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Can we fix it..........yes we can!!

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  • Can we fix it..........yes we can!!

    IMO, the biggest problem with Indy Car racing is that the average race fan can no longer relate to it.

    Between talking to my customers and all the "gear heads" at the Performance Racing Industry trade show every year, the thing I hear the most from people regarging Indy Cars is that they can't relate to them. These are people who build racing engines for a living. Their livelyhood is based on auto racing, but they can't relate to Indy cars, and that is why they aren't interested.

    If these people can't relate, how are the average race fans going to relate and become interested in the IRL.

    Back in the 60's and 70's, the average race fan would pick up a copy of Hot Rod and read about the engines and chassis that would be running at Indy and the shops that were building them. Now they pick up their favorite magizines and read about the Engines, chassis, and shops of NASCAR.

    Now here's my question:
    How do we change the IRL so the average fan can relate to it, without making it "open wheel NASCAR"??


    BTW, the reason why I'm asking is because I don't have an answer.
    "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

    J. Michael Ringham
    Vice President, Marketing
    IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

    www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

  • #2
    Remember the old days? When the drivers were fat and the tires were skinny.....
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 11 posts.

    Molon Labe!

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    • #3
      I don't believe that it should be the engines and technology that has to be sold. I believe the fans flock to the drivers. NASCAR sells the drivers, not the cars.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by NoviVespa
        I don't believe that it should be the engines and technology that has to be sold. I believe the fans flock to the drivers. NASCAR sells the drivers, not the cars.
        It's the whole package.

        People relate to NASCAR because they can relate to the whole package. The look at Tony Stewart driving his Chevy and they can relate to him. They read about the engine shops tuning their engines, and everybody that took autoshop in highschool relates to it. Even though the development work being done at DEI is as high-tech as the work being done at Cosworth, the average racer only relates to the NASCAR engines.
        "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

        J. Michael Ringham
        Vice President, Marketing
        IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

        www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

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        • #5
          A darned fine place to begin would be more effective marketing in a general sense. Word of mouth and a poor broadcast parrtner ain't gonna cut it.

          The IRL also needs to draw a line to keep Sam in the league.

          Consistency in a variety of areas besides exciting racing is necessary.
          Last edited by doitagain; 08-09-2003, 02:25 PM.

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          • #6
            For now, remove the cloak of secrecy surrounding the engines. Allow rebuilders to work on them and devlop them and then let them advertise that they were involved in the whole deal. Run some features by the vendors who support the mfg's and let them talk about the internals. Take an old engine and chassis, cut it in half and let the common Joe take a look see to see what's inside. I'm just guessing, but in the end it's just a block, rod, piston, cam and head. Nothing ultra cosmic going on there. Where I'm guessing the real engineering comes in is the software/mapping/EFI stuff. I still don't know if we are better off embracing that and continuing to evolve it, or whether we should regress and go to a more analog, mechanical type FI system. At least I think most folks could relate to that better.

            Maybe in time Detroit will switch over to overhead cam engines throughout their fleet. Don't know when that will be but it should happen eventually. NASCAR should then follow. Once that happens, the shops working Indycar engines for the last 30 years or whatever will have a leg up on them and perhaps Indycar technology will be more in the mainstream. But even that's a stretch.

            Bottomline: I Dunno.

            jmart

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            • #7
              Camking, you know you could build a reliable engine just as fast these exotic things now in use, based on using stock block US production material. It would cost a h3ll of a lot less and would get the hot rod guys back into Indy racing where they belong.
              I never have understood what the attraction is in having engines most people can't relate to, even if they're called a Chevy or Honda.
              When you hear 24 sprinters full throttle(sp) it can send a chill up your back.
              IRL should be like that.
              "Moralism is often the first strength of a weak mind"
              -Norman Mailer-

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              • #8
                I consider myself an average fan and I relate to fast, close racing!
                Have a very blessed day!

