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October 02, 2011


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I don't think it's the first non-death star win on an oval since 2005. Wheldon won the Indy 500.


good for the yellow team. another great race on a short fast oval.

but another poorly attended event. the death of the oval is fairly depressing--not sure why they're not more popular. But I did notice the crowd at Dover seemed real spotty (for Nascar) too. Maybe it's the economy, maybe it's football or maybe it's the schedule. or maybe there's just no interest in open-wheel anymore.

but good for Ed and Sarah. And I'm still laughing about Brisket.


Have to think the Bengals being at home (even though they barely drew 40,000, if some are to be believed) hurt attendance. I drove through from Louisville on my way to Cincy yesterday and it was a ghost town.

As someone who went to the Cup race at Kentucky, I'd gladly have gone to today's race had tickets been reasonably priced at all. Both tracks I've considered going to (Nashville and Kentucky) have been overpriced, and now both are going to be off the schedule.


Gotta keep up on the news Bill ;-)
Kentucky has been saved for 2012....


Wow. Just wow. I'm still stunned. What a great drive by Ed.

Interesting fact about Ed: he's only 30. It seems like he's been around forever, but he has plenty of racing left in front of him. Man, I hope that team finds a sponsor. Even if it's just for the oval races next year, the series NEEDS stories - the kinds of stories that make fans care, and make them want to drop the $400 I dropped to take my Dad to Loudon. Sarah and Ed are great stories! Please don't let next week be the end of that story!


I can relate to your neighbors wondering who "Ed" was--I mean I had the neighborhood dogs barking! ....small wonder the neighbors didn't call the cops on me for disturbing the peace! It was even more surprising in that when Ed and Dario started that last 15 lap sprint, Dario had quite a few more PTP left than Ed (figured that would be the difference), but kudos to Ed for preserving them until it mattered. Here's hoping that somehow that team can obtain sponsorship for next year.

I'm seriously disappointed in the lack of ovals next year; RB and team really needs to brainstorm how to overcome this trend; although I firmly believe the economy is much more at fault than any of us truly realize. When I see many empty seats at NFL telecasts, it tells me people simply do not have the $ to spend on "non-essentials."

Not one of the stronger broadcasts by Versus. I love Bob J., but I notice way more gaffes each race....

Great win and excitement for IndyCar; I hope we get more of the same at LV!


Sarah might not be the first female owner, though she's the first in a long time. M.A. Yeagle owned a 500 winner in the 20s; the M stood for Maude. Also, when Elmer George won the championship in the late 50s, Mari Hilman owned the car.

Still, no need for me to go all Donald Davidson.

Tom G.

Amazaballs! I still can't believe Ed won. I don't think a race has ever been so bittersweet. Why do I feel like this is the end of an era?

Five Ovals.
Three Road Courses.
Eight Street Races.

Insert manly tears here.

Also, when a series is reduced to blaming the fans for its demise, the end is near.


Give me Andretti & Montoya at Michigan over what we saw yesterday.

Robin Miller used to write about NASCAR giving "the call" to drivers/teams in sponsorship trouble. Just sayin'.

Though if the IndyCar series was the Kentucky Speedway Series ol' Ed would be the no doubt champ!


This has been a great year due to Indy and Kentucky.

How much better could it possibly be than to have Ed win. And Sarah. And Dollar General. Wow!

"I start screaming EDDDDD at my TV randomly. My dog is visibly frightened now."...and pressdog...classic stuff dude.

Perhaps one way to save the sport of OWR on ovals, would be to drastically lower the ticket prices. If the stands are 90% empty, what difference would it make? Not at Indy or any track that actually has the demand.

When the demand over-rides the supply, then charge the full freight, but otherwise, fill the seats, sell concessions, and build the sport. They can always raise the ticket price as the demand grows. Five ovals is not growing the sport.


