Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick feud could wreck IndyCar

June 22, 2010
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There’s no love loss between Andretti Autosport teammates Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick.

That much has been obvious for much of the last year.

But the brewing disdain bubbled to the surface anew last weekend in Iowa.

In his post-victory comments at Iowa Sunday, Kanaan thanked his “two teammates” Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti. He said the two gave him a pep talk the night before the race.

But where was Patrick during the Andretti team kumbaya sing-along? Either not invited, or didn’t bother to show.

What is clear is that Kanaan seemed to go out of his way to thank Hunter-Reay and Andretti while omitting any mention of Patrick. Kanaan is smart enough not to make such a slip unintentionally.

This May, Kanaan said Patrick needed an attitude adjustment, reminding her (quite publicly) that the crew she complained about at Indianapolis this year is the same one that helped her take fifth overall in the IndyCar Series last year.

The relationship between Kanaan and Patrick appears to be hitting a new low.

This is bad news for Patrick, voted by fans as the series’ most popular driver. And it’s also bad news for Patrick’s business associates.

Motorsports marketing experts said getting sideways with a well-liked and respected figure like Kanaan could erode her image.

It’s one thing to stomp around in pit lane once in a while and snarl at Milka Duno, but Kanaan is not someone she wants to cross swords with. First, he’s her teammate, and American sponsors like athletes who at least play well with their own teammates.

Not only is he her teammate, but Kanaan is highly respected in the paddock and also has a sizable fan following, especially in race happy Brazil.

Fans already uneasy about Patrick’s remarks concerning her crew at Indianapolis won’t take kindly to her war with Kanaan.

As an aside, I think Patrick was somewhat justified in her comments in Indianapolis. Her car simply wasn’t up to snuff. Nevertheless, she may want to re-think her public relations and team-building approach.

TK as he is known to his followers is one of those guys who is quick with a smile, but who people in this sport pay attention to when he speaks words of admonishment.

Patrick isn’t the only one at risk here.

Andretti Autosport could be torn apart by such a feud. Neither driver is going anywhere soon. Kanaan signed a five-year deal with the team in 2008 and Patrick signed a three-year deal with Andretti last year.

This is another headache series CEO Randy Bernard could do without as he fights to increase race attendance, TV ratings, sponsorship sales and sanctioning fees.

Maybe it’s best that Patrick is going away to the world of NASCAR right now. Maybe the hostilities will cool with a little separation. Maybe a little time behind the wheel of a fendered car will help her see more clearly.

But Patrick isn’t the only one who needs a sightline—and attitude—adjustment.

If Patrick isn’t the most popular driver in the IndyCar paddock these days, it’s important to remember she’s still the highest profile open-wheel racer, and still one of the best assets this series has.

It’s difficult to say from a distance, who’s right and who’s wrong in a feud such as the one brewing between Andretti’s two stars.

But Kanaan might want to ponder Patrick’s relative value to this series before letting loose with his next salvo. You’d have to wonder if it’s wise to take shots that in some small or big way help take down one of the series’ biggest stars.

In the end, it won’t matter if TK is justified in his stand.

Dead right or dead wrong?
    
Either way, you’re still dead.
 

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  • reality
    Patrick had 500 miles to get the car "up to snuff" plus a week of practice prior to the race. A good driver would have done so.

    Anyway, Nielsen reports that, on average, about 0.3 people care
  • Really?
    No substance to this post at all. Come'on, Anthony, you're usually better than this. Do you hang with your colleagues 24/7? So Danica wasn't in the room when Kanaan's teammates offered a word of encouragement. Really? That's what this post is based on?
  • Friction isn't a bad thing
    Anthony, I believe you're off target with this post. Both NASCAR and F1 have had lots of inter-team drama that added a back story spice to their series. Last year Alonso hated his team mate Hamilton in F1, this year it's Vettel sniping at Webber.

    The IZOD IndyCar Race Series (what a burdensome name)could use more soap opera and less same/same drivers and team owners reciting the kumbaya IRL (oops) litany over and over.

    Danica created her own problems when she threw her team under the bus. Every driver knows you just don't do that in public. In the garage, yes. Kanaan just verbalized what every other team and drivers were thinking, "Danica, quit being a Go Daddy brat, suck it up and deal with the race car you get."

