IndyCar’s broken promises and dwindling base (Update)

UPDATE Since news broke that next year’s schedule will shrink, and go by a new name IZOD IndyCar officials have been leaking news that 2015 will be super awesome, largely because they plan on throwing away 2014.

So far for 2014 IndyCar is down a title sponsor, at least one race, possibly two, and will start in late March and end on Labor Day and will likely shuffle two fall races to mid-summer. Beyond the amateur way the whole thing has been handled it’s starting to look like 2014 is more about survival than improvement.

Ideally you don’t want confirm that your title sponsor is leaving without another company signed and waiting to make an announcement, which apparently IndyCar doesn’t have. You don’t want to announce that you’re ending your season early and not have a couple more early races lined up to start your season earlier. So far the best IndyCar can offer is a new road race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and increasing the number of double headers.

They don’t really have anything good to announce about 2014, so they’re leaking some news about how awesome 2015 might be. Basically, they’re saying, “Don’t like 2014? Just wait for 2015, then we’ll have a much better schedule." So, even though 2014’s schedule isn’t out, they’re already talking about adding long desired stops at Laguna Seca, Road America, a new street race and Circuit of the Americas.

While all of these new venues would be welcome, it’s just so obvious this is a leak motivated to lessen the impact of the weak schedule they’re putting out. Let’s be honest, at this point we know what the schedule looks like with just a few dates left to be made public. It seems to me that if you couldn’t line up the events this year compressing the schedule could have/should have waited.

As a fan of open wheel racing I’m used to this “Just wait till next year, then man, things will be so much better." Trotting out an unimpressive steaming lump of disappointment and pointing to greater things to come seems to be the standard operating procedure for American open wheel. From teams making announcements with sponsorship details to follow that never materialize, to cancelled events there is always next year, there is always expectations of a brighter future. The problem is the ambitious race in China never happens, the long awaited return to traditional venues never materialize, but don’t worry, there’s always next year. Beyond The Flag

10/03/13 No one is talking about it openly, but IndyCar has been losing venues. The number of venues (promoters) willing to host an IndyCar race is shrinking and it started in 2011. Next year they will be down three from 2011. What will 2015 bring? Here are the stats:

Year No. Of Venues Change
2009 17
2010 17 0
2011 17 0
2012 15 -2
2013 16 +1
2014 14 -2

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