Lessons Learned from St. Pete by an Ovalista
I had a nice talk with Mark Miles on Saturday at St. Pete. It was his first non-Indy IndyCar race. He was impressed.
After going to oval-only races for 45 years, I took the tumble this year and went to St. Pete. This is all my humble opinion, but us ovalistas are wrong about the sport. If they won't come to the circus, then bring the circus to them. IndyCars are just fine on R/S courses. Incredible, actually. They belong on them too. I went with an open mind (something we all should try) and totally got "it". There is nothing - repeat - nothing wrong with an IndyCar turning right on your city street. Nothing.
I can see how the street races will help, not hinder, the sport. The folks of St. Pete had a blast. It was in their own town. It was cool - real cool. The cars looked amazing - nimble, quick, beautiful in the Florida sun (and humidity). The smell of ethanol exhaust - I want to bottle it and make a cologne for men (and women) - and the sound of a "hive" of IndyCars - is just plain cool. I think the people really enjoyed themselves. I did and I wasn't supposed to...
I have no problem with a 6 oval, 6 road course, 6 street race schedule now. I wish this optimisim for every hardcore oval out there. It works great - I loved it - and it sets us apart from every other series on the planet.
Street racing. I get it. I loved it. I'll do it again. and again. I might just be one of the answers to the future of the sport we love - and I am fine with that prospect.
It was great!!!