IndyCar: Penske and Dixon want more oval races, but fans reject them

–by Mark Cipolloni–

With F1 and NASCAR moving in on IndyCar’s road racing and street circuit turf in the USA, alarm bells are going off at 16th and Georgetown in Indianapolis.

All of a sudden IndyCar veteran Scott Dixon and series owner Roger Penske are telling the media they would like more ovals on the IndyCar schedule, yet fans continue to reject them.

Maybe they can flood the market with free ticket handouts and get better attendance.

The annual IndyCar race at World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway) started out as a near sellout in its first year, but has seen the attendance drop each year.

Last year’s race was so poorly attended it appears to be going the way of so many other oval track races – in the dumpster.

The TV cameras did their best to avoid showing the number of people in the grandstands.  It was bad to say the least.

Scott McLaughlin – Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – By_ Chris Owens. If ovals are IndyCar’s growth engine as Roger Penske and Scott Dixon think, the series is in serious trouble.

The Indy 500 used to sellout within days of the tickets going on sale for the following year’s race. Now they cannot sell the race out and the seating capacity has been reduced.  It’s still a big race, don’t get us wrong, but demand is not what it used to be.

While years ago, fans were mesmerized watching cars go around in circles for hours, now they just get dizzy and figure they have better things to do with their time.

Christian Lundgaard gets service during the 2022 Xpel 375 at Texas Motor Speedway. Media Credit: Penske Entertainment. Note the crowd size.

Yes, the Iowa races were well attended because of the concerts that sponsor Hy-Vee brought in. People came to see the concerts and hung around to see the races – many were not IndyCar fans, but some may become fans.

So, hats off to Hy-Vee for spending millions of dollars to pump up the event.  We also do not know how many thousands of free tickets Hy-Vee plastered the market with in exchange for buying goods in their stores.

Whatever they did, it had a positive effect on how well attended the race appeared to be.

Partial List (34) of Failed IndyCar Oval Track Races

Atlanta Motor Speedway
Auto Club Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Chicagoland Speedway
Chicago Motor Speedway (Cicero)
Colorado Raceway
Daytona 2.5-mile oval
Dover International Speedway
Eurospeedway (Germany)
Homestead–Miami Speedway
Kansas Speedway
Kentucky Speedway
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Loudon, NH
Michigan Speedway
Milwaukee Mile
Monza Italy (Oval)
Nashville Superspeedway
Nazareth Speedway
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Pikes Peak International Raceway
Pocono Raceway
Phoenix Raceway
Rafaela, Argentina
Richmond Raceway
Rio de Janeiro
Rockingham (UK)
Sanair, Canada
Texas World Speedway
Twin Ring Motegi
Walt Disney World Speedway

Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”


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