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Dropping Gateway - Mistake?

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  • Dropping Gateway - Mistake?

    I have read where the rumored schedule for next year is 16 races with the dropping of Gateway as one of the races. The main reason given is over saturation of races in the Midwest.


    Duh!! The Midwest is where most of the fan base for the IRL resides. The attendance at Gateway was improving and the track management was happy with the improvement. That should be the main indicator to whether a race is kept or not.


    Besides 17 races are not a lot of races. You are trying to build a series, and you cut out tracks that are getting improvements in their fan base. It doesn’t make sense to me.

    JMHO
    I would think by now that this administration would have a clue as to what it takes to get the job done. So, Get-er-done!!!!!

  • #2
    "Oversaturation" may be the buzzword, but the "racing" there just stinks. Like Nazareth. They were adequate C^RT tracks, for that kind of racing, but do not fit the IRL's on-track product. Fans associating the IRL with wheel to wheel racing excitement are going to be sorely disappointed with a race at Gateway or Nazareth, IMO.

    Still, if it was an either/or, I think Gateway had a slight edge over Nazareth in terms of the racing.

    It's pretty apparent that the 1.3-1.5 mi. tracks are tailor made for the IRL's formula, or vice versa. I know there's alot of flack about having too many "cookie cutter" tracks, but as long as the banking is varied, and maybe some subtle differences--trioval vs. quad oval vs. D-shape vs. "Houston" shaped vs. kidney shaped--I think if I were looking at new venues, I'd concentrate on that type of configuration.

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    • #3
      I hate to see them drop a track so soon, there should be a chance to build a audience and tradition without changes every year. Another series did this every year and look where it got them.
      "You just don't know what Indy Means", Al Unser Jr.

      "That's why to me it does feel more precious when an American wins it...", Michael Andretti

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      • #4
        I like the variety that Gateway and Nazareth offer. Not every single race has to be a photo-finish. The 1.5 high banks are my favorite tracks, but I still like the variety. I hope they keep it.

        Besides, do the math. 17 IRL races is better than 16.

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        • #5
          I concur with Snakepit. The more variety the better IMO. Especially in light of a decent race at Gateway this year, reasonable promotion and growth. I think they are taking the chicken way out at least in part due to the pit lane incidents.

          BTW, somebody might want to buy Tony and Brian a Rand-McNally atlas for Christmas. If the reason for dropping Gateway is "an oversaturation of races in the Midwest", where exactly do they think Milwaukee is? Has it been teleported to New England or the Pacific NW and I missed the announcement?

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          • #6
            I didn't notice that the racing stinks. Gee, what a dope I must be! I liked it. I was hoping it would stay on the schedule. Naz too. Maybe they should get rid of both of them. Don't go to Milwaukee either. Too flat. Phoenix sucks also; dump it. How about Indianapolis? Not much side by side action there. The race is too long anyway. Get rid of that sucker.

            Yeah right.
            Proud to be a complainer.

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            • #7
              ...count me in as one who believes this is a mistake. :mad:

              Gateway put more emphasis on driver talent and car set-up than the pedal-to-the-metal tracks such as Texas, KC, Chicago.

              Nice to see that the series has grown to the point where the word 'over saturation' is now used and that ovals are being dropped.
              ​a bad day at the race track beats a good day at work

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              • #8
                I like the track configuration, and really can't comment on the facility from a fan perspective, since I've not been.

                However, some consideration has to be given to attendance (maybe larger, but not by much). Also, the pit lanes are obviously too small. These issues need to be addressed before returning.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by fatusone
                  I like the track configuration, and really can't comment on the facility from a fan perspective, since I've not been.

                  However, some consideration has to be given to attendance (maybe larger, but not by much). Also, the pit lanes are obviously too small. These issues need to be addressed before returning.
                  Busch and the NCTS both race at Gateway with more than 21 entrants. Are NASCAR's AAA and AA drivers more capable than the IndyCar guys (and gal)? I doubt it. The pit lane is the narrowest of the tracks they race on, but IMO race control could find a way to make it safe for racing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brent_the_Lazier_fan
                    "Oversaturation" may be the buzzword, but the "racing" there just stinks. Like Nazareth. They were adequate C^RT tracks, for that kind of racing, but do not fit the IRL's on-track product. Fans associating the IRL with wheel to wheel racing excitement are going to be sorely disappointed with a race at Gateway or Nazareth, IMO.

                    Still, if it was an either/or, I think Gateway had a slight edge over Nazareth in terms of the racing.

