NASCAR’s PR machine laps IRL’s

As I write this, it's 1:30 on Wednesday afternoon. The afternoon portion of the Indy Racing League test opened for business 30 minutes ago.

Roughly 300 people stand on the Fan Deck atop one of the Daytona garages. Out on the track — nothing.

Inside the garages sit most of the cars, each with a varying number of crewmen performing various tasks.

"This is our first test of the year, and we have a lot of changes to make on the cars," says one crewman.

Well, you certainly don't want to argue with a man who knows infinitely more than you about the workings of an Indy car. But imagine, if you can, observing the same empty-track scene 30 minutes into the afternoon session of a preseason NASCAR test.

It just won't happen.

And there's this, which might smack of "inside baseball," but still symbolizes the difference between NASCAR and all those standing in its shadow. During Wednesday's noon-to-1 lunch break, Danica Patrick was scheduled to visit the media center and toss out some of the usual preseason comments familiar to all those who follow auto racing.

She didn't show. More at Daytona Beach News Journal

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