Distiller at the Kool Aid Factory? I actually thought I was dreaming when I read that.I guess IRP drank from the same barrel. My hope is that this NNS deal is a "one and done" at the big track. My other hope is that Cup quits hgoing there altogether as well.

Nature Boy said...

Personally, I wish the Cup series would race at IRP instead of IMS. It's nothing against IMS but that track wasn't built for stock cars. I always enjoyed watching the trucks and Nationwide cars racing at IRP. It's a great track. It's going to look embarrassing with practically an empty grandstand for Saturday's race.

Dot said...

I agree with Nature Boy, nascar should've moved the Cup race to IRP. Now we get to see two boring races instead of one this weekend. If the stands look empty at the regular tracks, just wait until Sat & Sun. It will be a challenge for the cameras not to show the empty seats. Oh boy, more in car shots, BSPN's forte.

Anonymous said...

Give me the bullring with few, if any Cup drivers over an aero-push 250 with Cup drivers any day.

Shame NASCAR took the $$ yet again.

Anonymous said...

my favorite races to watch were South Boston, Myrtle Beach, Nashville Fairgrounds and IRP that was pure good hard racing. Brian France keeps making excuses why people don't go to the races anymore here's an idea quit trying to fix what isn't broken.

Anonymous said...

IRP was great. Nascar should not even race at the Brickyard. The track sucks. Give that cup race back to Rockingham.

Dennis said...

Brian continues to try and maximize revenues rather than make cars that can pass and put them on tracks that make for exciting races. TV contracts are up for negotiation. Yet, Brian won't set a reduced commercial limit and let the networks bid accordingly.

It's all about trying to maximize revenues rather than making sure the product (racing) is good. You make the racing good and the track attendance and TV viewership will take car of itself.

Anonymous said...

The 2008 race isn't the only reason the Brickyard has lost it's luster - NASCAR has populated the Midwest with 3 more Cup tracks since 1994 (Kansas, Chicago, and now Kentucky--albeit by force), and they've set up a schedule that would make it expected that none of them would be filled to capacity, after wringing the dollars out of the region's fans who might wish to attend--between ticket price "creep" where my Brickyard NW Vista tickets started at $45 in 94 and are now $85, and the reality that the fan base needs time to recover before the next weekend or even the next month to go to another expensive event in the same region.

Take a look at the prize money awarded year-by-year for the Brickyard, and correlate that with ticket prices--does it make ANY sense, if the show hasn't also improved, to charge more for tickets, just because they can? If IMS is serious about offering an attractive deal for the fans, it starts with lowering the ticket price structure across the board. Fat chance....

IMS can offer a good deal, but not with a Super Weekend, and not with the ticket prices jacked up as they are...even though they're still lower than tickets for many other tracks hosting Cup events.

Dumping IRP is tragic, really--the people who thought that was a good move don't understand racing. As the saying goes, by the 3rd generation, a family business is generally destined to fail.

KoHoSo said...

In a sense I can understand the side of NASCAR and ESPN. After all, there's nothing wrong with wanting to grow and expand even though it's painful to see some great traditions and memories left behind.

However, the manner in which entities grow and expand should be done on a case-by-case basis. In addition, bigger is not always better. This is certainly true of IMS as it has been proven year after year it does not lend itself to exciting stock car racing. This is also certainly true of the NNS series as most fans I speak with see it as nothing but "Cup Lite" with no interest beyond those that want to see how Danica does (if they like her which many don't)...and when the bloom ultimately falls off that rose, what will be left, another X Games star to poach?

This is nothing but another example of how far Brian "Flounder" France is out of touch with what it really takes to bring back the old fans and attract new ones. It is also another example of how Disney/ESPN is not a "partner" making sure their relationships are mutually beneficial over the long haul but, instead, an entity that is only looking for what it can get out of something under its current contract and to h-e-double-hockey-sticks what happens down the road.

Thank goodness Lucas Oil and the local fanbase are standing by IRP. If only the same could be said for a lot of other short tracks.

Anonymous said...

As charming as IRP/LOR is, maybe the answer is a makeover--one that would create a track equivalent to Iowa or Richmond, and then the choice could be made to move everything to the "new" IRP, or there could be 2 visits a year, but only once to each, or even on a year-by-year rotation. IMS did fine before NASCAR came along, and now they can't do without it annually?

Forrest Lucas, here's your opportunity!!!

glenc1 said...

