Danica's Daytona sends TV ratings, IMS hopes soaring

February 25, 2013
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Last Monday, I wrote that Danica Patrick’s entry this year as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup racer could mean $1.5 million in ticket and other sales for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I also wrote that Patrick’s success could mean more toward rejuvenating July’s Brickyard 400 than installing lights at the IMS.

I would like to revise that.

If she keeps her car up front, and especially if she learns to finish a race strong, Patrick’s success could mean—and should mean—well over $2 million in additional revenue to the IMS during July's Brickyard 400. IMS officials still say the Brickyard 400 is profitable. But it's safe to say the profit margin is much slimmer now than it was a decade ago before attendance at the NASCAR race was halved to 125,000.

The Speedway has more to gain from Patrick’s success this year than any other track. As the former six-time most-popular IndyCar Series driver, she’s already demonstrated she has a following here in the heart of open-wheel.

The vastly improved TV ratings for Sunday’s Daytona 500 prove that people are as fascinated as ever by the fastest female open-wheel or stock car racing has ever seen. Patrick appears poised to snap Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 10-year streak as NASCAR’s most popular driver, an amazing feat for a rookie.

This year’s Daytona 500 scored a 10.0 overnight TV rating and a 22 share, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. That’s more than a 30-percent increase over last year’s 7.7 rating/13 share.

Last year’s Daytona 500 was postponed due to rain from Sunday to Monday, so the comparison to this year may be skewed a bit. But last year’s race did start just after 7 p.m. and enjoyed a prime-time slot. Either way, there’s no denying the Danica effect. This year is the best Daytona 500 in terms of TV viewership since 2006.

This year’s ratings mean about 11 million households watched, and 22 percent of all TV sets on at the time were tune in to Daytona. And most viewers didn’t tune in to watch Jimmy Johnson win.

The race scored an 8.6 rating and 20 share as the green flag dropped at Daytona, and as long as Patrick stayed in contention the audience grew. The ratings peaked from 4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.with a 12.8 rating (14.1 million households) and 26 share.

Not coincidently, Patrick was sitting in third place late in the race as TV viewership surged. Her last lap wasn't spectacular as she fell to eighth. Still, it's the highest female finisher at Daytona ever. And her performance is certainly enough to stoke the fires of Danicamania.

Still skeptical? Consider this: Shortly after winning the pole at Daytona, Fanatics.com, a leading retailer of official merchandise, announced the sale of Patrick merchandise surpassed sales of wares for the likes of Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. She retained that lead to the finish.

As I wrote last week, it’s a long way between Daytona and Indianapolis. A lot can happen in five-plus months on the NASCAR circuit.

But for now we know this: Patrick has a very fast car. And fans care about what she does behind the wheel of that car very much. In no place is that more true than where she first zoomed into America’s consciousness—Indianapolis.

