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« Observations from the 2013 F1 Race in Bahrain | Main | Uncle pressdog’s Fireside Chat -- Kansas, Street Race Randomness and Festival of Indy 500 Sponsorship Tension Edition »

April 22, 2013


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My favorite moment was them showing 2 cars side by side talking about how much bravery they'd have to have coming into the corner... then cut to watch Franchitti sitting in the pits... then cut back to two cars crashed. Nice bit of directing there...


Team AJ Foyt and Takuma Sato win! This is HUGE news for IndyCar. At Long Beach no less. Congrats to the little guys who never give up!

Concerned Fan

Apparently TK got out of his car shortly before the full course yellow came out... that's probably the reason they did it.


...and congrats to the BIG guy too! Hardly fitting to call a legend a "little guy". My bad.


Was very surprised that TK climbed out of his car under a local yellow.

It was quite the entertaining street race, though I think one day we will discover a series of memos proving that the Indycar schedule became so street course-heavy as a part of their deal with Dallara. The guy who sells front wings for them was watching Long Beach with $$ in his eyes.

Tom G.

Probably the worst NBC broadcast in their 3+ years of showing races. I don't know what they need to do, but the Bell & Dallenbach festival of speculation on tire strategies while passes are happening on track has got to stop.

Major beer spew when Bell said Indy was 80% of the reason for Honda being in the series. Lord knows they aren't there for the NBC ratings...

and as Rob pointed out, who the hell was directing?

otherwise entertaining race. 3 little fish on the podium is sweet. Death Star BLOWN UP SIR!

John S

WTF ? Love your work 'Dog, but please review, the bronze dolphins were saying what?

John S

Picture gives me a giggle. Japanese driver and press in a Honda powered car in front of the Toyota billboard. Good Time Fun. Might be nice if the race cars go fast (ie oval)

Chris Lukens

Great recap P-dawg. As an avowed ovalista, I have to give this race an 8.5 out of 10 rating. As the laps wound down I thought it would be great if Sato won, a great win for AJ. And also I thought it would be great if Graham won, a great win for... well, for Graham.

My thoughts on the broadcast team. Yes, the director missed a couple of important incidents, but I think Brian Till did an excellent job. In an effort to get away from ABC’s Scott “is this a golf match” Goodyear’s monotone NBCSP went to Leigh “my hair is on fire” Diffey’s screaming. I think Till is a nice compromise. Although I think Jon Beekhuis in the pits is a waste of talent, I would like to see him back in the booth.

I had to laugh when one of the booth guys remarked about “those silly rear bumpers”. I noticed that several cars were without them by the end of the race.


I look forward to reading your notes after every race. So fun to read! Thanks Bill!

Jeremy from Harrisburg

@Chris: That description of Goodyear and Diffey is the best spew inducing line I've seen in a comment post in a long time.

@Pressdog: I believe the rear tire guard thingys are called "Kardashians".

Ron Ford

With all due respect to those fans who are always clamoring for more American drivers, I wonder what they must think about a Japanese driver winning for that legendary American driver A.J. Foyt.


Nice to see Sato win instead of a big team, although it would have benefitted Indycar much more if Graham could have won, but that's probably not a guarantee either as doesn't seem to matter whoever wins?? No one knows what the fans or viewing fans want to see anyway except as I say you cant make people watch and its tough to market a dead horse? No I didn't see the race, just checked the results etc online and from forums, as I don't get the network. Nice to see Dario somewhat back although it wasn't a win, but he didn't have the black cloud and bad luck over him apparently given his finish? Looks like some AA drivers got carried away being reckless--that'll teach em--well--maybe not??

The Speedgeek

"Please, Townsend, continue to remind those of us out here in the sticks that our races aren’t really that important. Promoters of races outside Indy love to hear such things. Thanks much!"

Well, 'Dog, I guess I just don't understand your continuing hypersensitivity to when somebody points out that the Indy 500 is the biggest race of the INDY Car (extra caps are mine for emphasis) Series. Acknowledging that doesn't mean "buy tickets for the 500 instead of going to the track that's just 1-2 hours away from your house!" It can just as easily be taken as "check out the race that takes place just 1-2 hours from your house, where you can see all the drivers that race in the World Famous Indianapolis 500 Mile Sweepstakes!" Have local track promoters not been using that exact rationale as a carrot to get people out to their track since, like, the 1920s? Or even earlier? Do you really think that the promoters at Iowa or Toronto or St. Pete or wherever think that their event is exactly the same as Indy in the eyes of the drivers, teams and fans when every other race carries a fraction of the history, attendance and TV ratings as the big dog does?

I'm not saying that the Series shouldn't bother doing promos for all the other races. Not at all. Quite the contrary. There are more gains to be made in attendance and overall eyeballs at every race outside the 500 (which, after all, does reach probably a 90-95% sell out level every year). I just don't think there is any harm done in mentioning what the biggest race is. Do the Martinsville guys get snippy when DW and Larry Mac wax rhapsodical about Daytona?