I can understand moving the NW race. If it doesn't improve attendance, they could move it back. Sometimes the NW cars are a bit 'racier' than Cup, so maybe it'll be better than the Cup race (we can always hope...). But why not have a truck race there regardless? It was always good racing. Another one I miss was Evergreen, though it was probably expensive to travel there.

sbaker17 said...

Even if they put 60,000 butts in the seats at IMS, the place will look empty.
Just think what it will look like with only 30,000 fans in attendance. My guess is that the camera angles will be adjusted accordingly.
The best race at IMS this weekend will most likely be the Rolex.

glenc1 said...

which is why I'm leaving work early tomorrow, sb17.
:)

Dannyboy said...

Anybody who remembers the old ESPN THURSDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT THUNDER broadcasts of USAC Midgets from IRP will bemoan these changes. I sure do. Some of the best racing (and best TV coverage) I've ever seen showcased that series. Yes, ESPN! The "CageCam" was so popular that the sponsor (Kragen?) sold t-shirts advertising it.

Since the midgets were pushed aside I grew to enjoy the Trucks and NNS on this fabulous track. I love stock cars on short tracks and dearly miss Cajon Speedway here in SD, CA. NASCAR needs more, not less. :-(

Ronnie said...

NASCAR can make it on TV money alone. I don't know what NASCAR thinks will happen if the ticket buyers and the tracks do comply with their wishes. My best guess is that the house of cards that Brian is so carefully erecting will collapse. If the guy continues down this road and a collapse occurs, well, it couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.

Ronnie said...

Sorry it should read:
...tracks do NOT comply...

Ronnie

Ian Schrader said...

Look folks, I enjoyed the TV coverage from IRP as much as anyone. However I never attended a race there and I'm only 2 hours away. From what I saw on TV the past few years there were a lot of empty seats. This reminds me of the situation at Rockingham. The writing was on the wall that NASCAR would pull races from tracks when they could get better attendance/exposure somewhere else. Iowa has no problem getting a crowd. Richmond,Bristol are always well attended. I'm sure if the NNS went to Martinsville on a companion weekend they would have a good crowd. 15-20K at IRP was not going to keep a race there. Even if they have the same crowd at IMS, the exposure is much higher to the general sports fan who may not even know IRP exists.
All that said I do think the Trucks should have picked up the Saturday night slot. The Trucks also put on a wonderful show at IRP.
Like the Rock, if all who are missing the races at IRP this weekend would have bought a ticket and shown up for the past few years, NASCAR would have been forced to keep the date there, or at least move it around on the schedule.

JT said...

If the NNS race on Saturday has anything like the embarrassingly small crowd that last Sunday's Chicago NNS race did, and if Danica does not win, then I think this will be a one-and-done failed experiment. This is much like BZF's insistence on the unsuccessful 2nd date at California Speedway.

Derek said...

The best racing, by far, is USAC sprints whether on dirt or asphalt. Continue to support the tracks USAC races on.

They'll make you fall in love with racing all over again.

Colorado said...

Ian Shrader: I have to add my two cents. When they yanked the Southern 500 from Darlington in September, and the real threat was there to pull out altogether, the attendance was still there. They blamed poor attendance at Rockingham as the reason, yet they failed to understand how the Earth rotates in early February, creating rain and snow in North Carolina. Darlington is consistently one of the few tracks with strong attendance. Rockinham had a good truck race, and I believe that at leats NNS will return there in the next two years. The people would have bought tix if it wasn;t so darn cold at The Rock. Not completely disagreeing with you, as you make some valid points, but It is becoming eveident that Brian has lost all control of reality, and now the Frankenstein he has created has broke free, and is now on the loose. Much like the story, I can only hope that the monster turns on it's creator...Hell, even the talking heads at Speed and ESPN have openly criticized the move, and have even (gasp) suggested that NASCAR should pull out of the Big track altogether.That fact alone has me wondering how long before Marty Smith, Steve Byrnes, et al get their credentials pulled...

Colorado said...

My spell check in my typing is off,sorry folks...

Anonymous said...

How about adding the International Supermodified Association (ISMA) to the weekend? In my mind, there is no faster or more exciting form of short track racing in the country.

Anonymous said...

"Anybody who remembers the old ESPN THURSDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT THUNDER broadcasts of USAC Midgets from IRP will bemoan these changes"

Yup.

Yesterday there were comments about the potential of a new/changed speed and maybe showing old races. I'd love to see classic USAC Midgets.

