Some easily accomplished changes can save the fastest and in our opinion highest form of IndyCar competition, oval track racing. Neither difficult nor expensive to implement, these improvements should be made immediately for the sake of the sport. May God save open wheel oval racing, the closest thing to spectator heaven that exists upon this earth.
Photo from sports.usatoday.com
Long time fans of IndyCar racing on ovals, we’ve consistently raised alarms at their steady erosion from the schedule. At first blush the very thought of bettering side by side racing at over 200 mph seems ludicrous, but it can be done and fairly easily so. There are a number of things IndyCar needs more of to attract fans to its oval events – and one less. Among those additions are more comfort and fun. The subtraction involves putting someone in charge who appreciates IndyCar’s heritage.
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First – and this is very important – is give fans in the stands more shade, refuge from the searing summer sun. The Romans had canopies on the Coliseum, why don’t oval tracks have them 2000 years later? While we’re at it, would it be going too far to ask for stones to hurl at Will and Juan?
Back to comfort, sizzling aluminum isn’t an ideal surface for anyone’s arse. The lack of back rests is appalling – and how about some padding? Another added benefit of canopies – no, not that kind – is that they’d hide the often sparse looking crowds. However, when our ideas are fully implemented, happily this’ll be less of an issue.
Photo from twitter.com
Another way to improve oval track racing is for IndyCar to actually feature open wheel cars again. Enough with the ass pods and ridiculous aero kits already. Meant to be sleek and aerodynamic, Indy cars shouldn’t look like lumbering NASCAR behemoths. Fans shouldn’t have to watch Lights to see aesthetically pleasing open wheel cars. Besides, whether we like to admit it or not, the inherent danger of the speeds open wheel, open cockpit cars possess is a key component of the sport’s allure.
Photo from indycar.com
We’ve argued against the new look cars since their inception, as racing can never be made completely safe and the nature of the sport shouldn’t be compromised. Happily, it’s beginning to look like some action may be taken on the ass pods for next year. Next IndyCar should ditch the aero kits altogether, add some horsepower and we’re back in business. That’s provided some excellent ovals like Kentucky, Fontana, Chicagoland and Michigan are revived on the schedule. By the way, Gateway in East St. Louis isn’t on anyone’s list of decent ovals, much less destinations.
Photo from autosport.com
Oval tracks also need more fun things to do and see – they need to be multi-day events. Concerts like at IMS are a good start, but they need some supplementing. More support series races would be nice, as road courses put ovals to shame on this accord. By support races, we don’t mean those horrid, ear splitting NASCAR “trucks,” either.
Photo from fanshare.com
Between on-track activities, put on an enjoyable show or better yet, multiple shows. Have classic race replay night on Big Tex, poker – Mon tournaments, Q & A with the IRR staff, bikini contests and mud wrestling. Of course free beer and liquor – Fuzzy’s shots for all! – always helps. Talk about sponsor activation. Who the hell needs Target, anyway? We’ll take Miller over them any day of the week.
IndyCar oval events should be spectacles – and can be again. They’re far too entertaining and the racing’s way too good for fans to fathom allowing their extinction.
Other sundry ideas to spruce up oval races –
“Honda Honeys” and Chevy Cheerleaders. This site will gladly spearhead the entirety of this important initiative, right down to the outfits and all important tryouts.
Some actual promotion.
Decent quality take-out food options at tracks, including cheese steaks, fresh tomato salads and oysters. Also full egg breakfasts.
Advertising the fifty mile per hour speed advantage over NASCAR.
Full wine bars.
Free camping at the track, with multi-tiered glamping options.
Live twenty four hour – and extremely intimate – “Pippa Mann Cam.”
Special pre-race features, including tarring and feathering Mark Miles on the front straight before riding him out of the speedway on a rail. Fan participation will be encouraged.