                    It's pretty apparent that the 1.3-1.5 mi. tracks are tailor made for the IRL's formula, or vice versa. I know there's alot of flack about having too many "cookie cutter" tracks, but as long as the banking is varied, and maybe some subtle differences--trioval vs. quad oval vs. D-shape vs. "Houston" shaped vs. kidney shaped--I think if I were looking at new venues, I'd concentrate on that type of configuration.
                    "That kind of racing."????? What would that be? Of course, Milwaukee will be just as boring. Why go there? When CART ran Naz and Gateway, Gateway was a better race. Gateway is a larger track than Naz and Milwaukee. I believe it is 1.25 miles in length. I hated to see CART leave that venue.

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                    • #11
                      There was nothing wrong with the racing at this years event, just like a couple of venues this year that have been much better then the past. To me it is proof positive that the quality of the field, so much better then in the past has turned even the poorest venue raceable, I would use Gateway and PPIR as the best examples. Although some would say that the racing at PPIR has been ok, I thought there and Gateway were two of the worst. On the contrary, I think Richmond was disappointing this year from the racing standpoint, but every once in a while some driver dominates a race and stinks up the show. I know Kentucky will be a great event, next up, Nazareth, where neither CART or IndyCar has ever had a good event, I expect much better this time.

                      As for over-saturation, it is an issue, you can only ask so much from fans close to the hub at Indy to support so many races, and what remains are better. Regardless, whatever excuse used might just a PC spin, this is a DDE track and they went down to the wire according to one "source(?)," before signing another contract. Even NASCAR, I imagine as a dig at SMI, gave up one date in it's Charlotte hub area to move a second event into the California Speedway, over-saturation is a problem there too.

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                      • #12
                        Guess I will go to Kentucky, Nashville or Milwaukee since I wont be going back to Gateway. Other opinions aside, I enjoy the racing and the experience and I certainly did not watch the cars out on the street or the landfill in the background. I was interested in the racing. It is just a shame there will never be any explaination as to why

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                        • #13
                          If they are going to dump Gateway, I'de hope they'de replace it with a facility that produces great racing every time out. We've got two races at Texas, but it might be time to look at a return to Charlotte. Nascar fans are starting to warm up to the IRL, and the league seems content to race in front of 30,000 people. I don't see why Charlotte won't draw as many people as Gateway.

                          Or lets just take care of all the business at once. Let's throw G-Force owner Panoz a bone and schedule a race at Road Atlanta. If you coupled it with the Petite LeMans, even the die hard cart fans would probably come out of the woodwork for that one. If you give cart fans great road racing, they are going to get over the "split" pretty quickly.

                          Panoz is a big player already, but I expect pretty soon he is going to hold too many cards to not have as a really close partner. He is quietly going around buying up race tracks, car manufacturers and all sorts of other things. Right now, he has the capacity to be an IRL engine rebuilder, if not manufacturer, with his Elan Motorsports Technology group. He's also a neat guy. He took about 30 minutes just to have a laugh with me and talk about models on a race weekend at Sebring when he definately had other things to do. He saw I had a box of handbuilts and chased me down for a closer look. You can imagine that is still one of my prouder moments.

                          Yeah, yeah, no right turns. Fine. How about a 300 mile night race at the big speedway? Huh. Wouldn't that be cool? The F-1 date is looking more and more dicey if you listen to the negative scuttlebutt, so I don't think it would delute anything. It would also hammer it home just exactly who really is the Indycars.

                          There are plenty of places that produce better racing than Gateway, but the race there last year was still pretty good. I think the disappointing race this year is because we've become spoiled by too many gut wrenching thrillers lately. I'de like to see them revert to last years aero package and I think that would solve the percieved problem, even at Gateway.

                          BTW: I still enjoyed the Gateway race this year.
                          "Is that my *** that I smell burning?" ... Helmet Stogie from "Death spasms of the Mabuchi"

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                          • #14
                            Well, Gateway is part of the Dover Downs group, which is affiliated with Chris Pook (or at least was).

                            I wonder if that has anything to do with it?

                            hmmmmmmmmmmmm...........................

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Snakepit
                              Besides, do the math. 17 IRL races is better than 16.
                              Amen

                              I am disappointed with the IRL for dropping Gateway. To think there could have been 18 races ahd they not dropped the ball with Vegas.
                              RIP Dan Wheldon :(

                              "Anybody who says the IndyCar Series is not the best championship in the world is a complete idiot in my book." ~Dan Wheldon


                              "It's a discussion board, not a society ball." ~Skypigeon

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