I predict the best IMS race of the weekend will be the Friday Grand Am race. It will also be the least attended. It is also the only one I will be sure to watch.

Anonymous said...

I must be missing something. What's racing got to do with it? Everything is gooood! MC

sbaker17 said...

glenc1:
You have a great time!

MortonGroveDon said...

Brian the Idiot strikes again....all this moron does is like Curley with the drill in the boat.He keeps drilling holes in it to let the water out. I sat at the slotcar race he put on at Chicagoland last weekend. They try to find ways to make the NNS better, maybe reverse every move theyve done to it in the last 10 years. No one is gonna watch this mess. At least put the Trucks back there....

rowdygirl1851 said...

Silent tears is the perfect phrase, JD...

Many a year I have traveled to Indy JUST for the IRP races. (I live 5.5 hours away.) I couldn't go last year due to a major car repair bill and boy, did that about kill me... Ive been to the Brickyard Cup race once (2010) and I have no plans to return in the foreseeable future. Absolutely will not go to an NNS race there in protest of that move.

IRP had awesome racing and this butt was rarely planted in its seat due to all the great action on the track. I can only hope they will quickly see the error of this move and put the truck and NNS races back where they belong at IRP.

Anonymous said...

When I first started going to the races in Indy with my late Wife, we would do both the IRP races, and do the Brickyard 400. After a while, we realized you only to Brickyard 400 just to say you had done it, but then went to IRP to see the racing. After about 10 years of Camping out at the hell that is the Coke Lot at IMS, and shuffling between the 2 tracks, we decided just to attend the IRP races, and camped out at a campground across the street from the Drag Strip. Best decision we every made. Great place to camp. Easy to get to the track, and the best time we had in Indy for years. You go to the Brickyard for the Event. You go to IRP for the racing. :)

William Sisco said...

You know, I feel same way about Nazareth. NWS and Trucks took it off the calendar and the track closed for good. Oh, it is still there, they removed some grandstands over to Pocono but track remains.
The great tracks have been replaced by the mid-western 1.5 mile cookie cutter's that put on the most boring races (along with the Brickyard). The elimination of Indy raceway continues this trend

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone say Indy was not built for stock cars ? It was not built to be a race track but a facility to test cars that were made by the automotive factories of Indiana. Auburn, Duesenberg, Cord and others were the makers of street cars not race cars that were to be tested there.

Derek said...

I am boycotting the Snozeyard 400 this year. NASCAR has screwed up yet again by placing a great track with another boring 180 mph parade. I think Brian France wants to destroy NASCAR. It is not the same sport that I fell in love with. Maybe one day NASCAR will wake up and realize they don't need the 1.5 mile races and add variety to the schedule. Also they might have the NWS back to the short tracks and IRP.

Ir42nate2bhere said...

We all love to yell about NASCAR, and we all remember fondly the "good old days", and I was at IRP in'94 and loved the place,but as they say, don't let facts interfere with a good story. 2010 NNS-KyBu led 144 out of 200, crowd 40,000. 2011NNS Stenhouse led 189 of 200,5 changes among 4 drivers, crowd 36,000, a 10% drop.(Thx Jayski for stats) So i think at least a try at IMS cannot be worse from a racing standpoint. And from a business view, if I am a sponsor, or potential, I am more impressed with IMS on my schedule than IRP, IMS has a racing grab few others can match. For "NASCAR" the business,i doubt they really gain or lose financially being here in NNS. So let's give it a fair try and see what happens.

Colorado said...

Jayski article about NASCAR considering scrapping the Top 35 rule. To quote a line from MAD Max Beyond Thunderdome: "The dice are rollin!" For every dimwit move done by Brian in regards to junking races at great short tracks like IRP, someone in his ranks starts to think the right way. Although it did come from Ryan "The Fans are needy" Pemberton. On a lighter note, I'm glad NASCAR has a bye week this weekend, with no racing at all. I'm going to stain the fence, clean my house and watch some baseball.

Anonymous said...

"Why does everyone say Indy was not built for stock cars ? It was not built to be a race track but a facility to test cars that were made by the automotive factories of Indiana. Auburn, Duesenberg, Cord and others were the makers of street cars not race cars that were to be tested there.

July 26, 2012 10:46 PM"


Since when has NASCAR been "Stock"?

The SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge and Grand Am have "Stock"er cars than NASCAR has had in the last 40 years.

Vicky D said...

Back in the "good ole days" of Busch racing at IRP, it was always great racing. I guess Nascar thinks that if the cup drivers show up for the NW race, it'll bring fans into the stands but throughout this year, it hasn't been the case!

