IndyCar’s finally set to announce its 2016 slate and boy is it a duesie. Honestly, we simply grew tired of waiting and it goes without saying the lineup is nowhere near our idea of an ideal schedule. Spread out over a month longer than last year, there’s still merely sixteen races though many of them can scarcely be called that. Hell, you get more pee-wee league soccer games in a season, and certainly more penalties in a football game. This Halloween, IndyCar’s schedule’s as scary as a trip through a Stephen King nightmare. It’s so disconcerting that the great Gyorgy Ligeti must have done the score for this terrifying beaut.
Boston?! Another unremarkable street course, this time on the massive taxpayer funded boondoggle called “the big dig.” It’s destined to be another bore, just like Baltimore. One difference is that it may not last even three years; we can only hope. For a new race IndyCar could have at least picked a city people want to visit. It’ll be another embarrassing footnote for a series that already has quite enough of those, thank you Mark Miles. Suffice it to say, we don’t ‘love that dirty water.’
Speaking of urban hell holes, the only double header again next year is in . . . Detroit. Ugh. It’s a double dose of indignity. And the Cap’n used to own such a nice, fast track in Michigan. Why the hell isn’t MIS on this so-called schedule?
Reportedly the series attempted to race in Mexico City for some ludicrous reason, though now it’s saying they’ll wait until 2017. That’s assuming the city – and the series – lasts that long. To paraphrase the Donald, “it’s not the best city.” Apparently the Brasilia fiasco didn’t sink it at 16th and Georgetown, so they’re trying again. Smog, drug cartel violence, corruption that makes Chicago look well run, teeming slums and water you can’t even drink. Think we’ll pass.
Gateway near East St. Louis is also supposed to be in next year’s cue. Seriously? It’s the only track in the U.S. surrounded by heaps of garbage piled so high they’ve become mountains. We’d prefer a night race through Ferguson over a return to Gateway – at least the crashes would be productive. There are very good reasons IndyCar abandoned this awful track years ago, but as usual the current leadership – and we use that term extremely loosely – is utterly oblivious.
Middling Mid-Ohio makes its umpteenth appearance, quite probably the worst track on the entire schedule, excepting the forthcoming Gateway. We advocate tearing the place down and building a parking lot for a shiny new oval. Even a tiny oval track like Iowa, which is also slated to return, would bring us back to Ohio.
Instead of heeding our advice and utilizing Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s oval for two races per year, they’re going with the dreadful “road course” for the Grand Prix of Indy again. Carnage and inferior racing will be the only guarantees. Oh, plus lots of signage.
Another trip to the Barber as well as the streets of St. Pete will keep the hundreds of combined fans at those locales happy, though few others. Hopefully fan injuries are fewer in Florida next year, but we’re not holding our breath. Birmingham, Alabama? Now there’s a real destination city for ya’ll.
Outrageously, both Fontana and Milwaukee are absent in 2016. The loss of Fontana with its edge of your seat racing is unforgivable, while the omission of America’s oldest sports venue is typically short-sighted of the series and at the same time tragic. We are currently witnessing the horrific, slow and painful death of IndyCar oval racing under Mark Miles. This horror show will continue until Miles is sent packing back to 1960s Euro tennis land.
Searching exceptionally hard to find a bright side, at least the swamp-awful NOLA “race” was dropped, as one stop was painful enough. Additions to the schedule include the mile oval at Phoenix and Wisconsin’s Road America, both of which IndyCar’s visited in previous years though neither made for particularly great racing.
There is some good news, but precious little. Happily Texas is back for its twentieth season of bigger, better oval-tastic racing. Yee-haw! Pocono surprisingly makes another appearance too, even after the tragic accidental death of Justin Wilson this year. Of course Long Beach also made the cut, well into its third decade of hosting Indy-style races. The Beach is one street course with some tradition and a party atmosphere we can get behind.
Dallara’s guaranteed another good year with the return of the Canuck car crusher in the concrete canyons of Toronto. For the series’ one foreign foray, we nominate disgraced former mayor Rob Ford as grand marshal. He’s just so very – well, grand. Holding the season finale at slumber-inducing Sonoma‘s a lot like the NFL featuring the Lions every Thanksgiving Day. It may be traditional, but it’s still a lousy idea and even more tedious viewing.
Considering all this, it’s evidently clear why we’re so adamant about IndyCar firing Mark Miles. Now go sign the damned petition already. As if anyone needed further evidence, this schedule provides it. If you wanna know who’s to blame for this hot mess, Mr. Miles is who.