As I watched my first IndyCar series race of the year, today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, lots of thoughts came to mind. Will Power crossed the finish line first, followed by Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves.
The series continues to battle with a weakening product. The interest level is no longer what it once was and the ratings are indicative of that. Last year’s Indianapolis 500 ratings received just a 4.3 overnight rating.
There are problems all around for IndyCar. For example, I went to IndyCar.com during the race and once I clicked on ‘schedule,’ I got an error. Umm, that’s kind of important. Not good.
And after the race, the website wouldn’t even load. Either there was heavy interest today after a positive race or they are in desperate need of a server upgrade. (I am told that they recently updated their website a few weeks ago and there have many problems since.)
They can’t let that happen. All the little things must go their way.
This year, IndyCar has moved to a new chassis that is supposed to be a slicker, faster and safer design. I’m sure most of the die-hard fans don’t like it because it’s different. But you have to hope it’ll make a difference all around.
The main problem I see with it is that drivers are having trouble getting new engines for the car. Sarah Fisher, the former driver and now owner, thought she may be without a car this year because she was unable to acquire one for her team. Finally and rightfully so, she did.
26 drivers have raced in the first two races and many teams are scrambling to get additional cars and engines, especially with May and the Indy 500 a month away.
Less road, more ovals — please!
This season, the IndyCar series dropped five races from the schedule and they were all ovals.
There’s something about road courses that loses my interest. With just four oval races on the 15-race schedule, I’ll be sure to catch each of those races. Cars going three and four wide, going over 200 miles per hour, and plenty of passing is something I look forward to. They are enjoyable and enticing to watch. Road courses just don’t do it for me and I know I’m not alone.
Mr. Versatility – Kevin Lee
Those in Indianapolis know the name because he’s all over local broadcasts. Kevin Lee is an Indiana guy — both a Ben Davis High School and Ball State University alum.
You have seen or heard him in Indiana on the Colts radio, Pacers radio and television, Fever radio and IHSAA game broadcasts. In addition to being on the IMS Radio Network, he hosts a weekly racing show, “Trackside with (Curt) Cavin and Kevin” on ESPN 1070 The Fan. And now with the emergence of the NBC Sports Network, formally Versus, Lee is on more than ever.
Does he ever have free time?
Lee is great because he is a well-rounded, no ego personality. He is very smooth and well-prepared for every show or broadcast and it’s obvious. Indy should be proud to call him one of their own. And hopefully, he stays around because it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets bigger offers.
No more Danica
Self-explanatory here. Although she was never a real contender, losing her to NASCAR will take away some casual fans in the seats and eyes on the television.
[Photo via Shawn Gritzmacher/IMS Media]