Anonymous said...

I had a quite a rant i was going to post,but then i decided it would be better just to make a few simple points.Nascar's insistence on having as few short tracks on the schedule as possible is sickening.But with Mr. Haney in charge that's what you get.Here's a few(Sprint Cup Series)ideas for the schedule.First off(they will never go for it of course),how about a race at Iowa?And how about going back to 2 races at Atlanta?I know it's a 1.5 miler but in my opinion it's the most underrated track(and undervalued)on the circuit.Not only 2 dates,but once again have a chase date?Anyone with me?And finally,what real Nascar fan doesn't want to see the return of the REAL Southern 500?And those are just a few ideas,I(and everyone else)have plenty more.I have a dream that Mike Helton will come during a presser and knock BZF out and assume the position.Hey,he's not perfect,but at least with him it would be "genu-wine".

Coffeeshop42

Ancient Racer said...

There are great comments here, but here's the deal:

This year I shall watch the Olympics and if next year if I still care I shall deal with it.

JudgeSmails43 said...

Indy is an awful place to watch a race in person. Never went to IRP, but I did go to the first NASCAR race at Indy in '94. There is no way to see all the way around the track unless you're in the blimp. That may be fine for some folks, but I don't care for that. I would certainly never go back again unless I had hot passes and just watch from a pit. I love doing that, getting the feel of being involved. You can't see the track then, even at Martinsville, so it wouldn't matter. Just watch the TV on the backs of war wagons with the crews, it's awesome.

None of the other stuff matters I don't guess. They are trying to run off guys like me that have been buying their tickets for 40 years, and after reading the stuff on here for a while, even the race coverage on TV is annoying. Guess I had never thought much about it, but once somebody brings it to your attention, it stands out. Guess I'll just watch until I'm not interested anymore, or they screw with Martinsville, whichever comes first.

Steve L. said...

I remember when they were thinking of moving the Cup cars to Indy and I hated the idea then and still hate it now. In the years since the Cup Series has been going to Indy, very few stand out as good races from that place. Shoot, I can't remember too many Indy car races that were great.

When I was a kid growing up in the 60's, we would sit around the radio and listen to exciting races from Indy. Radio and TV are two different animals. Same with NASCAR. If you listen to a race on the radio, you hear excitement! A picture is painted in your mind how the race is interpreted by the announcers. Watch the same race on TV and it's boring from start to the last 20 or so laps when the drivers decide it's safe enough to take a chance on winning the race.

I know IRP is just on hold for now and I figure they will be back there someday racing on that fabulous track. But what about Nashville, Memphis, and others that have been closed for good. Those tracks were closed for poor attendance. If that's the case, they better close them all except for Ky and a couple others who had fair attendance this year.

Money and greed have replaced history and good racing as far as I see it. What a shame. And the emptier the stands get, the more commercials we get to see on TV during the race to help pay for it all.

fbu1 said...

While the rest of the world is counting down to the Olympics, ESPN and NASCAR.com are counting down to Indy. There will be special interviews, special guests and a full schedule of racing. NASCAR will not allow anything to detract from their attempt to make their weekend at the iconic track a PR success. So sorry IRP, but you are not on the menu for the grand buffet.

My problem is that I see both sides of the issue. Why would Indy want to host a series that doesn't put butts in seats. The track operators need attendance to make money, TV ratings notwithstanding. The track attendance numbers have been declining steadily for whatever reason. Having a NASCAR event as the crown jewel of a track's season is a mixed blessing. The jewel's luster is fading. Of course Indy's jewel is the 500, but even so, splitting attendance with IRP hurts merchandise and food sales. NASCAR can't afford to lose the prestige of an Indy event. Nothing personal IRP, its just business.

While I hate to see great tracks lose events, I understand what NASCAR did. Hopefully, the trucks might expand their schedule with another IRP event.

fbu1

Buschseries61 said...

At least the ARCA drivers are putting on a good show at IRP.

JoeS said...

We went to 2 Brickyards and camped in thhe RV, so no way to get to the race at IRP.....I would have loved to been able to see more track action like the folks staying at the track this weekend will get.....

atd118 said...

Good thing NASCAR decided to move this race to IMS to boost the weekends attendance.. The place was empty. Its a shame they moved this race, they should have left at IRP..

Joseph said...

Running that race at a deserted IMS was embarrassing. Manufacturing the finish didn't help.