    Meanwhile, as Milky Dunno gets black flagged off the track in Iowa, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy sit at home and wonder why.
  • feedback
    John, I based this on what TK has and hasn't said very publicly quite by design over the last year, and what I've heard from sources close to this.
    SteveR, I think what you say has some merit, but I think it's an incredible risk any time your main star's image is dinged. High risk, high reward? Maybe. We'll have to see. One thing I think we can all agree on is that Milka needs to pick up the pace. That was pretty tough to watch Sunday. Thanks for reading ... and commenting.
    • Tony who?
      Anthony has this one all wrong. The best thing that could happen to the Indy Series Izod Car League Series thing is for an ongoing fued, especially one that involves the sports only recognizable name. Patrick IS the face and name of the sport. Outisde the tiny world of the paddock and the forum fans, NOBODY, I said, NO-BOD-EE, knows who the heck Tony Kanaan is. So he's just another nobody name to the mass public, a faceless international driver in a series barely known to begin with. So no real loss publicly. I say let them fued and bitch and whine and criticize each other. Sooner or later it will come to a blow-up that will make Sportscenter. How bad is it? In Chicago this weekend, the Iowa race did not make the local sports news on TV. NASCAR, clear out in California, did. Nobody watches vanilla foreign drivers, nobody cares. Patrick and Kanaan in a season-long piss-off is good pub.
    • Am I wrong?
      Well, I'm fine with being proven wrong on this. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I'm not sure I totally agree with you, Burl, that no one knows TK, but I will agree that he sure isn't a household name (unless you live in a Brazilian household). I'm quite certain this is getting a fair bit of attention w/i the Andretti stable, so it will be interesting to see how Kanaan and Patrick conduct themselves going forward. I still think a feud between Marco and Danica would get better ratings ... and be less dangerous as far as causing damage to Danica's image at least within the sport.
    • Really?
      "I based this on what TK...hasn't said...and what I've heard from sources..." Vague and shallow reporting. Again, you're better than this.
    • Oh Please!!!
      Even Dave Calabro took a poke at her at the awards ceremony. She's popular like Howard Stern. Not necessarily well liked but people can't wait to see what she's going to do or say next when she has her temper tantrums. Too bad TK is a gentleman and she's a girl. Otherwise, she could get popped in the nose - which is what she could use.
    • Grow up Danica!
      Seriously, Danica needs to stop acting childish. Tony is classy, professional, and one heck of a driver! Go TK!
    • Kanaan v. Patrick
      I disagree about Kanaan being unknown. He's one of the few drivers I recognize. It's never easy for a woman to invade a man's world, and Danica's personality just makes it worse. She needs to take a Dale Carnegie course.
    • Whatever
      Every week I read about Danica in trouble with the fans and comment after comment about how nobody really likes her and then she shows up at the track and her autograph line is 10 times longer than everyone else's.
    • Hello Maybel
      Maybel, I've observed the same thing, including this year at Indy. And her merchandise trailer definitely gets more activity than the other drivers. I think general sports fans are still really attracted to Danica, whereas a good many who more closely follow motorsports are more critical of her. It's a very interesting dynamic to observe. Of course, attracting attention of the more general sports fan is a very good thing for the league, something Randy Bernard knows well.
    • Drivers
      Milka is rubbish but Paul Tracy failed to qualify for indy500 he's past it now , most good indycar drivers come from Europe where talent is found unlike USA which is about who's got money gets to race . I like indycar /f1 /wrc / but NASCAR is so boring , only crashes are worth seeing
      • I beg to differ, Dc.
        Even NASKER crashes are boring.
      • He's winning again
        TK played big brother to her for the last two years and hasn't won a race. She chops him at Texas, he decides he's going to show her... and he wins the next race. Michael's probably hoping they start swinging at each other so TK can win the season championship.
      • Wreck the sport,really?
        Are you kidding me? That's the closest thing our sport has to the war between Dale Earnhart and Jeff Gordon. Let 'em duke it out!
      • Tony "Have Fun"
        Tony Kannan has lost much of his credibility over the last couple of years. Helio and Dario can pretty much do anything to him and he says "Ah, it's just racing." If it comes from Danica or Marco, he openly complains to the media. Just what you want your captain to do. Danica is keeping this series afloat until more American drivers are hired. Tony could leave tomorrow and have no impact on Indycar.
      • Joyce has it wrong
        You know TK because you follow the sport. Outside the small worldof Indy Car Series followers, only Danica Patrick is an identifiable name to the average sports fan with perhaps some aware of Helio Castroneves. That is it. Dario is probably a distant third because he is married to a semi-well known B-lister. But that may even be a stretch. It comes down to non-racing or casual racing fans knowing the name and face of Danica Patrick as Indy Car racing and even that is now being confused because of her venture into NASCAR. In today's instantaneous gratification, short-attention span, endless option entertainment world, the Indy Car Series has to generate stories to even get a nibble of attention. Tony Kanaan could have lapped the entire field twice Sunday and it still would not have registered a blip. It is that bad. I know actual racing fans who were not even aware the Indy Cars had a race Sunday. No, TK, Dario, Dixon, young Rahal, young Marco, great drivers but ZERO impact on anyone but the most loyal and ardent follower, and those folks are few and far between. The series needs a hot story and Danica and TK arguing is a good one.
      • Agree with Dan
        Tony Kanaan is an excellent race car driver. But if he left the series tomorrow and Sebastian Saveedra or J K Vernay took over, the net result the same. Did it make a sound if nobody was there to hear it?

