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Shop And Compare Summary-The Report

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  • Shop And Compare Summary-The Report

    OK, here are the results of the comparison shopping. First, the background. I have been involved in a project here in Toronto since the first of the month. I have with me on the project an African American male, my age, from Boston who has never been a racing fan or to a race. Red Sox? Yes. Bruins? Yes. Patriots? Yes. NASCAR? ‘Huh?’ Indy Cars? ‘Huh?’ c^rt? ‘You mean like at the grocery store?’ South Boston Speedway? ‘Huh?’ Utterly clueless with regard to racing. He had heard of Formula One, and could name Jackie Stewart.

    I arranged for press credentials to the Molson Indy so we’d have the run of the place in Toronto. We had a great time. We got there early, and walked around the entire place, inside and out. The paddock area, various hospitality areas, Thunder Alley, the top of the food building, Dodge corner, you name it. He had a pretty good time.

    I asked him for some observations afterward. Here are some of the most revealing.

    ‘There wasn’t much racing. It was sort of like a really fast parade.’

    ‘Too bad you can’t see the entire track.’

    ‘Wow…they’re pretty loud.’

    ‘Does anyone ever get passed on the track?’

    ‘The pit crews are awesome . . . they can really make a difference, can’t they?’

    ‘Paul Tracy sure seems like an arrogant a**hole.’

    ‘How come they won’t sell single day grandstand seats? Wouldn’t they fill them up if they did?’

    ‘How come there are not more cars?’

    ‘This is pretty expensive.’

    We also visited the Canadian sports museum that had the racing stuff in it. We saw some cool vehicles in there.

    He asked me how the ‘Indy’ car drivers in this ‘race’ did at Indy this year. I sort of chuckled and explained how there was, like, one guy in the race who raced at Indy, then explained how Molson uses the word ‘Indy’ to basically try to add legitimacy to a dying series (mind you, this was AFTER he had seen the ‘race’), and that the cars he saw were not really ‘Indy’ cars, but were ‘champ’ cars. He looked confused.

    He is a basically a chauvinistic, grunting pig-like horny heathen like me, and definitely appreciated the quality of scantily clad young women running around in droves. He got a lot of freebies . . . everything from Simple Green samples to a Players DVD to mint flavored condoms and a sex ruler. He had some roasted chicken and enjoyed it. Beer, too. He was amazed the longest line inside the facility was to meet a couple of Toronto Maple Leaf hockey players.

    He was particularly excited that the Molson Indy girls were staying in our hotel and would work out in the conference room next to the room where we ate breakfast.

    Now, fast forward to this past Saturday. I had arranged for hotel accommodations in Canton, Michigan, about an hour from the track. Freebies. Rented a car. The ticket for him was a mere 40 bucks. Garage pass, too. He kept seeming to make excuses why he couldn’t go. Finally, one night last week at dinner he said he just didn’t think it was that great, and thought he’d stay in Toronto for the weekend and go to the blues festival.

    I told him he HAD to give it a chance . . . that I was genuinely interested in his opinion. It was a tough sell, because he REALLY did not want to go. He was convinced he’d be bored. He was convinced it would be a waste because it was going to rain. Nevertheless, I talked him into going. He was somewhat belligerent, but we got to the hotel, settled in, and got ready to go the next morning. We got to the track about 9, and I immediately sent him to a trailer to rent a scanner, which he did not have in Toronto. I then sent him inside to the garage and various points around the facility. He ended up at the turn one side of the main stand, and he upgraded himself to fourth from the top on the end. I had him meet me at the car right after the race so we could hit 12 to 127 to I-94 then back to Canada. Worked out great. We had a lot to discuss afterward.

    ‘Wow.’ ‘I’m speechless.’ ‘Those guys are GOOD.’ ‘They must have stones of steel—how do they do that!?’ ‘Amazing.’ 'How come there aren't more accidents?'

    He thought Barron's save was phenominal and couldn't believe the doughnut on the sidepod. He liked the Target cars. He liked Sam.

    He was asking about wing angles, push, weight jackers, all kinds of technical stuff he picked up off the scanner.

    ‘How do they see to their sides when they are three side by side going into a turn?’ (This is where we had the spotter discussion).

    ‘I think I like the way the champ cars sound a little better, but the Indy Cars look a lot better.’

    ‘Did THESE people race in the Indy 500?’ (I laughed and said ‘and THEN some and pointed out all the former winners. He had heard of Al Unser, and enjoyed his battle at the front).

    ‘What a cool track . . . beautiful. But I kind of feel like the gardener at a plantation with some of these ******* looking folks running around. This is an extremely rural setting, and it kind of makes me nervous.’ I explained how they were all basically racing fans and how MIS holds NASCAR events which always sell out, and that they like Indy cars, too.

