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The wine and cheese crowd of open wheel auto racing – like most Americans – finds much to complain about these days. Rightfully so.
As regular fans who love the sport, yet at the same time wish to see it bettered, we at IRR freely admit loving to bitch at, to and about all things IndyCar. Doesn’t everyone? IndyCar fans’ bitching easily puts that of NASCAR fans to shame. It’s another tremendous tradition that all followers of artistry on wheels share, no matter the era – or the issue – in question. For devotees of speed, it’s practically a point of pride. In fact, the IndyCar series may well enjoy (or is it endure?) the bitchiest fan base in all of sports, certainly per capita. Considering Philadelphia Eagles rooters are on that list, it’s quite an impressive feat.
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Whether it’s their 500 tickets not arriving in the mail when they feel they should (or worse – the horror! – they arrive after a fellow Twitter user got theirs), the series’ so called schedule, its poor promotion, inept leadership, woeful owners, crappy streaming, questionable ride buying talent, lack of ovals, ad hoc rule enforcement, lousy coverage, or any number of other things, fans of fast love letting their disapproval be known. Why shouldn’t they? After all, they’re the ones paying for it.
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Over the last twenty months, IRR alone has published countless articles critical of the sport we adore – and with good reason. Alas, for lovers of Indy there’s plenty to bitch about. Be it Mark Miles, or interstate-speed road course races, or fugly, fragile aero kits, or awful renditions of ‘Back Home Again In Indiana,’ or a certain team lousing up the 500, or the f-ing F1 invasion, or Juan’s wins, or announcing rules and penalties after the season’s already begun, or dumpster fires breaking out in trailers en route to a race, most adherents acknowledge there are plenty of areas IndyCar could improve.
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When – in the relatively rare event – IndyCar manages to do something positive, followers embrace it and we happily report it, as well. Like last year’s races at Barber, Toronto, Milwaukee, Iowa and particularly Fontana – until the drivers got out and ruined everything by bitching. As for IndyCar fans at large, there’s no more devoted yet well informed group of followers on the planet. Of course, that’s when things go as they’re supposed to, when races aren’t being canceled, ovals aren’t being decimated, race control isn’t a carousel . . .
On second thought, the series establishment‘s probably right – ignorant paying customers so often don’t know what’s best for them these days. Perhaps, as they say, we should all just shut up. Whether it’s a government or a racing series, seems as though the powers that be are infallible and we’re always the ones at fault. Or so we’re told, at least. More likely though, maybe – just maybe – all those bitching fans and complaining articles demanding more in return for their time, attention and hard earned dollars actually have a valid point. Namely, that a professional racing series should act like one from time to time. ‘Cause when an organization stops trying to better itself or its product, then complacency sets in. And when that outfit can’t take a little criticism of said complacency, it metastasizes.
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Perhaps a bigger problem arises if IndyCar adherents were to run out of things to bitch about. Now that’s a frightening thought, isn’t it? Oh, almost forgot to include the distinct lack of quality of the bitching from some quarters. Step it up, folks.
Come to think of it, supporters of IndyCar won’t run out of things to bitch about at all. Ever. Not with this leadership in charge – not in a million years. Accept it. Bitching’s simply a part of race fans’ DNA.
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