        TK labors in relative obscurity with twice the talent of his fueding teammate who is a household name. I can understand the frustration of thast, which he masks fairly well. But the fact is, she gets the goods. TK wins races nobody watches. To quote Marcos Ambrose: "It is what it is, mate."
      • F1 factcheck
        SteveR, if you're going to refer to Formula 1, please try to get your facts get your facts straight. As far as drivers blaming bad performances on their cars, and thus indirectly on their teams, F1 drivers do that quite often. So if the feud is ok, that must be, too.
        Secondly, I think you must have taken a 2 year nap. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton haven't been teammates since 2007. Last year was 2009.
        • aah, who cares
          TK could always get a gender change operation. that would make headlines and the feud could then take place on a level playing field.
        • Yep, 2 years off but facts stand
          Gee Chris, sorry to miss my typo. You are so right - it was 2007 for Alonso and Hamilton. Sure hope you caught the drift of my post that feuds aren't a bad thing in racing. Next time I'll send my posts to you for editing, ok? Thanks for reading.
        • Yes, I got the point
          Yes, Steve, I got your point, and I actually agree with most of it. Drivers are people, so we should let them be people instead of PR robots. But that same line of reasoning means that drivers shouldn't be expected to always say the "right thing," and drivers like Danica shouldn't be criticized so much when they make a remark that's genuine instead of politically correct.
          People say things like "Why is Danica so slow this year?" Why doesn't anyone ask "What's wrong with Eddie Jones this year?"
        • Grow up TK
          Let's face it TK's actions I believe are a bit two faced. At Indy he had a supposed pep talk session with Danica but goes out and discusses the talk in detail. A true teammate and leader has that discussion and lets the details of the talk remain private. Let's face it TK has been known to roast his team and teammates in public a time or two (all drivers have done this at one point or another) but he gets a pass when it happens.

          The so called 'true' race fan wants to beat up on Danica and her attitude simply because they don't like the attention she gets. But she has been much more classy in handling this supposed feud than TK. Honestly, I appreciate the emotion she brings to the game..not everything makes you smile and happy...sometimes a true competitor is mad and she isn't afraid to show it.

          Sorry to say but TK's win shows that outside of hardcore race fans there is little excitement about his win (there has been no coverage in my area)...contrast that with Danica's second place and people cared and were excited about it and it received coverage.