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  • NASCAR is Sports Entertainment
    Not a real sport. So Danica's presence is perfect for making money for all parties in the business of making money. And that is what the whole enchilada is about. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis 500 will have James Jakes and Simon Pagenuad to drive the ratings through the roof this May.
    • Laugh
      Got to hand it to you on that one Burl! I typically disagree with 98% of what you say on here but that comment made me chuckle!
    • This is great news
      Anthony, how come you don't report TV ratings anymore, especially for the IRLseries? All this Danica-mania is ok business-wise...but can someone translate how any of it translates to her being considered a success as a race car driver? Oh, I forgot...the Speedway forged the way with Danica in 2005. My bad. She wrecks the sport but as long as you can reap merchandizing from it all it's win-win. Another sad day for the sport.
    • Pole at Daytona, first woman to lead at Daytona, top 10 finish, in the company of legends as one of only 13 drivers to have lead indy and Daytona. I think that speaks volumes as to how she is as a racecar driver. Burl, what do you consider real racing?
    • Anthony, congrats on the promotion.
    • What if Danica looked like Janet Guthrie
      Seriously, what if Danica wasn't America's sexy racing female...just an ordinary journeyman racer who wanted to be judged not by looks, but by her racing prowess. How far do you think she'll get? Johanna Long, Chrissy Wallace, Amber Cope and Angela Cope, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Natalie Sather, Isabelle Tremblay, Katherine Legge, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, and Simona de Silvestro want to know....
    • NASCAR Daytona Ratings Explained
      Daytona's 12+ overnight estimates were up primarily because a bunch of fans almost got killed by flying car parts that tore through a fence in the B-team race, and Danica was on the pole. Most men I know do not think of her as 'hot.' She generally has a b!tchy look on her mug, is built like a young boy, and turns on the charm only when she has to. If she is not female she is just another driver who if they were ranked might be considered a little better than average. Her gender and the fact she competes straight up with men is a large hook. I will be interested in seeing what the demographic breakouts are when the finals are out to see how many more women tuned in. NASCAR is simply doing what they always do. Milking a property for all it's worth.
    • 10 rating
      Hey, thats not too shabby! How could the gratest race in the universe allow Danica to slip away? Indy 500 doesn't have the draw any more.
    • Chief=Obtuse
      Huh? You are not making sense. Danica followed the money. What is so difficult to understand? The Indy 500 remains the most highly attended single day sporting event in the world. Not sure how that is on your planet, but here on earth we deal in the realm of reality.
    • As with other racers, KAsey Kahne is an example, Danica does get credit for her looks, but has any of the other female racers you posted had the success she has? Any of them lead Indy and Daytona? Win the Daytona pole? That may be their answer. Now anyone of them could very well be a success. And if any of them take the pole at Indy, win Indy or Daytona or the like, they will be fetted as well. If Danica was looks and no skill you may have a point. She has looks and skill. Burl, still waiting to see what you consider real racing.
    • Pay Attention...
      Indyman, Did you miss Chief's comment in the other "The Score" article about Danica answering you, or are you just playing ignorant of his actual point? Chief answered: "There are several other women in racing, none apparently as good as Danica. WHY? Hmmm, they don't take their clothes off and bring marketing $$$...so they don't get the best equipment and therefore are dismissed." If some of other women had the opportunity to be on the top teams maybe they would have been as or more successful. We will never know, but don't leave reality out of the debate. How did she end up on better teams? They knew she was marketable as the cute little girl racer, something she had going for her over the other women too. So far she has gotten farther based on a lot of reasons, not all based on her on-tracks results. They have been good enough to feed the marketability. Gotta give her that. But is that racing talent? Depending on how you answer that, then you may be also able to gauge what Chief means by "real racing." I do think you know some of this, but are more interested in making Chief look bad. He seems to really know his racing, and you and Disciple seem to want to make that less so and to shut him up. I think it is pretty easy to see who the IMS supporters are, and who does like the racing. If somehow IMS gets sold and/or the same occurs with the Indycar series I await how this too will be okay with the Indymen and the Defenders.
    • 25/8
      So the Daytona 500 rating is the result of the "novelty" of Danica and cars going into the stands? The IRL* had Danica for several years and crapwagons having been killing drivers and fans for years and the IRL 500* never got a sniff near a 10 rating. Ever. Even with Special Ed.
    • Karthikeyan Fever - Catch IT!
      Rumor has it that Narain Karthikeyan or whatever is headed to Coyne. You have got to think the IndyCar Series will jump on that to counter the "Danica Effect" over at Sports Entertainment show NASCAR. And this is a because, because when you think about it, you'd have Simon Pagenaud, Sebastian Bourdais, AND Narain Karthikeyan all at once in the Indy 500. Toss in a James Jakes here or a Takuma Sato there and you stop to realize the Indianapolis 500 would have storylines galore, even one non-racing fans in America would tune in to. It is almost like who needs a Jimmie Johnson from California or a Brad Keselowski from Wisconsin, type of deal when you can get the man from Sahara Force India? Know what I mean? Sure the cars is ugly but with drivers like that, you have to think Indy is going to trounce Daytona this year in the ratings. Nothing says Midwestern Mardi Gras, Memorial Day Weekend at the Crossroads of America, Back Home Again in Indiana, like Narian Karthikeyan. Now if they can just get that Chinese guy who was around last year in a car. I'm pumped about Indy, of a sudeen.
