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Last year for IndyCar to race in the cornstalks? (4th Update)UPDATE #3 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Have gone to the race 5 years in a row, the best attended race was under the lights on Saturday night last year. Farm country works during the day and comes to the race at night. Cooler, Musco lighting, great atmosphere, great racing, couldn't be better. The race needs to go back to Saturday night. Regards, Jerry M. Topeka, KS
06/24/13 Attendance was estimated at 22,000 a rather optimistic number given the huge number of empty seats. Texas, Milwaukee, and now Iowa - three oval races all poorly attended and for all three the trend is down, down and down, making their economic viability tenuous at best.
06/24/13 Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles and Iowa Speedway Principal Owner Conrad Clement called a press conference before yesterday’s Izod IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 to "stomp out the buzz" surrounding the future of the race, according to Bryce Miller of the DES MOINES REGISTER. Miles, addressing comments from IndyCar driver Graham Rahal on Saturday alluding to rumors that the event would not return, said, “I don’t think there’s any chance we won’t be back.” Miller wrote Iowa Speedway is “generally considered a success story" for IndyCar. Though attendance “has slipped from the speedway’s headiest days, it still exceeds most on the schedule in terms of crowds and driver love.” That is what "made the unsolicited comments from Rahal puzzling to most." Miles said, “The way we approach making our calendar next year absolutely includes Iowa. Maybe people have been somewhat, what’s the right word, confused by the fact that we still are talking about the exact date. We’d both like to get back to the point where we have a multi-year agreement. (But) those aren’t reasons for us not to be here." Rahal on Saturday said, “There's a lot of rumors we won't be coming back here, and I hope that's not true.” Clement said of his reaction to the comments, "I was pissed. Irritated. Let’s say irritated. You get these microphones in front of these drivers, in the heat of the moment. I don’t know why it comes up." Des Moines Register.
06/23/13 The IndyCar Series reiterated its support for the Iowa Speedway following comments from driver Graham Rahal that insinuated the series won’t return in 2014.
Rahal said Saturday after a qualifying run that he hoped Sunday’s race drew a strong crowd, adding that “there’s a lot of rumors we won’t be coming back here and I hope that’s not true. I mean, it’s a fun place to go race.”
The IndyCar series has a year-to-year contract with Iowa Speedway, which has hosted the series since 2007. zzzz
IndyCar spokeswoman Amy Konrath responded to Rahal’s comments by telling The Associated Press that the series and the speedway are in discussions about future scheduling.
Konrath says Iowa is a unique venue that highlights the excitement and versatility of the series. AP Story
[Editor's Note: With Milwaukee's dismal attendance and absolutely horrible TV ratings, if Iowa draws another small crowd, and at Pocono it is expected you'll be able to shoot a cannon into the grandstands and not hit anyone, IndyCar's oval future is looking worse by the day. IndyCar has lost its relevance with the American public with ugly cars, anemic engines (we remember when a CART Champ Car used to shake the ground) and spec racing. Can the small snail in the movie Turbo reverse its fortunes? Hopefully. Do not forget that the credit for Turbo goes to ousted CEO Randy Bernard, not the current regime.]
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