The IZOD IndyCar Series may be losing their VP of Marketing, John Lewis, but the announcement of Helio Castroneves' penalty for his actions following the Honda Indy Edmonton was a shrewd marketing strategy.
The news broke just before the 6 p.m. news, getting it into the evening news cycle across IndyCar markets. This morning, it is among the headlines on AOL.com. All this in a week in which the series is coming off of a bye week. Now the IZOD IndyCar Series puts itself back into the headlines, most of which conclude with the tag, "Castroneves and the IndyCar Series resume their schedule at Mid-Ohio on Sunday."
Let's be honest: I'm sure most fans, given the option of seeing an entertaining, post-race reaction (when warranted), and knowing that a driver would be $60,000 lighter in the wallet, would immediately sign up to watch the spectacle unfold. And they did, in droves. From Pardon the Interruption to ESPN.com to SportsCenter, Castroneves' outburst covered the ESPN family of networks. And when the IZOD IndyCar Series can garner attention on the Worldwide Leader, regardless of type (driver fatality excluded), it has to be considered good.
Now, I won't go as so far as to encourage driver arguments and physical altercations with on-track officials following a race, but Castroneves' display of emotion was far more welcome than watching tweets pop up from sparring drivers. And it got more coverage, too.