    ‘I thought Dale Earnhart died.’ I don’t know what prompted that other than perhaps the Elvisian display by people and entrepreneurs all over the place of all things Dale.

    ‘Why don’t they put Indy cars on display? I’ve seen lots of NASCAR cars, but not many Indy cars. How come?

    ‘I could not keep my eyes off the track. Even during caution periods I did not want to get up because I thought I’d miss something.’

    ‘You can see the whole track.’

    ‘How come I’ve never heard of any of these people?’

    ‘That was really exciting. Thanks for making me do this. This is what I had in mind.’

    ‘Where do these guys race close to Boston?’

    ‘There were not enough cars racing.’

    ‘The women are not as pretty here. Lots of fatties wearing things they shouldn’t.’

    ‘Sarah Fisher’s got a little potty mouth sometimes, doesn’t she?’

    ‘A.J. Foyt is fairly colorful.’

    I asked him if he’d watch IRL races on TV in the future, and he asked when they were on and who carried them. Then he said there’s probably no way TV can catch what goes on. In terms of speed, no, except for a few cool in-cars. He’ll probably watch when he can. He said he does want to borrow my tape when we’re finished here.

    The next day he told me he heard the cars in his sleep, slept well, and had some good dreams. He definitely wants to go to Indy.

    In summary, c^rt nearly tuned him off forever, and Indy Cars ignited his interest and ensured a good possibility he’ll be back.

    I think we may have a new Indy Car fan. Good demo, income and ethnicity, too. Plus, he has sons on the cusp of teenage. One fan at a time. As we rebuild it, they are coming.

  • #2
    nice job
    "Living well is the best revenge"

    George Herbert

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    • #3
      Muzzletoph Defender
      The patience of Jobe
      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Defender
        I have a rare opportunity to take a grown man to both the Toronto Molson ‘Indy’ (well, not really Indy, but what's a little dishonesty, particularly outside the border?) c^rt race this weekend, and then to the IRL’s big Michigan Genuine, Real, Authentic Indy race. This guy has never been to an auto race. Never watched one on television. Is only mildly aware of NASCAR. Lived in DC; moved to Boston; now works with me. Had NO idea about ‘the split’ until we met a friend of mine for lunch today in Toronto who is a huge c^rt fan. She started spouting off like some of the c^rt morons who hang out here, and I had to set her straight while he listened intently.
        Let me get this straight: you strong-armed some poor guy who "works with [for?] me" into attending a "c^rt" race and "the IRL's big Michigan Genuine, Real, Authentic Indy race," to compare the two in your presence. Previously, he'd gotten a pretty good idea of what you [boss? supervisor? co-worker?] thought about the matter and what you undoubtedly wanted to hear after you "had to set [a female C^RT fan, otherwise described as a "c^rt moron"] straight while he listened intently." Moreover, you footed the bill for both weekends so there was NO possibility that your test subject might feel beholden to you and/or want to please you as partial repayment. Phase One of your grand experiment was so distasteful--despite all the goodies you showered him with--that he wanted to stay put in horrid Toronto and offered several excuses rather than join you for a fun-filled IRL weekend in Brooklyn, MI. But you were having none of it, reminding your hapless guinea pig again of your project (and his obligation to you) and, basically, what was expected of him. Even so, he felt put upon enough to arrive "belligerent".

        Now, we're supposed to accept your recitation of the 'convert's' impressions as indisputable, unprompted, independent proof of the relative merits of the two series and of all the pre-conceived opinions you've been spouting on this forum for years? As presented by a guy who doesn't mind a "little dishonesty" [yeah, I know, you were being sarcastic--funny the descriptive phrases that pop into folks' minds, however]?

        Instead, let's look at the 'convert's' reported response:

        Originally posted by Defender
        I asked him if he’d watch IRL races on TV in the future, and he asked when they were on and who carried them. Then he said there’s probably no way TV can catch what goes on. In terms of speed, no, except for a few cool in-cars. He’ll probably watch when he can. He said he does want to borrow my tape when we’re finished here.
        Our test subject was so enthusiastic that YOU had to ask HIM if he was going to be watching the races on TV? He responded by politely asking what station they were on and, then, offered the opinion that "there's probably no way TV can catch what goes on" (ergo, logically, why bother to watch?). Most of the newly converted fans of my acquaintance can't wait to attend another race. Your "new IRL fan" not only didn't ask about tickets, he isn't even sure if he's going to watch another televised race...ever. Someone a little less anxious to climb on the soap box might view your "fan's" reactions as a polite brush-off to an overbearing co-worker.

        Anyway, I don't think the Roper or Gallup organizations are going to be recruiting you anytime soon.

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        • #5
          This isn't about one league or another.

          MIS builds up the sport. It's obvious in it's presentation. Raw Speed, close racing, great view.

