About 4 million fans.
About 4 million fans.
"Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"
WARNING: I'm about to present a rather esoteric theory. If you dont know what "esoteric" means, you might want to just skip this. I'm also going to mention The Split. I am doing so for historic context and not passing judgement.
More than anything else listed here so far, what NASCAR has that IndyCar had, lost and can never get back is a perceived sense of continuity, or in other words, what I like to call "The 6 Degrees of Johnny Mantz".
For those of you not familiar with NASCAR history, Johnny Mantz won the first Southern 500 back in 1950. You can take 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and trace back an uninterrupted path of competitors all the way to Mr. Mantz. Heck, it is easy to do in NASCAR; Trevor Bayne to Jeff Gordon to Richard Petty to Lee Petty to Johnny Mantz. Richard Petty is the Kevin Bacon, but you get my point.
Open wheel used to have a continuum that would put NASCAR to shame. With or without the Indy 500 there was a path from Jacques Villeneuve all the way back to Barney Oldfield, Ray Harroum, or any of the early barnstormers, with A.J. Foyt being the Kevin Bacon in this scenario. While it is possible that the continuum continues to 2012, in terms of who were the"household names", the continuum, at least as it is perceived, was broken by The Split; when the majority of the stars of the time went with the big teams to CART and the IRL started on its own path. Years later we have reunification, but The Split did something that two world wars couldn't; it broke the continuum. All the combining of record books under the name "American Open Wheel" won't fix this. Not when you have a two-time champion (Alex Zanardi) who never competed in the 500.
(Okay, I typed too much to bail out now. I realize that Arie Luyendyk won both a pre-split and a post-split Indy 500. I don't know that the general public knows this or cares. That is my point.)
“America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Oh goody, another 'why NASCAR is better than IndyCar' thread.
Although for the most part I share his opinion.
My first Indy 500 was 1973, haven't missed one since 1981. To date I have attended 36 Indy 500's, and probably 100 or so other IndyCar races (CART & IRL).
Multi-Billion dollar TV contract which put races in the black before a ticket is sold.
Long term Blue chip sponsors
consistent long term participants
Multi Billion dollar war chest
TV saturation. Speed, Fox, NBC ABC
For a start
Q: The Stanley Cup was recently on tour through my town and I kissed it, is there any chance I mite catch listeria?
A: NO you are safe, the cup hasn't touched any Maple Leaf products in 40 years
PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals
Fans that aren't obsessed with the other racing series/inferiority complex.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security
Unlike other sports which have seen declines in attendance due to "strikes", Indy car has never recovered like baseball or hockey for the simple reason that those discontinuances of play of those sports lasted only a year at best.
Indy car racing's version of a strike lasted 11 years!
There has been so much lost. A generation of youngsters growing up learning that that series was no good but this series was better. Fan confusion. Sponsor confusion and dissatisfaction. Driver confusion along with no direct connection between lower rung racing and the pinnacle of OW racing (whatever that was for 11 years). An us vs. them environment created in an existing fanbase of oval race fans vs. those in favor of a variety of racing circuits.
There has been so much lost that can't be regained it would seem almost insurmountable to rebuild this. Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to even begin to compare OW racing in this country to NASCAR. They're 2 totally different products. I also don't think it's a good idea to compare OW now vs what was 20 years ago. Different times and different places. My thoughts are on rebuilding the fanbase from scratch while bringing along those that wish to come along.
The better news, though, is I don't think it was as much of an absolute break, as you also seem to have ultimately concluded as well with the Arie thing. There's been a ton of healing, so I would hope most fans can find their way back. For those that can't, however, there's always the fact that the most important fans are new fans. It's been almost a generation.
All along, despite all the broken threads, there's always been a few thin ones that connect today's IndyCar with the world's fastest, most popular and exciting open wheel series on ovals, with the 100-year traditions and heritage of the Indianapolis 500 Mile International Sweepstakes That's always worth recommending to a friend.
Last edited by Turn13; 01-22-2012 at 08:42 AM.
This sort of thread just makes our fan base look hypocritical. That part is not a joke. Some fans around here rip on NASCAR having slow, ugly, spec cars with bad drivers. It's laughable because INDYCAR has relativity slower cars (for the weight and downforce they create), an ugly looking Dallara (I happen to like the new COT with the rounded front and new spoiler), more spec-ier cars and I'm not so sure the drivers of INDYCAR are that much better than NASCAR, are you?
That's all. I love the Indy 500 first and foremost, but let's get our series fixed before ripping on another form of racing. That is all.
Every race I run in is in preparation for the Indianapolis 500. Indy is the most important thing in my life. It is what I live for. - Al Unser Jr.
Everything I ever wanted in my life, I found inside the walls of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. - Eddie Sachs.
Same old, same old.