    • Formula E
      That China dude will be in Formula E, for sure. Who'd a thunk it....Dallara making a good looking chassis? Way more interesting then the lard butt dog scootering DW12...that 1/2 open wheeled ugly mobile. Who needs the stinking IRL series when there are so many other BETTER options out there?
    • China dude? Really? You out do yourself in your idiocy. Racist, sexist, no apparent sense of decency, you have issues. I guess falling to get your personal apology from TG has warped your sense of right. Indy has long been the only place in racing where color, race and sex are not a barrier.
    • All facts, dude
      That's right. Will the Speedway host a Formula E race? China just added a race...and they will race there unlike the IndyCar Series who backed out at the last minute at Qingdao in 2012. More facts for you, dude. But, you can't handle the facts. March 24th is the opener and I haven't heard a peep out of Indycar. Does it exist any more? Remember the Spring Training of years past and the tours around the country promoting the sport? What happened?
    • Boston Consulting Group
      Did ya see what the Speedway paid for? They paid a prominent consulting firm to tell the Speedway that 1995 wasn't so bad after all AND that 1996's IRL direction (ovals, put CART out of business) was dumb after all. That happens when you have $800Million to blow on the destruction of the sport. Great job Mark Miles, money well spent! We "haters" have been providing consulting for FREE for several years, alway met with deaf ears. You all should be very proud of the enabling you've done on the Speedway's illbegotten wayward path. Now, get to work paying that $ 100MILLION dollar public subsidy so IMS can forge forward with their continued plan to screwup American Open Wheel racing even more. You know, ugly cars and moronic administrative personnel changes aside. Sayonara simpletons!
    • Good job ignoring what I posted. But I can see why you would. You haven't heard that Indycar is alive and well? You haven't seen anything about the season? I guess that means you have not been paying attention.
    • You calling me a "racist"?
      There was nothing in your post(s) to warrant a reply. There's NEVER anything in your posts to warrant a reply. Get back to me when you find something. That dude from France (Jean Todt) is setting up this Formula E series. I wonder if Danica would take her remarkable driving talents there? i would go to a Formula E race (as long as it wasn't at IMS).
    • Yep,a racist and sexist. Evidence is clear. Btw, I doubt IMS is going to miss you.
      • 25/8
        IMS*/Indycar* is alive and well, and begging the state to have taxpayers bail out years of Hulman/George mismanagement.
      • IMS is asking to keep a little of the millions of tax dollars it creates for the and local governments to keep up with other tracks that receive many millions more over the years from taxpayers.
      • Why does IMS need to keep up with other tracks?
        No other tracks are in competition with IMS over the races held there, so why would they need tax money to keep up? Do you ever see the H/G clan moving the hapless 500 to chicagoland? Perhaps nascar is threatening to leave IMS for Iowa unless IMS improves their facility??? No??? Then IMO, they're just looking for handouts from the taxpayers. They wet their beak on the Dallara deal, and they're hungry for more...
      • I honestly would never have thought I would need to answer questions like that. They sure are in competition with other tracks. They are in competition with other tracks for visitor dollars. Be it regionally Chicago and Kentucky or Nationally like Daytona, Talladega etc.., fans are going to be lured to tracks with the best overall fan experience. Indy offers a lot from its history to its ability to host major sporting events, but the newer tracks have more, newer and better ammenties. IMS is also in competition with other states in the region and across the country to hold races. NASCAR is probably going to contract as they realize they have overbuilt. Indy is looking to continue to host MotoGP and has talked about a 24 hour race. All are being wooed by other tracks around the country. Not really sure how IMS wet their beak on Dallara since there is no ownership by IMS Officials on it.
      • And the blind get dumber
        Dallara received government funding from the stimulus to help pay for the coffeebar warehouse. IMS surely has nothing to with that. The new DW12 was subsidized with local taxpayer assisted dollars. IMS wasted their money on the IRL, $800MILLION over the past 16 years while ignoring ADA compliance for at least 10 of the years. So, why would anything IMS related need public funding? Because they can, that's why. When you have to justify IMS' needs to hold it's position as the "Gratest Race Course in the World" with the "Gratest race in the Universe" by fleecing the public to stay competitive you have described a scenario that is beyond comprehension. Amenities aren't the reason why folks can't stand the Indycar Series, the Brickyard 400, the Indy 500 or the motorcycle races at IMS. The sooner you head-in-the-sand Hoosiers realize this the sooner it might recover. Maybe more Danica's in bikini's attracting sponsors is the answer Indyman because you don't have a clue, you old paid speedway propagandist.
      • Danica Qualifies 40th, finishes 39th
        IMS' hopes are soaring because of this? Pathetic. Ya got two 3 time Indy 500 winners gunning for 4 and no one cares. It's stupid to wedge em into a stock car because they can't wear bikini's to attract sponsors, but that's the truth. Danica can't handle non-restrictor plate power or driving that involves throttle/braking at minimum of 4 times a lap. Indy fans...you will be disappointed for the 400, stay home. Better amenities anyway...
      • Danica's true talents...
