IndyCar cannot keep beating a dead horse

And the IZOD IndyCar Series’ return to Milwaukee may turn out to have been a one-off. CEO Randy Bernard is quoted by Speed TV reporter Robin Miller as saying he was pretty disappointed with the crowd (13,000 in a 40,000-seat facility) and won’t confirm that there will be a race there next year.

Status quo is great when times are good and things are humming. That was in the 1990s when Milwaukee and Elkhart Lake and Michigan International were all on the schedule and all jam-packed.

But status quo is not so good when something’s gummed up the works, which is the situation now. To explain the sorry attendance at Milwaukee, people are suggesting the promoters were new and didn’t do a proper job and the race was at 3:30 because of TV and it rained in the morning and yada yada yada.

The reason only 13,000 people showed up at Milwaukee on Sunday is because that market, for whatever reason, doesn’t give a damn about Indy car racing anymore and no amount of promoting and/or sunny skies or a noon start (or an 8 p.m. start under the lights) is going to change that.

You can’t keep beating a dead horse.

USAC (the U.S. Auto Club) was in that rut back in the Seventies. They went to Milwaukee then – twice. And Phoenix twice and Trenton twice. Maybe the racing was good and the crowds were good but the sponsors couldn't have cared less.

It was only after Dan Gurney, Pat Patrick, Jim Trueman and Roger Penske formed CART and started takin’ it to the streets of Long Beach, Detroit and Toronto that Indy car racing started to explode.

As I said Monday, there are plenty of markets in North America where IndyCar would be welcomed with open arms. It’s up to Bernard, et al, to go find them. Toronto Star

[Editor's Note: Street races and natural terrain road courses have failed as well. Going back to any of them as well as the multitude of ovals that have failed makes no sense whatsoever. Last time we checked Honda, Lotus and Chevy sell cars globally. We have said for many years that IndyCar needs to go into markets around the world that have all the right ingredients. We think Fort Lauderdale has potential as does Austin Texas, we question China without a full-time Chinese driver in the series, though it holds enormous potential if a Chinese car company were to badge a Cosworth IndyCar engine. With the success of British/Scottish drivers in IndyCar, Europe could be a big hit in a market that lost its F1 race, and what about Vancouver now that the Olympics are over? And our suggestion that IndyCar run twice at Indy, on the oval in May and on the road course in August or September has the chance for the greatest success. No, the road course race won't draw 250K like the 500, but we predict 100K would show up, blowing away every other race on the schedule. IndyCars are synonymous with Indianapolis. The fan base in Indy for IndyCar racing is huge. Instead they want to add a Grand-Am race? God help us. ]

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