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NASCAR Gets It; IndyCar Still Needs Tutoring UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Regarding Kent Sterling’s article “NASCAR Gets It; IndyCar Still Needs Tutoring”, as AR1 has stated repeatedly no doubt IndyCar really needs work when it comes to promoting their drivers, strengthening the numbers of American drivers, and I really think Bronco gets it.  But what the article ultimately surmises is IndyCar needs to go after the high school drama queen mentality.  That mentality is a strong demographic for NASCAR b/c in part they think those stock cars are like the cars they drive, and not even “pit clearing” brawls would bring them to IndyCar.  It works for NASCAR, but it won’t work for IndyCar as far as helping expand the popularity of the sport.  The question becomes what would work for IndyCar?  Hypothetically, even if IndyCar were to steal let’s say Dale Jr, unless IndyCar can re-create the perception that the platform IndyCar drivers were performing on made them like jet pilots while NASCAR provided a platform that made their drivers nothing more than crop dusters, not even Jr could turn this around.  It is what disgusted me most about Tony George’s IRL, he lowered the platform to the point that NASCAR could rightfully claim their drivers faced a greater challenge to win races and a championship.  Champ Car didn’t lower itself like that, but it also didn’t have the Indy 500.  Yes, car isn’t everything, but it certainly is something when it comes to creating a platform from which to make the claim, and market it aggressively, our series has fighter jet pilots, those others are just crop dusters. Andy Fogiel, Lansing, MI

05/09/11 Ashley works in my wife’s office, and she was excited today when I popped in to say hello.  ”Did you see the NASCAR fight?” she asked.  I have – a bunch of times on ESPN and online.  It was impossible to miss because sports fans like drama.

Multiply that by 1,000,000 this morning, and the reason for NASCAR being popular enough for major networks to fight over the rights to show the races is clear, while IndyCar is stuck on the purgatory of the Versus Network.

Last week, Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya got a little sideways with one another – literally.  After Montoya spun Newman, NASCAR put the two drivers in a hauler for a private meeting.  What happened in there is anyone’s guess, but afterward Montoya was quoted as saying, “Newman hits like a girl.”

On Saturday night at Darlington, it was Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick who got into it, and that is what is driving water cooler talk today.

The last time IndyCar generated any talk at all was when Helio Castroneves went nuts and started screaming at race officials behind a shed in the infield of a race that was run last year – I think.

With all the talk today on Sportscenter, my conversations in the dental office and on the phone, no one has mentioned who won the race in Richmond or at Darlington.  I still have no idea who won, nor do I care.

IndyCar needs an infusion of drama, and I know IndyCars are too fragile to withstand the kind of “rubbin’ is racin’” behavior that stirs up the NASCAR fans – of which there are millions.  But does NASCAR own some proprietary information or patents on the technology that allows for contact that won’t shatter the chassis? Kentsterling.com

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