IndyCar finale rapid reaction ..
Congrats to Will Power on the championship. I was glad to see Will win because losing it again in the finale may have made him a threat to hurt himself and others. I like Will because he has a unique personality and a bit of “screw it, I’m going for the win!” streak in him. Both are refreshing.
Tony Kanaan won and kissed his wife’s abdomen, which many took as a sign that she’s preggers. If so, hat tip to Tony for coming up with a unique way to announce it to the world. Tony said when you drive the #10 for Chippy Ganassi, pressure to win is always riding shotgun. So Tony won the finale and relieved a bit of the pressure. Still, all in all, not a great year for the Chipster.
Ed Carpenter came back from a pit speeding penalty early to finish P3. Would have been interesting to see how he did sans penalty, but speeding is a driver error, so if Ed is raging, he's raging at himself. Ed Carpenter Racing represented itself well this year. It will merge with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing next year. Will be interesting to see what’s what with that team. I assume Fuzzy's Vodka will stay with Ed. Haven't heard otherwise. Also haven't heard that confirmed.
Another of what’s becoming the standard IndyCar oval race. Aka, a Festival of Tire Management with dramatic drop off in speeds (like, 10 mph) from fresh tires to old tires. Lots of coming and going in the pack. Brief moments of two-wide as cars pass each other, but single file most of the time. The preceding was a description, not a complaint. There is passing as the teams who hit the setup to create the most speed for the least tire wear moved to the front. The days of IndyCar's going two-wide, three rows deep for 15 laps are long long gone. IndyCar on big ovals aside from Indy these days greatly resembles NASCAR on big ovals. Today’s NASCAR race at Atlanta will likely be similar to last night’s IndyCar race at Fontana … strung out, but with cars advancing through the string, taking multiple laps to figure out a way around a slower car. Is what it is.
Indy and Iowa were the two best ovals on the schedule this year. They have the aero right at Indy and the configuration of Iowa just seems to fit IndyCars. Iowa also benefited from a late yellow that ramped up the drama considerably.
The schedule is ridiculous. Starting your Big Championship Finale at 10 p.m. Eastern? Sorry, that's horrid planning. Before you get bunched, I KNOW they had to start it that late because any earlier and the drivers are driving into sun glare on a part of the track. Obviously, safety first. I get that. But what I don’t get is, knowing the fact that there’s glare late in the afternoon, why have the finale race on this day at this track? Why schedule it in late August when you have to choose between racing when it’s surface-of-the-sun hot earlier in the afternoon or at 10:20 p.m. Eastern?
It’s like IndyCar is daring tracks to ditch them. Schedule 2014 Houston during a time of year when even cactus plants are saying “shit, it’s effing hot out here.” Nobody shows, race goes away for 2015. The good news is MAV TV signed up to sponsor the race at Fontana for two more years. That, all by itself, probably means the race will continue. WHEN the Fontana race will be held is the question.
But -- wait a second -- let's let the coffee kick in here and ponder .. the TV audience that IndyCar attracts (outside of the Indy 500, of course) is pretty hard-core, so maybe the TV and in-person audience from last night’s race wouldn't have been THAT different if they held the race earlier in the day but in September or October. Maybe Mark Miles did the math and said, "Screw it; we're not going to elongate our schedule just to gain 25,000 fans on TV." It's something to consider.In business you have to know what potential customers you DON'T want because they aren't profitable, so you don't want to waste energy and resources chasing them when you could be using that energy and resources to go after the bigger fish. Plus the late start East Coast was prime time in the Los Angeles market, which is reasonably huge. Maybe Mark Miles is a math GENIUS. I am not being sarcastic at all here.
A bigger threat to IndyCar these days than lack of TV audience is lack of tracks who want to host races. With MAV TV signed back up, that's a good sign for keeping Fontana, at least. I’d love to pump some truth serum into the Fontana track management and hear what they really thought about yesterday’s event.
Did IndyCar do anything special for fans at Fontana in light of the Championship Event? Concert? Human cannonballs? Plus it up in any way at the track? I know, silly question. Fontana is not located in Indiana. I withdraw the question. (Still, if you were there, let me know if they did something. I'm honestly interested.)
No use getting bunched about it. Seems weird to me, but I’m not raking down the big cash to make these decisions. It will be highly fascinating to see when and where IndyCar races in 2015 when the official schedule comes out. We’re not sure when that will be, but it has to be sometime before 2015, right? We shall see.