        ...in a race car, anyhow, are the simple, flat and fast, foot to the floor race tracks, made easy as pie by modern day racing as it is. Go fast, turn left. Simple is as simple does. That is why she was good at Indy and now Daytona. She should do well at other venues like Talladega and Michigan just like she did ok in an IndyCar at places like Kansas and Michigan. Foot to the floor, turn-left. Indy Car racing had already been made easier for her in the first place, so she did ok at some places one wouldn't expect as much, like Iowa and Homestead. To that end, she may pull off a strong result at a Chicagoland or Atlanta type of place. She'll end up being the new Junior, but not quite as good. And that is saying something because he, himself, is 50-50, average at best. She will run ok at restrictors and maybe get that "special" in even. But overall, she will be revealed as a modestly-talented, at best, race car driver who does well on the big, fast, easy tracks and awful at the others. She is just not that good and here is a prediction. After about three, maybe four seasons of mediocrity in NASCAR, and as their ratings and attendance continue to flatline or slide, she'll quietly go away. I would surmise that by 2018, she is out of major league racing entirely with the possible exception of an Indy 500 start for old times. Along the way, it will be revealed, quite publicly, that NASCAR has been a fixed entity for some time, and much of it centered around contrivances for Danica. By 2020, NASCAR is a third, nearly, fourth tier sport of little relevance to all but the most ardent supporters of a fading sport. Car racing is holdiong its own right now, but barely. Indy-style and NASCAR racing will survive on a much smaller scale, akin to the way horse racing and boxing have some relevance, or maybe let's say hockey in the USA. There but really there? Water-cooler fodder? Maybe once or twice a year or someone dies in a big one. Maybe the occasional fight in NASCAR, contrived or not. Phoney is as Phoney does. It is all coming to fruition and people are noticing. And moving on. "Who cares?" territory is near, if we are not already there.
      • Same Nonsense; Different Day
        Any news report I have seen about the Phoenix race sometimes covered Carl Edwards winning, but 100% of them highlighted Danica's results. Is that good or bad? IndyCar did the same thing. As for the continuing obsessed ranting of our friend Chief, a few clarifications are probably in order: 1) The Dallara facility received stimulus money as part of the Speedway redevelopment initiative. As a frequent visitor to Main Street the fruits of those labors are apparent to those of us with eyes. 2) Sarah Fisher Hartmann Racing's new building is nearing completion next door. There is also a new business/residential complex opening soon down the street. The critics would be well served to visit once. 3) Same with the Dallara building. Yes, it has a coffee shop. Yes, parts act as a warehouse. Those who deride it as just those suffer from profound ignorance most likely based on some childish immaturity. 4) Claims of DW12 subsidy from the same fund is even more ignorant. 5) I also note that despite repeated, clearly stated attempts at obtaining some sort of revenue/expenses accounting that would cover the supposed $800 million taunt remains unaddressed again. Typical of that ilk. 6) IMS has also not 'ignored' ADA compliance for ten years; they must deal with a 104 year old facility. And they got sued by a disabled person. 7) Agendas aside, the shortsightedness of those selectively slamming over what is essentially a loan that will enhance the revenue base for the state has reached comical proportions. 8) The word 'greatest' contains two instances of the letter 'e.' When you start paying taxes in Indiana you can foolishly start tossing around such words as 'fleecing' but your basis for doing so will remain equally naive. Good luck on your continuing struggle with maturity.
      • Struggles, schrtuggles
        Dispicable, good luck on your continuing struggle with reality. By the way, now that Randy is long gone, and I would surmise as a result of that fact, your lunches and private plane rides with the cowboy, have you booked a Steak & Shake with Miles? Wouldn't hurt. Jingle him.
      • Since when?
        Since when is it the local or federal government's responsibility to get IMS "amenities" for their fans? Couldn't the Speedway hire female spokesmodel drivers to reap the benefits like Danica is providing for NASCAR?
      • The Topic Has Apparently Shifted Again
        How nice to be the object of your affection, Burl. You seem to be the one having a slight problem with actual reality. Randy and I had one, count 'em, ONE lunch together, and one, count 'em, ONE trip to New York (first class) in a Delta jet. Not a private one. A good start is getting your facts straight. I have not been in contact with Mark Miles. My preference at the moment is to let him do his job. Any questions? Nowthen, as to Chief's ongoing obsession, it is the local government's responsibility to enhance the tax revenue base. What you foolishly interpret as IMS getting amenities is woefully misguided. And besides, I thought you were one of those WWII-Japanese-soldiers-on-a-deserted-island types still fighting a war you lost and vowing never to set foot in the place. In other words, why would you care? Do you pay taxes in the local area? The speedway did exploit Danica during her time in IndyCar just as NASCAR is doing now. My preference is that they stay away from gimmickry.
      • Lies
        You said you shared a bathroom trough (or stall) with him. Stop trying to make yourself important. You're not. Autoextremist shares some opinions... http://www.autoextremist.com/fumes1/
      • At Least NASCAR Is Entertaining
        At least NASCAR is entertaining unlike lil' ol' IndySnore.
      • Nursery School
        Chief, Chief, Chief...you are just too cute in a four-year-old-child way. Do you think you will ever address the questions I repeatedly ask you or will you just wildly gyrate from rant to rant with no point? I do not believe matters of the bathroom are appropriate discussion for the comment section of an Anthony blog. Adults are present. That autoextremist guy seems as angry and ignorant as your little klatch. Lots of incessant whining and shouting, but zero solutions. Grow up.
      • Delusional Disciple of IndyCar
        Dicipe, now, now, you told tall tales about relationships and contacts in the "inside" world. I will throw you a bone. You really thought they were real.
      • 25/8
        Some of the most beautiful words ever written: Racked by a fundamental lack of understanding of reality and a relentless incompetence that borderlines on abject stupidity, this is a family that has been presiding over a declining empire for decades. And the Boston Consulting Group is recommending that the Hulman-George family should retain ownership of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway? That's the biggest joke of all. To say that the Hulman-George family is clueless and incapable of contributing a vision to the greatest facility in the racing world and the sport of Indy car racing itself is the understatement of this or any other year. For the very future of American open-wheel racing and for the greater good of the sport itself, the Hulman-George family needs to divest itself of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar series immediately.
