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February 20, 2012

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SmithBrianA

I tend to agree, except with the following caveats:

A) Texas has always produced pretty good IRL-spec racing (and I use that qualifier only because of CART's issues) and open-wheel draws well there. If the safety issues are ironed out, I can see Gossage keeping IndyCars around.

B) If the new car produces decent racing at Fontana, i.e. not the last few years of the old Dallaras racing there, it might survive.

C) Small ovals, other than Iowa, haven't done well, and so you have to wonder how long they'll survive. A return to Richmond would probably help, although losing New Hampshire after a year is a bad sign.

Jeremy

I watched a bit of the NASCAR saturday, and the race I thought was bad. 10 laps green, big wreck, 20 laps yellow, rinse and repeat. The last three laps were cool, but I'm not a fan of wrecks. I keep thinking someone won't walk away.

DonB

I had never watched a NASCAR road race until the Montreal Nationwide last year and I must say, it was much more entertaining and exciting than an IndyCar road race.

Dylan

I disagree, because first and foremost if Indycar becomes some sort of F1 lite road racing series it's first going to have to go through the AMA Pro Racing, ALMS, and Grand Am series. Indycar has more name recognition and is a bigger deal now but I cannot see in the long run a F1 lite series beating out those aforementioned series. That's before DTM USA is thrown in. So it differentiates Indycar from NASCAR, but it puts Indycar directly against series that all produce a better on track product than Indycar's street parades and motorcycle road courses. I think the product problem with Indycar more has to do with the domination by a group of very hard to like drivers (Dario/Dixon/Briscoe). I really think the lack of "star" drivers and personalities is Indycar's #1 problem and probably the biggest thing that hurts it. Also, from an "extreme sports" standpoint, which I believe is critical, Indycar oval racing works really well.

Dylan

One more point. I've watched NASCAR since 2001 and it was the first form of racing I watched. BUT, I prefer Indycar oval racing a to NASCAR oval racing. Especially with the COT the 1.5 mile tracks have become rather processional. I think with the right marketing approach and maybe a few winning American's then some fans would migrate. Maybe only 1/6th of NASCAR fans would, but that would still be a huge influx of fans.

redcar

I think Indycar is still a good show on some ovals. It's not the length of the track, but the banking.

Interesting enough, two of my favorite NASCAR races are the two twisties.

Leigh O'Gorman

As a long time fan (CART, IRL & Indycar), I must admit the 1.5-mile high bank tracks do nothing for me. Just personal taste, but I find them dull.

Would I love to see IndyCar on a series of Super Speedway's and short ovals? Hell yeah, but Indy apart, no one goes to them either.

As I've said before on this blog, maybe not everything is meant to last forever. Could it be that IndyCar - as an ideological series, rather than a purely racing one - is simply irrelevant now?

Mike R

The split caused the decline in Indy-type open wheel racing popularity. As it declined, NASCAR filled the void. Without going into the 'blame-game' stuff, I'm still puzzled about why Milwaukee went down so badly after it had been a longstanding big crowd drawing race. It is the best track in the nation for Indy cars to draw the attention of oval fans simply because of the layout of the track and the type of racing it fosters. The only thing(s) I can attribute its decline to are the split and lack of promotion it had back in the 80s and 90s.
I believe the short ovals can rise back to the same level of popularity that they once had. The 1.5 milers never could produce the car-control type of racing that the short tracks did. They were insanity: superspeedway speeds on less-than-superspeedway length tracks. The 'wow' factor (for me, at least) was always tempered by concern that there would be tragic results at some point.
1.5's are (mostly) the perfect size for NASCAR. Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas, etc, always produce some of the most exciting races in Cup and Nationwide series.
When there was big horsepower in Open Wheel cars, the "wow" of the speed in person, even on road courses, would drop the jaws of the uninitiated and became 'the fix' that long-time fans craved. The reduction in HP that came after the split caused that to diminish a lot. If they'd get that back (yes, I understand... cost controls) they'd eventually get the fans back in the seats.

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