IndyCar gets egg on its face in Boston again

IndyCar showed up with a helmet to present to the Boston Mayor. Only problem is Mayor Walsh didn't show up and the race promoter came off with egg on their face

In a PR stunt straight from the Dukakis campaign, IndyCar promoters yesterday tried to provide Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh with his own personalized race car helmet.

Sadly, Walsh wasn't around to wear it.

It was the latest blunder by the Boston Grand Prix organizers and the Walsh administration, which negotiated a deal to hold the Sept. 4, 2016, race without any public input or scrutiny.

The race promoters quickly whisked away the helmet when the Herald asked to take more pictures at an event at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, but it was clearly emblazoned with Walsh's name right on the front.

"The helmet was brought by the IndyCar folks today as a gift to the mayor," said Sean Flanagan of 451 Marketing, one of several public relations firms promoting the event. "It is going to be presented to him at a later date."

Yeah, don't count on Walsh accepting it. The last thing he wants is a goofy photo proving that he's behind the wheel of the controversial race.

But Walsh can't drive away from this one, even at 170 miles per hour.

The mayor's the one who negotiated the agreement with race organizers without any public input or scrutiny.

And Walsh is sticking with IndyCar even though it's been plagued by delays and questions about whether taxpayers will be on the hook for potentially millions of dollars in road improvements and security.

Not to mention, several former top Walsh aides are getting fat contracts to promote the event and smooth out any public concerns.

A Walsh spokeswoman yesterday said the mayor had nothing to do with the planned helmet presentation, and the mayor himself has bristled at any suggestions that he's leading the IndyCar charge.

But if those turbo-charged cars roar through the streets next Labor Day weekend at up to 140 decibels, it's because the mayor wants to show he can hold a big sporting event in Boston.

And whether the race is a winner or loser for taxpayers, it's Walsh's show. Boston Herald

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