Ron Ford

Relative to "ramblinman" comments: I believe more than anything that kids need to be let in free. This would not only help create a future fan base, but it would reduce the overall cost for a family to go. My dad took me to a midget race under the lights at the former 1/4 mile dirt track within the Milwaukee Mile in the late forties/early fifties. I was hooked for life and have spent a lot of money on the sport since.


They can only lower ticket prices so far. They have to be able to guarantee that they can pay the sanctioning fee, their employees and make money. That's why Bruton Smith and Randy Bernard were talking about title sponsors for these races.

Ron Ford

I understand that promoters can only lower ticket prices so far, but I still feel that IndyCar (as well as the owners) needs to rethink their business plan, particularly when it comes to the sanctioning fee. I believe they are pricing themselves out of the market during these difficult economic times. What does a second race in Brazil and a race in China really do for us? Certainly it will create more international interest in the program, but how will it put more people in the seats in Michigan, Milwaukee, Kentucky, New Hampshire, etc.?

Well, enough about that. Right now, this bright sunny morning, it is a damn fine feeling to see Sarah, Ed and the group win one. And they did it racin' hard! Ya gotta love that.


Kids free is a great idea. And they'll make their money from souvenirs and food because kids love souvenirs and food.

Sponsorship is essential. How many seats did Marlboro give away back in the day?

I'd like to know the sanctioning fee for each venue, how much they average from TV money at each race and how much of each team's budget is covered by the TEAM money. Could they lower sanctioning fees and still distribute money to teams? At this point I know they don't want to lose money, but would it hurt to break even for a while? (I'd still like them to distribute money according to position and publicize that--at least some of the money.)

I also don't believe anyone got "the call." If they were gonna do that they'd have Danica win just to get the press. Of course, if she wins Vegas, I might change my mind.

Shane Rogers

Subsidising (sic) kids entry fees is a great idea. The problem is it benefits the sport on a 10 year payback. Promoters are only interested in making a buck today, or next week, for them.

HB Donnelly

the price scale for normal seats at Kentucky was $50 for row one to $85 in the new "tower" stands. My parents and I had $60/seat tickets in row 19, which wasn't prohibitively expensive, but $180 before hotels, gas, food, etc. is nothing to sneeze at. Make it $40 for the whole lower stand and $50 for the towers and I bet you draw more folks. (though to ruin my own argument, I think NHMS had rows 1-30 in the entire grandstand priced at $35 and that didn't help...)

The Speedgeek

Two thoughts:
1) Awesome for Sarah, Ed, and the entire rest of the Sarah Fisher Racing crew. That was freaking fantastic. I've never been so happy to watch a race until midnight on the DVR after studiously avoiding the internet all day.

2) To answer a question: "What does a second race in Brazil and a race in China really do for us?" I think the idea behind those potential races might be to charge exorbitant sanctioning fees, use those as the cash cows that prop up the rest of the series, and then you can hopefully run some other places that you realy want to run at (say, Kentucky, Loudon, Vegas, a couple other ovals, maybe Road America) at paper thin profit margins. It's not really about trying to gin up 10 million or so fans in China, just soaking the local governments and/or businesses (like Tsingtao Beer, for instance) for several million bucks to the Series front office, and hopefully a quarter or so million bucks a piece for each team, which'll help pay the bills for the balance of the season. At least, that's what I'd be doing, if I were running the show.

Ron Ford

Trying to search out the last shred of news about the race I looked at the box score. It shows some guy named Battistini dropped out because of "fatigue"! What the hell is the story there? Back in the day there were Indy500 drivers that suffered heat exhaustion (Agabashian?), but "fatigue" at Kentucky?

Mauri Rose


Br!an McKay

"12-lap caution caused by a small piece of debris in the groove. WHY is this so long? Because Power's take keeps falling off? 12 laps of yellow is way too long here."

I asked myself WHY race control didn't let someone fetch the debris then wave the starter wave a green flag a lap later.

The Dario mentioned, and we saw, Penske's duct tape on the track.
Does it take 12 laps for trucks to blow marbles off the race track?
Are we entertained?

