IndyCar hasn't a clue (Update)UPDATE Another reader writes, Dear AR1, They need to put a bigger fuel in their cars and maybe this won't happen so often and if it does then they throw a caution flag for something on the track. Give the fans what they paid to see. If I drove from Cleveland to Pocono for 6 hours and saw a fuel economy run instead I would think twice before going back. What a PR boost it would have been if Marco Andretti had won the race on his home track. But I don't think Indy Car cares about the fans in the stands I have felt that way for a long time. I haven't been to an Indy Car race since 2007 and I will pass again this year. I just DVR it and save my money even though Mid Ohio is only 90 minutes from my house in Olmsted Falls. Mike
07/13/13 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Maybe NASCAR does do it right. Maybe IndyCar just does not get it. How do you get fans to buy tickets for a race year in and year out? By sending them home happy or home furious.
In Pocono NASCAR would have thrown a debris caution about 20 laps from the end to ensure all the drivers who were parading around on margin fuel, including hometown favorite Marco Andretti, had enough fuel to 'race' to the finish (stress race). The fans came to see a race, not a parade, which is what it turned out to be. A 5-lap caution with 20 to go would have resulted in a 15-lap fight to the finish among many drivers. Scott Dixon might still have won, but maybe Marco Andretti, who had the fastest car, would have got the win and all those 30,0000 Andretti fans in the grandstands would have gone home happy. More importantly, they would be back again next year and bring a friend.
In Toronto Friday the two hometown favorites, James Hinchcliffe and Alex Tagliani qualified way down in 15th and 18th. Canadians won't buy tickets to Saturday's race to watch their favorite drivers tool around at the back. In NASCAR the grids are timing and scoring computer generated and the local hero or local sponsor starts first or second to ensure the walkup attendance is big. The computer generated grids don't affect the outcome of the race, they just ensure big ticket sale. Why do you think they put Danica on pole at Daytona?
So as much as some of your other readers write to mock NASCAR for 'managing' their racing, in fact they are dead wrong. Racing is both a sport as well as entertainment. You have to get the fans excited, but then let the athletes battle it out for the win. It is the way you make a sport entertaining too. IndyCar hasn't a clue. Bob M. Williamsport, PA
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