IRL has new problem, new race

May 29, 2008
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milwaukeemileThe Indy Racing League has a new problem.

Too many cars.

Twenty-seven car-driver combos are expected to show up for this weekend’s Milwaukee Mile. The problem is, the short oval only has room for 26 pit stalls. But never fear, a 27th pit stall is being added this week and the remaining stalls are being shortened a bit to accommodate the on-track crowd. Some racing insiders think this could cause unsafe conditions along pit road. Ryan Briscoe, meet Danica Patrick!

Officials at the Richmond International Speedway and Iowa Speedway, where the IRL is set to run later this year, said they may have the same problem. If track officials there are unable to reconfigure their pit arrangements, which at this point seems unlikely, there may be some bumping during qualifications. While bumping would create intrigue for fans, it could also cause teams unable to get their sponsors proper exposure to go out of business.

Meanwhile, the IRL has signed a three-year agreement with Northlands, operator of the Rexall Edmonton Indy, to bring the series to Edmonton beginning July 24-26. The Rexall Edmonton Indy becomes the 17th race on the 2008 IRL schedule.

The race was formerly known as the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton and was a part of the now defunct Champ Car World Series. Attendance for the race peaked in 2005 at more than 78,000, with more than 200,000 showing up for the three-day weekend. But during recent years, event attendance declined, with 60,500 attending the race last year and 167,150 attending the three-day weekend.
  • This is a decent problem to have. It beats the alternative. Let's see where they are a year from now. I think some of these teams may be out of business, but overall, they could be replaced by stronger teams.
  • If these sponsors can't get more exposure during the telecasts than they did during the 500 then there will be plenty of pit space for the few remaining teams.
  • Dave, you need to count not just the telecast, but the 'in-person' attendance throughout the entire month of May, add that to those that viewed the race, the visitors who 'went' to the race, weekend qualifying on ESPN (three days), and opening day (also on ESPN). Additionally, you need to count the global telecast numbers, and the thousands that viewed it worldwide on

    Put all of that together, and YES I think the sponsors did just fine in Indy. MUCH more exposure than that 12 hour crawl they do in the evening...Coca something.

    Open wheel is on a roll, brace yourself!
  • I thik the Joyce Julius numbers show that sponsors in Indy 500 did indeed get their money's worth. Arguably more than the Coca-Cola 600. But you have to look at it over an entire season.

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