      • Chief, I was unaware that IMS had an ownership stake in dallara. Did you complain because NASCAR gets a Federal tax break on every track they build so they can be competitive? the last two years has cost taxpayers across the country$43 million. Or when Bruton Smith threatened to move LMS until he got $80 million in tax breaks? I love how you try to pretend this is an IMS only thing. NASCAR HAS been sucking of the government teet for decades and you have been curiously silent. Even cart took tax breaks
      • $1.2 Million Boston Consulting Fee
        Robin Miller claims $1.2 millhouse was spent on this consultation...so we're officially up to $801.2 million wasted in pursuit of CART, circa 1995. Do any of you realize how many ADA updates and amenities could have been provided with this consultation fee? Maybe they should just call Indycar "CART" and get it over with. Then, the Speedway can claim they've given the fans and consultant what they've wanted. Daredevil racers.....bring back the Hot Wheels big door or zip lines too. And the speedway hotel. The CoT hurt NASCAR bad...and the ICONIC car is destroying Indycarz. Did the consultants say to do the daredevil stunts in the ugliest vehicles possible? What a waste $1.2 million. Just like the $100 million will be spent.
      • OCD
        $800 Million. Accounting? Anyone?
      • Disciple Nirvana
        A Hulman based speedway ownership of the CART Series way of racing, complete with fans and TV ratings. And, with government funded $$$ handouts to keep "amenities" updated...all consultant approved!!! Indy Nirvana! Puts the years 1996 through 2007 in perspective, right? LOL, looks like you backed the wrong horse fella! LOLz
      • Scattershot Meandering
        I would settle for even an attempt at the question I have repeatedly asked.
      • What's funny...
        ...about all this money being spent and the tax breaks and all else, is the salient fact automobile racing in America is in a signifcant decline. It seems to people in the sport or those who follow it as fans, that racing is still a big thing. Why? Because if the work in the sport that is their life. If they follow it as a fan, they spend a great deal of time reading about it on the internet, watching races on TV, or attending. And so on. So their worlds are filled with auto racing. In reality, nine out of ten people in this country could care less about automobile racing. It truth, it is a niche sport of third tier status. Just go out and walk through ANYTOWN Mall USA (exceptions Indianapolis and Charlotte), or the beack out in Santa Monica, out on Long Island, the Riverwalk in San Antonio, or around the Space Needle in Seattle, and just randomly ask people something about auto racing. Try: "What do you think? Does Jimmie Johnson win another Sprint Cup title this year?" Or, "It's a shame Ryan Briscoe doesn't have a ride isn't it?" Or, say, in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego or maybe at a college basbeball game in Louisiana or an eatery in downtown Chicago ask: "So do you think its Helio or Dario for a 4th "500" win this May?" Just try it. I actually did this once at a Mall is the sburbs of Los Angeles for kicks in an unscientific survey and then did it again in Tucson, Arizona a few weeks later. I counted 11 people out of 61 I surveyed who knew who Jeff Gordon was. Five of those people said they watched NASCAR. ZERO watched IndyCar but to be sure, one of the 61 people, a young kid in Tucson, knew the name Dario Franchitti and asked "Is he the guy married to Ashley Judd?" Not one of them could name a Sprint Car racer, an F1 racer, or knew who Scott Pruett was. Three people of the 61 knew how many laps were in the Indy 500. And four folks, all of them in the L.A. area Mall were able to name a race track other than Indy or Daytona. I got a "Monaco", and three "California Speedways." Only one of the 61 knew who John Force was. And so on. Now I did this as part of a project I was on for my Master's Program and it was akward and I felt uncomfortable, at times, because to be quite honest, the ordinary, everyday, average American just isn't into car racing. At all. It is the "celebrity" names in racing who have some recognition. Danica and Dale Jr. are the biggies. Jeff Gordon is fading fast. And oh yes, when I asked what year "Mario Andretti" won the Indy 500, not one could answer the question. Not one. Auto Racing in America is a minor league, niche entity and only Danica is propping up NASCAR right now. When her star fades, as it will, NASCAR is in for a huge day of reckoning. Indy is already there. In fact, so few even know about Indy Car racing, it is a minor miracle the Indianapolis 500 even exists. It does so because of history and tradition. It just sort of happens every year and people automatically go. But even that is decline.
      • No More Calls, We Have A Winner
        Congratulations on posting the same exact thing for I believe is the 100th time in this comment section alone. We should see whether Anthony has some sort of prize available.
      • Maturation process
        Let's work on the maturity thing, Dispcicable, before you call out others on that card. Deal? And one more item: When you don't have a dog to bring into the ring, just grab a seat and watch ok? You are done in this one. There will be others later. You are done here.
      • Inquiring Minds
        Quick question: What does your repetitive meandering have to do with the actual topic of the blog Anthony posted?
      • Quick Answer
        Evolution. Also, see progression.
      • Chief loves to throw out numbers even though he has no clue that the real number is much lower. And at least what money was spent on the series was Hulman money, unlike chiefs favorite series which swindled money from investors not once, but twice. Chief likes to forget his series was not the model of a sound business, don't you chief? Burl wrote a lot, too bad he didn't say a lot. What type of racing full you like Burl? You forgot to answer last time I asked
      • Sound businesses