- Conspiracy theories.
- Petty jealousy. (no pun intended)
- Blaming it all on "the split" (a non-event)
NASCAR could die out tommorrow and the effect on Indy Car would be unnoticable.
I think it would be noticeable, but it's so unrealistic it's moot.
I don't see anything wrong with the opening question, or most of the points made thereto. What's so "jealous" or "envious" about noting differences, either factual or subjective? If enough people feel that way, that's what it is.
Seems like people are free to discuss the differences between ovals and roads within IndyCar to no end, but any mere mention of NASCAR must be "bashing". I don't see what's so odd about discussing the differences between a successful series and a less so one, if one is interested in the sport at all.
I've seen and heard both F1 and NASCAR fans (and other open wheel fans) discuss IndyCar in similar ways. I didn't see anything wrong with it, usually, although they sometimes have the same sort of perspectives we do here based on their preference and experience. And I haven't seen any "conspiracy theories" expressed here so far
Its been a topic of conversation on the radio about how tracks are wondering how they are going to sell tickets for NAtionwide & truck races this year with most of the name drivers in the Sunday series drastically cutting back or completely eliminating their side projecs
I would avoid most direct comparisons until I saw how their best did in an IndyCar before making too broad a claim
As for your other points, you're right, and that's one of the good things about a topic like this, is it can open eyes and challenge biases on both sides. I'd say IndyCars are faster, but not by that much right now; they seem to require more of an athletic challenge, and certainly more varied driving skills, though NASCAR no doubt requires much more oval-based tire management stuff specific to NASCAR.
The DW12 may be more spec than a CoT, but wouldn't that make it more stock than the stock car series ? At any rate, it's still a single-seater, and faster on any track than a CoT is. Thanks in part to the wings, sure, but then again it's the fenders and bumpers and a roof over your head that makes the CoT more friendly for rubbin'
When it comes to my racing, I've always enjoyed the speed more than the contact.
The biggest thing that Nascar does not have is a schedule comprised of races that cost more than they return.
Q: What does Nascar have that Indycar doesn't?
A: A vastly superior product.
It's the NFL vs Arena football.
I wish I knew - Dennis "Cutty" Wise
When its game time, it's pain time! - Terrible Terry Tate
Well what INDYCAR has is a too big and loud bunch of jealous losers who seem to think putting down NASCAR helps make INDYCAR one bit more popular. What this hack blogger (and much of what he's writing here he no doubt has contributed to TF on a regular basis) does is reinforce those who don't like INDYCAR by insulting those who like NASCAR. Brilliant.
"You can't arrest those guys, they're folk heroes"
"Well most folk heroes started out as criminals"
Again, why compare NASCAR to another form of the sport, in the vein of "we are better, if only the unwashed masses got it." Rather, why not see what NASCAR did well that put it (long before the so-called "split" ) well ahead of Indy Car, and emulate it. The only answer is pure jealousy.
Indy Car is what it is, as it is, where it is. It did not decline because NASCAR gained, nor did NASCAR grow at its expense. Rather, NASCAR grew the pie of auto racing fans at the expense, if of anything, of non-motor sports, and Indy Car has declined from self-inflicted wounds.
Indy Car's minority of jealous fans are like my perception of soccer fans. Its a "beautiful sport" and full of "stategy" if ony you were not such an oaf, you would see that is the typical soccerspew, generally followed by some crap about the NFL.
The sport goes there at its peril.
Or it can listen to the Market, the only perfect thing on earth. It is speaking with a clear voice, as it does to those wise enough to hear it.
The NBA is doing okay and nowadays it seems like half the players are foreigners.
Mario Andretti is considered one of the greatest "American" drivers of all time yet he was born in Italy and has a very "non-American" sounding name. You're barking up the wrong tree.
Anyone with any marketing training knows you have to have a product to sell (promote) and that you can't sell a product customers don't want.
There's simply no way American racing fans will buy marginally talented Venezuelan ride buyer drivers. Unpromotable.
Any number of token foreign women drivers will not change this.
On the other hand, there's nothing compelling to me about slower, fendered cars logjammed together (or in tandem). Not knocking it, just my perspective. But even I enjoy it a bit more if I happen to watch and a former IndyCar driver or Hoosier does well. Or when they race on bricks
I do think American fans, racing or not, can appreciate the world's fastest, most exciting and popular open wheel series on ovals, especially when it includes the Indianapolis 500. The fact is, more of them turn out for that more often than they do for the Chili Bowl or Knoxville.
But it would be nice to have more of both crowds on board. I think the series has invested some in that, too.
Last edited by Turn13; 01-22-2012 at 02:28 PM.
2. I would hope that the supposed top rung of AOW could garner more fans then a down-the-rung portion of AOW does. Lord help us if they couldn't.