As a I pay attention to NASCAR, Geek, I rarely if ever hear anyone wax rhapsodical about Daytona or any other race over another. Ford,Chevy and Toyota aren't in NASCAR just for one race. It's a big advantage, in my view, for NASCAR that they don't have one dominant race. Second, you don't sit at Bob and Sally's dinner table and go on and on about how awesome dinner is at Jeff and Susan's, or you're likely not to get invited back to Bob and Sally's any time soon. I ranted at length about this recently:

The Speedgeek

I...almost don't know where to start with that. I think the reason we (or, you, I suppose, since I've only watched about 10 total minutes of NASCAR since mid-February) might not hear as much about Daytona at this point of the season is because it's in the past at this point. If it were anywhere in mid-season, it would most certainly loom larger than, say, a March race at Phoenix or an April race at Martinsville. Why? Ratings, attendance and prestige. If Greg Sacks and Derrike Cope were to walk into a room, would they get the same amount of attention? Career wins: Sacks - 1, Cope - 2, but one of those Cope wins came in the NASCAR version of the Super Bowl (not my phrase, just the phrase that you'll hear in reference to Daytona about 2,500 times between December and February), so more people know who Cope is (or maybe they know who Cope is because of his'd have to ask The Orange Cone).

Like them, hate them or feel indifferently to them (I've got a mixture of all three), these are the facts: in IndyCar, one race has an attendance well in excess of double (probably closer to triple or quadruple) the second highest attended race. That same race gets a TV rating of triple or quadruple the next highest race, and in the region of 10x higher than basically every race that is shown on premium cable. That same race has existed nearly three times longer than the third longest running race on the schedule (that's Long Beach; Milwaukee has been around longer than Indy but obviously is not as big for all the same reasons I'm talking about), and has existed for 5 to 20 times longer than every race outside of the two I just mentioned in that last parenthetical. These are the reasons Indy gets so much attention. Even though not every American watches it, I'd bet that 80-90% of the population of America has heard of the Indy 500, and I'd bet more than half know what weekend it happens on. Outside of the existence of that race, my in-laws, for instance, wouldn't know what an IndyCar was if James Hinchcliffe were doing donuts in their front yard in one. They don't typically channel surf past NBCSN, so they'll never come across IndyCar outside of Memorial Day or unless they stumble across one of the ABC races. Unfortunate, but true.

The problem here (where you and I have common ground) is that there is such a stark difference between the biggest race in IndyCar vs. the rest of the schedule, compared to the same comparison in NASCAR. IndyCar: Indy gets (probably) on average, 10x the amount of ratings and attention as each individual race on the rest of the schedule. NASCAR: the Daytona 500 probably gets about 3-5x the amount of ratings and attention as each individual race on the rest of the schedule. That's why Indy feels so much is that much bigger. The issue is not "we can't admit that the 500 is the biggest race because that points out the fact that the other 16 events are smaller because admitting that fact might hurt some peoples' feelings", it's "we need to try to make the other races more of a big deal by drawing more eyeballs to them". If the path to that is by telling America that those zoomy cars that race on Memorial Day (there's that race again) also race at a track just an hour from their house or that they appear on TV every couple of weeks, great. I don't know if the #Indy500OrBust thing is going to work to bring more eyeballs to the Series (I figure it probably won't...I'm not sure what they're really trying to do there), but if it does, great. If not, I hardly think that it's ticking off vast thousands of people who attend other races and wish that their local race were bigger than Indy. Sorry, but that's the reality of the situation.


Since most still consider the Indy500 the biggest race of the yr in auto sports, facts are if Indycar has to rely on 1 big race to carry the season then its in trouble--but wait--we knew that? Truth is the Indy500 is not the best ratings race as the Nascar Coke 600 on the same day always beats it in ratings--link to prove it below, although the article is discussing the 08 race being good, but still was beat by the Coke600 but the article mentions all the races for the last decades or so with a graph as well. Link:

The ONLY yr that the Indy500 beat the Coke600 in ratings was in 2005 when a young driver drew in mainstream GP & Media attention drawing in millions to watch the race with over 10 million viewers. She shocked the racing world almost winning the race making history in open wheel and that driver just made history at the Daytona 500 this yr as well. Still she couldn't carry Indycar on her back for all the 7 yrs and finally left, and now Indycar has no face to draw in the mainstream GP's interest as it once was? Simona wont get it done nor will Hinch much as Indycar is pushing him with PR as he isn't the driver who made or makes that green car famous and the GP isn't stupid as they know this. They like who they like and no amount of PR or Marketing will force them to support a driver or a series--its just happens to some?

Just saying--discussing the Indy500-- when a race is considered the greatest race of the yr but gets beat by a Nascar race far as viewers are concerned, that's pretty bad. Also cover your eyes as Nascars biggest race the Daytona500 clearly burys the Indy500 in ratings as well--just saying? In comparison the Indy500 just isn't what it once was although that's all the Indycar series has to rely on drawing in millions of the fans, even for one race to carry the entire series, so it is what it is?

Indycar's problems are many, too many foreign drivers, hardly any ovals left and considered a lessor version of F1, and as mentioned the fact Indycar has no face and while they say they don't want ONE driver to be the face, without even that, they have no one to draw in the mainstream GP & media as they once did? Facts are, they can promote a dead horse, but no one is going to buy it except for those who want a dead horse and those are FEW. Also as great or good Indycar or the IRL once was, its lost its main fanbase and its tough to get new ones as once the mainstream GP get tired of a series and lose interest its tough to recover from that. Add to that some great young drivers are going to nascar instead where the $$ are as we know and that doesn't help Indycar either, although more young talent is in the wings, like a Shannon McIntosh etc, so we'll see where they choose to go--whether it helps or not?

Oh well Indycar fans miracles do happen so cross your fingers and toes and keep looking at the empty glass and seeing it full if it makes you happy, then that's all that matters--well--as I said before-- until sponsors start to see wasted $$$'s--then???

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