        They fail too. Especially when they don't listen to their customers. Put a good product on track and the rest will come naturally. It's been the recipe for success for over 100 years. All this window dressing is just a cover for the fact the racing stinks...in August and in May. You can add Danica's and amenities and get as much public funds as you want and the bottom line will always be if your product sucks customers won't buy it. Since 1994 the Speedway hasn't learned a thing.
      • Meanwhile, Off In A New Direction...
        Hmmm. That's odd. Even the most previously virulent critics praised the quality of Indy racing on all course types with the new car. Product quality is only a problem to those refusing to budge physically from 1995 or emotionally from the second grade. By the way, any sort of accounting for the supposed $800 million the HG family has supposedly blown through? Didn't think so.
      • Tons of accounting
        Heck, they spent $1.2 million on consulting fees they clearly should have paid you. That's just this week. The place bleeds money, now with public assistance!
      • Public Financing
        Hay Chief...what are your feelings about the $60 million the Frances asked the state of Florida for last Friday to enhance their grandstands? There's a bill and everything? Any outrage?
      • Outrage
        There is no outrage, none what so ever regarding NASCAR. The outrage is that stooges have run American Open Wheel racing into the ground, and they took the IMS with them. You people that think "keeping up with the Joneses" as it applies to NASCAR in today's age, is the new way to the promised land for IMS and Indycar are sadly out of touch. So, no, I'm not concerned about NASCAR. I'm concerned with AOW and the moronic management that takes it deeper into depression. There is nothing you can reply that will lessen that point. So, negate away.
      • In other words....
        ...your quaint 'outrage' is selective depending upon the object of your obsession. I see.
      • here's another of my obsessions
        The NASCAR race this past weekend got a 5.3 rating. That +6% over 2012. In contrast, the INDY 500 hasn't had a rating that high since 2006 (the Danica 6.6 rating anomaly) and 2002 at a 5.3. So, run of the mill NASCAR races are now blowing Indy 500 out of the water. Good job Disciple, your klatch has effectively destroyed not only Indycar, but the series that supports it. You must be SO proud! Congrats!
      • Nuclear Physics and Kindergarten Students
        Chief, I can understand that in the simplistic, child-like world in which you dwell you might get hung up on 12+ estimates. Should you ever desire an intelligent conversation about key concepts such as demo breakouts, the effect of CPM on value, etc., you know, the way the actual business works, you should look me up. Would it surprise you to learn that the Indy 500 is a far better value for the advertising buck? I doubt that is something you can comprehend, and as such your continuing obsessive ranting will remain a source of hearty chortles for adults that happen by.
      • 5.3 versus 4.1
        That's all I need to know. Indy 500 is the 4.1....5.3 is the Phoenix NASCAR race last week. No wonder why Indy needs Danika.
      • 25/8
        But that 4.1 is a much better value, haven't you seen the breakouts? LOL. How many blank side pods, red cars and B2B associate sponsors will we this years version of the EARL have?
      • HaY Einstein
        Kindergarten kids know bigger is better. Look, if Indycar IOWA or Detroit was such great values to the TV advertising marketers, why aren't they pulling in ratings like 5.3? Iowa had a 0.18 tv rating last year. 0.18, that's quite a value. And Indycar's crown jewel the Indy 500 is pulling a 4.3? Nascar Phoenix just nailed a 5.3!~~~~ Indy is LESS than run of the mill Phoenix NASACAR!!! Here's what it is...if I have a product to sell, do I put it where no one can see it...or do I want bang for the buck. More eyeballs, more sales? Even adults can see that Indy is no bargain, and the value in the series at 0.18 is non-existant. Who you trying to fool Disciple? And you think "adults" are going to side with you?
      • Stefan Wilson To The Rescue
        Discipless, will Stefan Wilson get the Indy Car Series that coveted 1.0 rating for a non-Indy 500 event this year? Or will it be Anna Beatriz? Or has her ship sailed as the next great hope along with Simona de Salvestria's? I've got to think, that regardless, the key breakouts will show there are, in fact, the same 68 guys at Trackforum watching the races this year and 31 percent of those wear Izod polos shirts and drink Fuzzy's Vodka. So no matter, it is all upside right? Stefan or no Stefan? I mean, are we good? If not, thank goodness the series has Simon Pagenaud right?
      • Is it really that big of a deal anymore?
        I havebeen going to the Indy 500 for a number of years now. And I went to the IRL races at Chicagoland and Gateway when they were going on. I live in Illinois. Got to love me some Indy 500 but I do have to ask this. Is it really important anymore? Last couple years it seems like there were more fans overall, but since back in the day, and I mean like early 90's when I first started going, wow! So many empty seats! The pit seats last year had many empty rows. Unheard of 20 years ago. The place is too big, I think. Too many seats. Also, it looks like it is falling apart. Stuff is rusty. The buildings look old. And I don't think anybody really watches the races at Pikes Peak and Kansas and stuff. None of my buddies do. So I don't know. I want to not say it, but I think they should do like someone suggested on one of these blogs and run the race through 2016. That is just four more 500s. It will be an even 100. And then sell it. It is not a super big deal anymore. And the other races are not watched. I agree with Burl. I don't know anybody who is into it.
      • ...
        Evidently you are, and so is Burl, Chief and the rest of their little group. They know more about it than most fans, even if their expression of it is at second-grade level. Oh, by the way, IndyCar has not run at Pikes Peak or Kansas for the past few years. I remain curious how a blog about Danica at Daytona gets hijacked into an IndyCar slamfest. Not unusual, but if the critics were not hypocritical why would they even bother offering repetitive, inane commentary?
      • Here's how...
