Wednesday, July 7, 2010

IndyCar: See the Future!

I go back and forth on the "innovation" question as it pertains to IndyCar racing. Yes, innovation was a great selling point for racing for nearly a century. However, as the author of this story in Slate writes, innovation in those days had everything to do with top-end speed.
That is not the case today.
Again, I point you in the direction of the column in Slate in which Edison2 is discussed.
Former racers Ron Mathis, Kevin Doran, and Brad Jaeger (Indy Lights) are managers for this very ambitious company located in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The Edison2 also provides a nice tie-in with IndyCar because it runs on E85 Ethanol. According to the company, the 750-pound Edison2 has demonstrated that it can get 101 mpg. That won't help APEX Brasil and UNICA sell ethanol, but it might just give IndyCar racing something interesting to promote.
Might we some day see the 5-gallon Indianapolis 500?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I present the following whopper of a quote from the Indianapolis Business Journal's Anthony Schoettle.

For many years, the series has operated under the false notion that the
teams are the most important component of the series. Don't get me
wrong. The teams are important, but they're not the singular element that
will make this series go.

Schoettle is correct, in my opinion. Teams supply a very important portion of the IndyCar product. They are not, however, the whole product. They aren't even close.

For example, no one in his or her right mind would claim that the Penske, Ganassi and Andretti teams are not far superior to those that participated full-time in the Indy Racing League prior to 2002.

Nevertheless, the facts indicate that interest in IndyCar racing has actually decreased since the Big 3 showed up. We know this because we have seen the crowds dwindle at multiple venues. We also have television ratings- the Indy 500, other network races, and cable events - that tell the same story.

Teams that show up with largely unknown financiers posing as drivers are not doing IndyCar any favors. Furthermore, the few IndyCar drivers who were actually hired by their teams aren't exactly easy for Randy Bernard & Company to sell.

The time has come to quit treating those teams with deference.