I kind of hard to believe that most of us (including myself) would be discussing which schedule, new and returned tracks, and if any "triple crown" would increase raceday attendance, TV viewership, and overall popularity to causal viewers but I think we all are forgetting the root problem at hand. Advertising is generally non-existent,
my friend (Not a racing fan) the other day referred to Will Power in the Verizon ad as "that Australian race car driver guy" but knows exactly who Jimmie Johnson is. (& no, Dario isn't known as Ashley Judd's husband.)
I don't blame IndyCar for this, it really isn't a surprise I'm blaming ABC for this but it isn't just because of their extremely sub-par coverage but also because of their lack of interest in advertising any of their coverage that isn't the Indy 500. The NBC Sports Network excellently advertises their coverage and has good coverage but the problem is their not network TV so their general viewership is pretty low in comparison.
It's difficult to choose between the broadcaster with bad advertising, bad coverage, and an excellent general audience and the one with the opposite and it only makes it even more difficult with a split deal where a newly-interested audience can't be exposed more if they don't have NBCSN.
For comparison, Australia's V8 Supercar Series has a network broadcast for all their races (NASCAR doesn't in the US) worth about $124 million. All races on network TV should be a goal for IndyCar but pride stands in the way, V8 Supercars increases their exposure with the Albert Park Race, a non-Championship F1 support race, and supported F1 in Abu Dhabi but IndyCar would never play a number 2 to F1 even though hopefully in North America there will be 3 F1 Grands Prix.
F1 is the World Championship and IndyCar is our National Championship and has been since 1916 (won by a Dario from Britain), It should be more like a National Championship not a wannabe World Championship.
By the way, the V8 Supercar Series is Australia's National Touring Car Championship and they got Austin until 2022, we could learn a bit from them. Racing is a business and sometime business should come before pride. Someone has to tell ABC's they're not just "the home of the Indianapolis 500" or IndyCar needs a split with ABC.