        The speedway is hoping to ca$h in on Danica's marketability. Why? Because tix sales lag BADLY for Brickyard 400 and it's those funds that help propel IMS to less red on the ledger sheet. They continue to show no profit for the IRL, Indycar or anything else AOW related. Look at the Indy Light abortion that they destroyed as well. 4 cars for a season....but I digress. That's how it all get hijacked. But it's not a hijack...it's exactly what it should be. Exposing the Speedway and it's owners for the bad businesspeople they are. So, they have to cling to Danica's scantly clad bode for help, which by the by is HORRIBLE at any racing that takes touch, feel or setup. The IRL trained her well...foot to the floor momentum racing. Trouble is about 80% percent aren't superspeedway based, and Indy isn't one of them. IMS has a bad hand yet they are trying to bluff their way out of it. Ain't gonna happen. They will lose in the long run.
      • Risky is and risky does.
        IMS can "bank" its hopes on DanicaMania all over again come the TurdYard 400 (a race I will no longer attend because I like actual automobile racing) to the beat of a Carb Day band, but it will be pennies on the diminishing dollar for reasons I think Chief is getting at: The girl can't race. So by the time the Turdyard comes around, when she has amassed 30th place after 30th place after 30th place, with the exception of the nod-wink-shush now Pole on the flat-foot, monkey see-monkey do tracks grandma can drive on, why then there just isn;t much wind for that sail. What IMS and NA$CAR will need to do is get with NA$CAR's writers and chaneg up the storyline enough to garner some national interest that might, might, get another 15,000 in ticket sales. Now here is what the writers over at NA$CAR need to do: 1) About five or six races from now, have a driver run Danica into the grass following a race, or maybe Bristol is a good place. Young Stenhouse rusn down pit road to kick the driver's butt for messing with his girl. Make it the usual, pit crew brawl. Nobody gets so much as a shiner but max pub is had. Danica goes on Good Morning America ans says "Rickey is her man." A week before the TurdYard, young Stenhouse is caught burgling on a pit groupie and he and Dabica go splitsville after a huge argument at a Steak & Shake near the Speedway. Game. The pub will be monster and IMS will sell 15,000 more seats just to watch the "fued." Meanwhile, Danica quals 27th and runs 28th after battling a "loose car" all day. Young Stenhouse runs 13th and collects his "check" from NA$CAR and laughs all the way to the bank. IMS revels in the TV pub but cries that the money made from the storyline will only pay for a third of the repairs on all the rust they are combatting on those grandstands. OH, and as for the Indy Lights this season: Cheif is wrong. They have 7 cars that are fo shizzlem for shurzly good to go. Come on, Chief! Don't let the hate get in the way of the facts. Seven cars! They are well on their way now as the great ladder series for the big cars. By the Ought To Be Free-dom 100, they'll probably roll 12 starters. I hear James Hylton may have a go in one of Sma Schmidt's 2003 sleds.
      • Would Someone Please Hand Me A Tin Foil Hat?
        The rays from that other planet are strong today. Perhaps it is time to unclench, Chief.
      • That all ya got?
        Tinfoil hat? Deep thinker there.... I got web advertising for the Circuit of The Americas all over with the MotoGP race on my browsers. Nothing about the season opener for the IRL...how come? IMS is too cheap, huh?
      • All I Need
        You must not be looking in the right places. I have seen plenty. It is nice that you so crave the information, but none of us should worry. You and your pals are usually the first with even a morsel of IndyCar news, albeit spun with that special brand of hostile immaturity only children can muster. Keep up the good work.
      • Where are the right places?
        It's March Maddness...I saw nothing about the IRL during basketball on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, CBS. I saw nothing during the golf coverage this past weekend of Tiger winning at Doral. And that was on NBC, parent of NBC Sports Network. ZILTCH. Nothing about it on FOX where Danica finished near the bottom in NASCAR Las Vegas where they got a 4.4 TV rating, way better than any Indy 500 excepting 2006 (Danica blip 6.6) and 2002 (5.3). So, I ask you oh great oracle of indyacy...Where are the right places? No web advertising, no major sport advertising...oh, I'm sure there's a billboard up headed into Pinellas County though. This Indycar series is pathetic.
      • Sticks and Stones
        Ouch, Disciple. Geex whiz, that one hurt. Yeah sure. Bottom line is this: IndyCar is not a rudderless ship, well in a way, but it really a ship no more, running aground and sinking like a Costa Concordia. All those people jumping off are/were former fans and TV ratings points. The Captain even abandoned ship, well er, uh, sorta, actually he was ash-canned but still and all.... ...so what we have today is an overturned, sunken wreck that best be scrapped. By your own admittance, the old ship is a rust bucket these days and the bags of feces are a 'pilin'. Pheee-yeeewww!!!! Ask yourself this, Dispicable: Less than two weeks beofre the big opener, with a media day and all that stuff that trotted out the ususal, contrived, desperation tactics to make Idy Car drivers seem "cool" such as TK's wedding (oh, look at that! I need to watch this sport! Indy Car drivers marry good-looking women and par-tay!!! They are cool!!!), how much attention outside the small, niche-y racing media world that 99 percent of Amercians know nothing about, about how much attention has been had? How many people outside your odd, little, Trackforum racing world even know there is a race this month? Who Tony Kanaan is? That AJ Allmendingy is going to Indy-dingy? The only national attention that has been had at all in recent months is the fact Dario and his odd-ball wife are spiltsville and that got five minutes, fourm forty-five of which was her. hardly anybody cares, period. Like I said, the 68 hardcores over at Whackforum represent the fan base. It is so bad these days. media-wise, they might as well go back to trying to make Bryan Herta seem cool.
      • Enjoy the Season!
