31 December 2009

IndyCar Needs More Ryan Hunter-Reay

With the new year upon us, many people are reviewing 2009 and putting up their best/worst lists of the year. I have but one, coming in the February 2010 issue of Racer Magazine.

From Ryan Hunter-Reay, IZOD poster boy and the oft-rumored fourth car for Andretti Autosport, on his car for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 - a Vision Racing machine with which he struggled mightily to put in the field:
Oh, man, that was a gray time period, trust me. I tell you, until I'm old, I will never forget seeing Milka Duno climbing out of her car and being envious of the speed she put on the clock…and then thinking, 'How has it come to this? I'm looking at Milka and thinking, ‘Wow! You are an awesome driver.
And there you have it, the quote of 2009.  Or maybe the last three years.

With that, I wish you a Happy New Year.

20 December 2009

The Izod IndyCar Series Takes Times Square

Here's the latest Izod IndyCar Series commercial, running in Times Square.  Not too shabby - gets the hip, young image out there.  Though the eye seems a little "Clockwork Orange" for my tastes.

16 December 2009

Trimming the Fat

So the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is cutting down the month of May, opening the track on Saturday, May 15.  While the opening for practice is a week later than we'd come to expect, it is the shortening of qualifications, back to two days (May 22 and 23) that is perhaps the most surprising.

Last year, IMS was finally able to see its 11 cars per day plan work out over four days, as the weather cooperated enough to see the format through.  In all honestly, it was fairly exciting too (except for the cold weather), as Alex Lloyd capitalized on the format to pick up the last of the first 11 spots for Sam Schmidt's team as the gun went off on that Saturday.

Still, the new format will work for both IMS and fans, in my opinion.
From the fans' perspective, attendance had been down during qualifications for a myriad of reasons:

15 December 2009

An IndyCar Christmas List

With the holidays approaching, I figured it would be a good time to take a look at some of the gifts to give the IZOD IndyCar Series fan in your life.  So, without further ado, here are a few items that might bring some smiles around the Christmas Tree (or Menorah).

08 December 2009

Gird Thy Loins

Mentally prepare yourself, IndyCar fans.  And maybe physically prepare yourself, as well (I'd recommend earplugs and possibly one of those nighttime covers for your eyes).  Word on the street (mainly from ESPN) is that Danica Patrick will announce her signing with JR Motorsports (it's a merry band of winners who don't actually win, but are extremely popular, so it works well with Danica) to drive 9-12 ARCA and Nationwide races in 2010.


So while other racing news has been relatively buried by Mickey Mouse Sports, just prepare yourself to hear how this is the greatest thing for motorsports since some forward-thinking, NASCAR-loving caveman (and has much changed there? Ok, that's a cheap shot.) invented the wheel.

03 December 2009

Who Wants to Start a Race Team?

The thought definitely crossed my mind a time or two as a walked through the International Motorsports Industry Show, being held at the Indianapolis Convention Center.  Somewhere between 8-10,000 people will attend the two-day convention, bringing together just about every part of the auto-racing community.

If I had a clean credit history and a checkbook at my disposal, starting a race team would have been relatively easy from there.  Suppliers of everything from rack and pinion steering systems to screen-printed t-shirts made up the 572 booths at the convention.

For $13.75 billion, I hope it helps IndyCar

It's done (in theory).  Comcast has agreed to purchase NBC Universal for the hefty price of $13.75 billion, meaning that Versus now joins NBC Sports and Universal Sports in the Comcast-NBC sports lineup (Golf Channel is also in the sports tier).

We've touched on this subject a few times before, but it is worth repeating: this deal has the potential to boost the IZOD IndyCar Series' popularity and brand recognition.  While it is unlikely that NBC Sports would take to airing every single IZOD IndyCar race, the cross-promotion and marketing opportunities this presents are boundless.

02 December 2009

How Did This Happen?

Kudos to the International Motorsports Industry Show for credentialing bloggers.  How do I know they're doing this?  I have a media credential that I intend to put to full use tomorrow (though pictures cannot be taken on the floor of the show).

In any case, I'll try to file a dispatch or two from the Indianapolis Convention Center tomorrow.