And I asked myself why megamillion-deutschmark Audi, at Petit Le Mans, and Team Penske, in Kentucky, were TAPING cars together rather than clipping replacement bodywork on cars.

I ask myself, race after race, year after year, why caution periods, including those in the Petit Le Mans and Kentucky 300 are SO unnecessarily long.
Pitiful. Not entertaining.


Due to this past weekend being my third wedding anniversary and having to attend my first MLB playoff game to watch my Brewers, whom I've been a fan of several years longer than Ed Carpenter has been alive, I had to DVR the race and avoid Twitter all day (difficult) and all other sources of Indycar news (not so difficult, as there aren't many). It worked, I just got done watching it and I think I scared the crap out of my sleeping wife screaming at the TV at midnight. All I could think was "Pressdog must have been soiling his drawers." What a race. I'd forgotten how much I love a good oval show, as it's been so long since I've seen an oval race, good or bad. And I'd almost forgotten why I love Indycar. Now I remember.

web design London

I probably didn't hear it right.Bob Jenkins, booth guy, comes on to remind us this is the first oval in three months. Thanks for that, Bob. It's a little like being reminded of the time you were kicked in the crotch.


it takes a long time to clear the marbles so they can have double-wide restarts. is there a better solution?


FYI. I think Dillon Battistini's "driver fatigue" reason for dropping out was due to illness. Flu or something.


I read his uniform was too tight, cutting off circulation. Seriously.

Ron Ford

If we need to use a race in China, a second race in Brazil, etc. as cash cows to help finance the USA races, then I think the IndyCar business plan is seriously flawed. I believe that IndyCar is still trying to run a champagne series when we need a beer budget. Filling the oval track stands with fans without title sponsors for the race still leaves promoters on the ragged edge due to the high sanctioning fee.


Randy was told by the Hulman Sisters to make IndyCar break even at least. Heavily subsidized, likely short-term street race deals financed by local governments is the only way forward to meet that goal. Short of some oval fan winning Powerball and writing a huge check to IMS, I don't think there are (m)any businesses out there are willing to throw ridiculous amounts of money down the rabbit hole that is AOWR.

Either that or the latest messageboard rumors that a "family from down South" is willing to take the IndyCar League off the Hulmans' hands, and maybe IndyCar is back in the situation where the bottom line doesn't matter anymore like it was when Tony was running things. There's always that!

John S

How long does it take to replace a side pod cover?


While I'm not ready to go all doom and gloom, maybe it would be best for the Hulman sisters to concentrate their efforts on IMS and the 500, that is assuming that message board rumors are to be believed, (which by and large I don't.)

I have a very hard time seeing how anyone would want to buy "just" IICS from the sisters, unless they could get a fairly good sized piece of the crown jewel, the 500, to pay for the rest of it. Somehow, I doubt that the girls are going to consider that.

The sanctioning fee situation is ridiculous when you consider the attendance expectations that are required to insure profitablility. In this economy, it's just not going to happen. Either the sanctioning fees have to go down, or title sponsors are going to have to be found for ovals or both.

And, unless the economy does a big turnaround, I question how long munincipalities are going to swallow that "million dollar nut" to put on a race in their cities.

Let's face it: When Dover, thrid race in the NASCAR "chase" has 40% exposed tin, (some of it covered) and NFL stadiums aren't filling all those high dollar chairs, how is the IICS to expect that they're going to be the exception to all the rules.

On the other hand, let's look at where we were three years ago. Is the on-track product better? What will the impact of the new car and diverse engine combinations be going forward? Once we add the aero packages, won't that expand the variables?

My feeling is we're making strides, but it's going to take time, maybe more time than the Hulman sisters are willing to give Randy Bernard.


Dog...I am so glad to read someone else experiences a similar physical reaction to watching an exciting indycar race. I thought I was gonna have a heart attack during the last 22 laps. It was great and although I am a roadrace fan at heart...I love Indy and other good oval races. Buy tickets and go to the races, peeps!

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