IndyCar: It’s About Time


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After an unprecedented seven month sabbatical, it’s about time the 2015 IndyCar season began. For fans of artistry on wheels, it’s also about time in a larger sense of the word. Two significant events in recent history – Brazil’s abrupt and embarrassing cancellation of IndyCar’s season opener and a thoroughly critical viewing of NASCAR’s – caused us to look at racing in a new and timely way.


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The old adage remains true – time is precious, valuable and fleeting. IndyCar features shorter races than NASCAR, in part a factor of much faster race cars – as much as thirty miles per hour, or some 15% speedier. A casual viewing of races from both series illustrates NASCAR’s timed tardiness, even on television and with certain commentators attempting to obscure the facts.


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Pit stops, pit in laps, pit out laps and lap times in general are all considerably quicker. IndyCars possess much more rapid acceleration than their behemoth brethren, weighing in at nearly a ton less. Count the drivers and that weight differential climbs even higher, but that’s mass and our concern for now is chronological.


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Season schedule lengths differ dramatically, too – forty plus NASCAR races versus only sixteen for IndyCar this year. Tellingly IndyCar’s tried to stretch their schedule out with a Detroit double header and by dubiously listing two qualifying days at Indy as part of the race schedule. But they can’t cheat the clock and sooner or later the series must once again elongate the season, as Mark Miles has admitted.


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So calendar-wise as well as race length-wise, IndyCar is more efficient and therefore takes less of our time. Fortunately for fans this frees up numerous hours for other pursuits in our limited life spans like talking, Tweeting and reading about racing. Sadly it also reflects in part the relative popularity of the two series, a distinct advantage enjoyed at present by NASCAR.


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Time will tell as popularity’s always fleeting and the southern series has endured some poorly timed and highly negative publicity lately. Even its biggest stars haven’t been immune, nor are they ageless. With Jeff Gordon retiring, Kurt Busch out indefinitely and Tony Stewart seemingly clocked out, NASCAR’s starting to slow down.


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Now time’s beginning to run out on their careers just as it did for the former stars of IndyCar a few decades ago. In a different era when IndyCar ruled, few could have foreseen its rapid decline or for that matter NASCAR’s swift ascension. Roles often reverse over time, and easily could do so again.


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There’s an element of time travel fantasy for IndyCar fans as well, with races reminding them of their youth while attending historic tracks like IMS and Milwaukee recalls the former glory days of the sport. Nostalgia’s a powerful human emotion; however, it’s important not to live in the past. IndyCar’s long, rich history is an ever present reminder of the sport’s earlier greatness, as well as its late heroes.


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For fans with some longevity, those golden memories are truly timeless aspects of the sport – ones that a lack of series leadership, fading popularity and the progression of years can’t take away. During the dead of winter in the midst of an excruciatingly extended off season, it’s important we take a moment to reflect upon all that’s to come. Ever hopeful for the future, we say the end of March and the start of the 2015 IndyCar season can’t get here soon enough. After all, it’s about time.


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7 thoughts on “IndyCar: It’s About Time

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  2. Nascar is like five rainy days in a row, stuck in the house watching the same commercials playing on a loop because only a few corporations own all the stations. Whereas Indycar is like the feeling you got as a kid when you wake up and know this is the last day of school and summer break begins.


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