        Racing knowledge the kids have displayed in just the past two posts: Danica. NASCAR in Vegas. IndyCar in St. Pete. In less that two weeks. Tony Kanaan got married. AJ Allmendinger is back. Dario Franchitti is getting divorced. Trackforum obsession. Bryan Herta is an owner. Unfortunately this IndyCar obsession is riddled with rampant chilish immaturity: Indy Car is dead (LOL). Bags of feces. Misspelling. Trashing of basic grammar. The thing I am unable to grasp is why such kids cling to the sport like leeches if they do not like it. Doesn't make much sense. Given the youth and lack of sociological skills of the taunters, however, hardly surprising.
      • Give it up
        Mad props for the senseless recaps like the one above. Where are the right places, irlDuhfenderer? Was Tony the Noses wedding on live prime time broadcasting? Where did they advertise it? Bwahahhahahahaha...that s all they got. Pathetic.
      • Exposure
        By the way, did either of you media and pop culture mavens happen to catch the Today show this morning? Dario and Charlie were on there espousing the virtues of IndyCar. On the local news in New York right before Today the anchors banter with Matt and the gal with him, and the entire topic was the speed at which Indy Cars travel. There are about 14 million or so potential fans that got exposed to the product. But perhaps that was a little too subtle, huh.
      • Who knew?
        Who knew they were even having a media day in Alabama. Bwahhhahahha! Here's what Oreo wrote from ESPN..."Indy car racing's first American champion in six years got virtually zero publicity over the long offseason". Yep, that cruising on all 6 cylinders...LOLz
      • You Did.
        Oreo covered it. He's a racing writer.
      • Have to weigh in here
        Oreo cookie is right but here is the reason: NObody cares! NObody. It simply does not matter there was an American champion in Indy Car racing for the first time in six years because A) Only the 68 fans at Trackforum care about such a non-event as an IndyCar Champion because nobody else grasps the concept B)99.898 percent of Americans have never heard of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Or as the Los Angeles sportcaster called him after the Fonatan deal, "Ryan Hunter-Ree-Yay". C) There is no real reason to cover the sport anymore because it would sort of be like the national media outlets covering American Legion baseball games in Oregon or the rodeo at the Oklahoma State Fair Ryan Hunter-Nobody, A.J. Allmendingy, J.R. Hitdawall, Graham Fadehall, or even the impending arrival of Conor Flaily will not matter an I-O-T-A. Not an I-O-T-A because this sport has literally ground down to a a few thousand fans. The old number was 250,000 to 300,000 nationwide. I'll bet it barely hits 100,000. And maybe, MAYBE, 50,000 of those know who Ryan Hunter-Nobody is. Disciple, you really, really ought to wseriously, seriously stop and accept the fact this beloved sport of yours is gonna die. Go get some talk-time with a helper. The awful, horrible people this sport consists of and has for thirty years not only ruined the sport with their arrogance, ineptitude, and general, overall ugliness, they stupidly continue to spend money on a seriosuly dying entity. Ryan Hunter-Nobody - 2012 IndyCar Champion. Might as well be Jigger Sirois.
      • Phelps Parallels
        As long as the thread has become so wildly diverted from anything even remotely resembling Anthony's actual topic, I have become nostalgic. You know those deranged sociopaths who stand outside race track entrances holding up signs that claim everyone who enters is doomed to spend their eternity in Hades unless they repent immediately and other such 'end of the world is near' nonsense and other hateful spam? I wonder if they realize how ridiculed they are for a few seconds then so rapidly forgotten? Wonder whether that is why they seem to screech louder in each succeeding year that went by after they were wrong the entire previous year too? I sense some parallels here.
      • Go man
        Topic diversion? IMS is hopes Danica can bring in $$$ because the IMS and the Indy 500 can cut the mustard any more. Pointing out the inept marketing and direction of the "Indy Cars" is directly on topic...the Speedway is poor because of their own mistakes and have turned to the government for support. No likes or cares about AOW because of it. So, they have to cling to Danica's scraps. There is no diversion of topic, only by you, as usual who contributes nothing but refutes everything. That's why you get the big bucks being a paid shill for the speedway. Mislead away IRL Defender/Disciple.
      • Top 10 IndyCar Obsessions
        Oh Chiieeeeffffff....tune into Letterman Wednesday night. Graham is on.
      • Graham Who?
        Danica finished 5 laps down and got a lucky dog award. She stunk at Las Vegas. She stunk at Phoenix. She stunk at Bristol. She's overrated. Just like Indycar is. With the ugly cars and no money to pay for ADA improvements. Too funny!
      • Trying to Kill a Flea With a Shotgun
        Chief, you're trying much too hard, kid. Way too scattershot-ish in your random attacks. It's interesting that you remain so focused on Danica. Borderline creepy. We should let her have her fun over there and concentrate on what is really important. Indy Car. I wouldn't worry too much about IMS funding ADA improvements either. The state of Indiana surrendered faster than a French soldier. St. Pete is this weekend and I am certain your little group will be watching. Perhaps you kids will join us at our season opener party at the Dallara facility in Speedway.
      • Never
        Danica will never win in NASCAR. And if she does it would be a miracle. IMS would be better suited to stop looking for her to bump their ratings or raise attendance. The Dallara facility? Sorry friend, March Madness is in full swing...I will be busy, too busy watch. But, I will review the race from the usual sources...
      • Blogosphere
        Hmmm...I noticed NBS Sports network and NBC.com have ZERO information promoting the AOW debacle in Florida this weekend. In fact, there is coverage of the Indycars on a certain blog. Just google irldefender to find out. The wonders of the innerwebs, will they ever cease?

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      1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

      2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

      3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

      4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

      5. Oh wait. Never mind.

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