          A feud doesn't hurt either one in my opinion and it actually is something for people to talk about.
        • Yes, I got the point
          Yes, Steve, I got your point, and I actually agree with most of it. Drivers are people, so we should let them be people instead of PR robots. But that same line of reasoning means that drivers shouldn't be expected to always say the "right thing," and drivers like Danica shouldn't be criticized so much when they make a remark that's genuine instead of politically correct.
          People say things like "Why is Danica so slow this year?" Why doesn't anyone ask "What's wrong with Eddie Jones this year?"
          • Sorry, duplicate
            Sorry, didn't mean to repost that. Browser error
          • Shining brightly?
            John, At least IBJ is reporting on the Kanaan-Danica dust-up at Iowa and the continuing saga. Motorsports insiders are aware of this situation, but you certainly wouldn't be made aware of it be reading the Star. My goodness, they have a full-time motorsports writer, why isn't the Star weighing in? Talk about shallow reporting.
          • reality
            Bye Bye IZOD,,,as usual, you read it on Anthony's blog first
          • Answer For Matt
            Matt, you are not reading it in the Star or anywhere else but here because, again, the audience is too small. And, outside the forum fans, nobody knows or cares who Tony Kanaan is. Somehow Indy Car fans think the rest of the nation is spellbound and bottle o' milk happy like they are about this sport. Tony's Iowa win received NO coverage in the country's third largest media market this weekend. And I am told it failed to get a mention in L.A. either. Danica's second place finish in Texas got coverage in both markets and on Sportscenter. In order to boost his name into the mainstream, TK is going to have to keep teh fued going to the point Danica be-otch slaps the little Brazilian's bulbous snout bloody and he is predictably dumb enough to strike her back. Then he is in. He'll make all the shows.
          • THE SCORE
            I hate Danica Patrick! She is always upset with everybody and that doesn't boost the morale of the team who is trying to win a championship. Marco is the only level-headed one besides Hunter-Ray. These two guys are about winning not whining. Danica and Kanaan need a reality check, but mostly her with her attitude. They should try to get along like Marco always tries to with everyone. He may be young but he is the one who is not acting like a child with tantrums.
          • Got it all wrong
            Anthony has it wrong. His conclusions shows a thought process based on feelings and not experience. A rivalry almost always puts revenue in everyone's pocket. Without Danica, IRL would be about 50% of what it is in popularity and viewership. Just do a search and see how many times Danica comes up. Now do one with Kanaan... see the difference. That difference puts a fire hose on your little article.
            In closing, as I was reading your article, I found myself wondering who could write this stuff and have any credibility in sports journalism. Big strike out, Dude.
          • Great Comment!
            The sport needs a little (actually a ton of) spice.
          • Much todo about nothing
            Faux drama Anthony. Whiney Jr. and Mr. Izod Reay usually have their cars setup by Tony. Danica was left out of the equation because she sucks and can't setup a car. END OF STORY.

            Where's the journalistic business end of all this...the lowest TV ratings in AOW history, and the lowest attendance in IOWA history. That's the news here...IZOD has a buyout clause. Also does Versus.

            Track rentals/creative sanctioning upcoming on tracks that previously dumped the unappetizing unmarketable IRL series. REPORT on that...please. Me thinks the IBJ is cutting the IRL a break this year. It's ok, we've got the TRUTH and will report it here.
          • idiot comments
            Hey Mike,please quit the profanities and go buy a "Hooked on Phonics" DVD.
          • media never show natural oil spill
            on the lindy show on vs vs use f1 car for indycar vs need to get it together i am outrage
          • It is starting to become you miss a day you miss a lot around here. 38+ posts about a series some of the haters say no one cares about.

            Of course we still have the haters making predictions. Now they are predicting IZOD, which is spending millions to promote the series, as pulling out and Versus to do the same. Since they have been wrong about 99% of the time, I am happy to hear these predictions.

            The IRL must be getting it right since the haters have gone to talking about how bad of a title sponsor IZOD is to IZOD leaving. They realize how well the sponsorship is going and how IZOD is tapping into the HOllywood crowd which is a great way to market the series.

            So should we start taking bets as to when the haters do their annual ritual of changing the demise date for the IRL from 2011 to 2012?

            Controversy is almost always a good thing. Go through the history of racing and you have your feuds, be it Unsers vs. Andretti's Gordon vs. Earnhardt or Foyt vs. everyone.

            Next couple of weeks will be interesting to see what the IRL decides on chassis.
          • reality
            if you are wondering why Kanaan got the top shelf 103% spinner motor for Sunday's race, there has been talk of his car's sponsor going to NASCAR
          • aah, who cares
            no one cares about the series; check the nielsen #s; check the yellow and green bare aluminum from Sunday. Check that they don't have enough fans or interest to open the tracks on Friday for a Sunday race. I could go on and on, but I don't need to. I'm enjoying watching the fall.
          • The Truth Hurts
            But he is right. TK got the Honda Special. It is one of the worst best kept non-secrets in the league, that motor. Barnhart is the shot-caller on that one, or so I have heard. Randy was briefed. That's all I know and that came from the paddock when I was visiting Indy this past May. I have to think it is true.
          • Sing along...
            Where have you gone Mrs. Hospenthal, the IRL nation turns it's lonely eyes to you....boo hoo hooo.