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                • #9
                  nothing drastic, that's for sure!

                  as a racefan I don't care about revlimiters, engines, chassis, sidepods, wickerbills, airboxes, etc ... I want to see people I recognize, that's it.
                  http://brianswish.trackforum.com/brianswish_main.htm/

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                  • #10
                    From the title of your thread, I guess the IRL just needs Bob the Builder, can he fix it, yes he can.
                    Brian's Wish
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sweaty
                      Camking, you know you could build a reliable engine just as fast these exotic things now in use, based on using stock block US production material. It would cost a h3ll of a lot less and would get the hot rod guys back into Indy racing where they belong.

                      I'd copy NASCAR specs if it made sense to.

                      Chevy-Ford-Dodge-Honda-Toyota

                      American drivers like Barron, Hornish, Yaley, etc.

                      No doubt rubbin is racin... but keepin from rubbin is real racin.
                      Man to Man is so unjust... there's no Man you can Trust.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PHJIndy
                        I consider myself an average fan and I relate to fast, close racing!
                        If you were an average race fan, you wouldn't watch the IRL. Sorry but that's a fact. People that watch the IRL don't make up 5% of the total number of race fans in the US.
                        "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

                        J. Michael Ringham
                        Vice President, Marketing
                        IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

                        www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

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                        • #13
                          IMO, the biggest problem with Indy Car racing is that the average race fan can no longer relate to it.
                          i am of the same opinion......"street people" (lol) still don't know who i'm speaking of when i try and talk Indycar racing. "average fans" may recognize the sport, "oh those are the cars that race at the Indy500"; but, not recognize but one or two drivers. the drivers being unser and foyt (but not this foyt IV).

                          i have gone from being a "passionate" fan to a "ho hum" fan. after not missing a 500 since '96 and attending every race at TMS since the beginning; i've not been to a race this year and don't plan on going. i've not seen many on tv either, BUT the race at michigan really stirred the juices again.

                          i don't think i'll be passionate again about the IRL until:
                          a) there are more drivers coming from the local tracks
                          b) there is more involvement from "job shop" type vendors, and they are getting credit for it publicly.
                          c) there is more positive mass media coverage, (it's nice to part of a group that everyone thinks is cool, not that it's required)
                          d) there is more "cross-over" driver/team involvement from other series, with sponsorship impetous and support.
                          e) there are enough cost reductions that a few more owners can come up "through the ranks" too!

                          until some of these things happen.......it's same ole same ole, ho hum.
                          returning to the days of ignorant bliss..

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sweaty
                            Camking, you know you could build a reliable engine just as fast these exotic things now in use, based on using stock block US production material.
                            I think it would even help if they went with Turbo production block 4cyl engines. This would keep Toyota and Honda in the game. The new hot rod scene is the import 4cyl's, this would draw in the younger "rice rocket" crowd. As long as the major parts were made available, it would bring in the independant engine builders and the aftermarket companies. BTW, a production based turbo 2.4L engine would make the same amount of power for less money.
                            "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

                            J. Michael Ringham
                            Vice President, Marketing
                            IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

                            www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by R22
                              i am of the same opinion......"street people" (lol) still don't know who i'm speaking of when i try and talk Indycar racing. "average fans" may recognize the sport, "oh those are the cars that race at the Indy500"; but, not recognize but one or two drivers. the drivers being unser and foyt (but not this foyt IV).

                              i have gone from being a "passionate" fan to a "ho hum" fan. after not missing a 500 since '96 and attending every race at TMS since the beginning; i've not been to a race this year and don't plan on going. i've not seen many on tv either, BUT the race at michigan really stirred the juices again.

                              i don't think i'll be passionate again about the IRL until:
                              a) there are more drivers coming from the local tracks
                              b) there is more involvement from "job shop" type vendors, and they are getting credit for it publicly.
                              c) there is more positive mass media coverage, (it's nice to part of a group that everyone thinks is cool, not that it's required)
                              d) there is more "cross-over" driver/team involvement from other series, with sponsorship impetous and support.
                              e) there are enough cost reductions that a few more owners can come up "through the ranks" too!

                              until some of these things happen.......it's same ole same ole, ho hum.
                              I've posted about the same thing a couple of times but you've just stated my position a whole lot better than my posts.
                              Gary Crossno

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