          Twas a Michigan CART race that pulled me in for life. It had nothing to do with the stars or the league... It was just Michigan.

          Toronto is about understanding the subtlties of racing. It's not obvious, it's racing strategy, and the view is of one corner or series of corners. To enjoy it... you need to spend the 3 Days walking the course and seeing the action from 5 or 6 vantage points.

          I wonder how big a fan of the IRL your friend would be if he'd had experienced the proposed 2005 road-racing version with IndyCars at the Molson Indy of Toronto.

          I applaud you bringing people out to the track. I applaud you helping to build up OpenWheel racing. I disagree with your conclussion.
          If it doesn't have wings... It isn't worth talking about!

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          • #6
            As a very casual race fan, my wife hated it when I took her to one of the Free Fridays at Belle Isle a few years ago, "This is stupid", "You can't see anything" she said....as I was standing on the inside of turn 3 watching the cars skitter across the track, turbos screaming, etc.

            But she enjoys going to Pole Day at Indy. Go figure.

            For me, as a race fan, I have always enjoyed both.

            Comment


            • #7
              I bet he's have liked toronto a bit more had he used a scanner or a kangarootv.

              That said, nice to have the comparison.

              Interesting that MY first experience was a similar VIP treatment (chalets, free stuff, hob-nobbing, pace car ride, etc) at a road course that made me a lifetime fan of "pre-split Indycar" racing.

              Now, as a die hard OW fan, I waste far too much time on the message boards at TF and (decreasingly) 7G. I wonder what the he11 happened.....
              Rest in Peace, Miles Nelson

              Never forget, 'Mackie' was here.

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              • #8
                again, "good job"
                You've furthered the sport
                He may come back and watch a sprint car or sports car or NHRA race some day as well as those you've exposed him to.
                Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                • #9
                  My wifes boss and his wife went to CART Fontana 2 years ago, courtesy of Bridgestone. She had Tony Kansomething sign her Bridgestone hat, had guided tours of the entire place, free stuff, the exciting racing, great seats high in the stands to watch the entire track. She loved it!!!!! Last year she watched a few CART street and road races on tv,, she just couldnt get it. Translating what she said was: Only able to see small sections of the track, 10 or more seconds seperating cars. Nothing happens. She wondered why anyone would pay to see that.
                  BUT,,,, she did tune in to IRL races. Translating again: She loved it. Exciting side by side action, could see all the track, photo finishes, etc.
                  So now, she is a HARDCORE IRL FAN!! She tells everyone about the IRL races. She shows everyone her Bridgestone Tony Kan hat. She watches every IRL race. She can name 75% of the IRL field. Can name more INDY winners and year then I can (she still cant pronounce DeFeran or Castro correctly . Knows a lil about who runs what engine. She knows the car numbers and sponsors. She picked it all up from the paper and tv,, she doesnt internet at all, she's afraid of the technology. I wouldnt speak her age,, but will say she draws social security.

                  I've posted this before, last year after Texas II. Our Cubmaster drives a bus, took one of the "military cheap tickets and bus trip" loads of soldiers from Fort Sill to TMS. After the race ALL THE SOLDIERS could not believe how exciting the racing was. They had picked up on "Sam in the Yellow Pennzoil #4 car." The side by side racing. The speeds. Etc. Etc. They were like kids Christmas morning. They were excited!!! Surely they had to tell many others about how great it was.

                  This wasnt a "survey" like Defender's. But it was 2 examples to back up Defenders "test subject" results.
                  "OWRS did not return phone calls."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've taken my wife to Indy 10 times and a bunch of other IRL races. She loves it. I took her to a CART road race at Portland once. She read the paper.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                      I've taken my wife to Indy 10 times and a bunch of other IRL races. She loves it. I took her to a CART road race at Portland once. She read the paper.
                      Hey Jim, when your wife is at Indy, does she ask why she can't see the whole track?

                      And Defender, did you take your co-worker to the Stones concert last night at Downsview?

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                      • #12

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                        • #13
                          Nice fiction Defender. The same old formula.
                          But where is the celebrity encounter you usually put in?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rfellows
                            Hey Jim, when your wife is at Indy, does she ask why she can't see the whole track?
                            No....maybe because Indy was the first race she ever went to. Of course, the big screens help a lot now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Comparisons are really interesting. Last year, my dad was visiting the weekend of the Texas 2 race. He is a casual race fan, has been to CART races at Toronto, Road America, and Nazareth. He was considering going to Nazareth as well.

                              Here's what he said to me half way through the race, "Lets go out and do something. These oval racers are just driving around next to each other, and can't make a pass. They aren't even trying to pass. At least road racers would be trying inside and outside to get by. These guys are happy just driving around next to each other."

                              He then ruled out going back to Nazareth so long as the IRL is racing there.

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