            What's that you say Mrs. Hospenthal, NASCAR's money is calling and Indy lure has nothing left today....hey hey hey.

            Ed Carpenter has NO ride but Mrs. Hospenthal does.....start shaving your legs Ed 'cause the IRL will need another soft porn model to pump it's series.
          • Can only help
            Feuds in IndyCar can only help build publicity for the series.
          • More of the same from the haters. So when do you guys plan on shifting the ever elusive fail date for the IRL? Is that something you do on 4th of July weekend, or do you wait until the last minute?
          • Not a big deal
            This is just one in a long string of occurrences that will usher Princess Sparkle Pony out of the sport. Good riddance to bad rubbish, she is not vital to the future of Indycar racing.
          • What future?
            No Danica, no audience. Drayton must drink from a bottle of milk. Got your very own glass one in the frig do you Drayton? Cry when Gomer sings Back Home? Geek out when Franchitti wins and post on forums about what a great guy TK is? Or are you the guy who has my all-time favorite from 05? "Man, I wish I could hang out with the guys at AGR. They are so cool!" - That one was at Fontana. That you Drayton?

            No Danica, no cars for Drayton to watch.
          • I don't see the feud
            Honestly, I don't think there's any "feud" going on between Patrick and Kanaan. They may not be the best of friends at the moment but I doubt Danica purposely didn't go to TK's trailer to talk to him with Marco and Hunter-Reay. Also, Kanaan and Patrick are smart enough not to take their anger out on one another on the track. If they have a problem they'll talk it out privately.
          • Get to the root of the problem!
            Here's some predictions:

            - IRL star MILKA DUNO will finish outside the top 20 AGAIN.

            - IRL star Danica Patrick will race in NASCAR this weekend.

            - IRL AGAIN will see abysmal TV ratings, a trend that has continued ALL SEASON LONG.

            -Randy Bernard will continue to promise things he can't deliver.

            -IRL be in the RED financially AGAIN for the 15th season.

            -IRL owners, the Hulman family, will continue to fetter away $$$ down the loser property called the "IRL" for the forseeable future.

            -7-11 will bolt to NASCAR.

            -Toronto will again set record attendance lows for the race and the IRL.

            -Honda will pull out.

            -IRL will start to "rent" oval tracks now that NASCAR took them to the cleaners all these 15 years.

            -IRL will continue to give tix away to fill empty grandstands to make it look like folks like the series when viewed on TV.

            -IZOD activation won't work.

            -Versus 10 year contract won't work.

            -Comcast will tell the IRL to pond sand.

            All reasonable predictions...many will come true.
          • Left one out
            - Sarah Fisher will continue to pound the SAFER until her 67 car can actually be sold at a particpating Dollar General store and the customer will still have chink for a gumball on the way out.
          • unlike most of your predictions i would guess half will be right. But once again your hatred for the sport blinds you to reality. That is ok, like most of your other predictions, you will fail to acknowledge you were wrong or explain it away as the irl getting lucky.

            how do you pond sand? sorry, could not resist.
          • Meh...
            F1 in Valencia and Superleague @ The Nürburgring this weekend. Great cars and great drivers on great courses.
            Everything a race fan could want...
          • reality

            They thought the worst case scenario for the ratings, was if there was rain and the race delayed or postponed. No one predicted that ratings would go down, and they thought a bump of 30% or more was and seemed a reasonable target.

            When that did not happen and the ratings came out (and were the worst, ever) there was an unscheduled meeting between Izod and Indycar. Any plans for RHR were dropped, and discussions turned to how to move forward, if at all, in 2011.

            Izod, and Indycar officials fully expected an increase, not a decrease in ratings from the series premier event. This decrease hurt in more ways than most of you know. In addition to Izod, you might just start to notice more rumors about teams loosing sponsorship $$.

            The thinking was that things culd not get any worse...the reality is that it did get worse, and no one knows how low will it go. Izod will not ride on a loosing horse....

            IF Izod comes back, then I would vote for RB for President of the US (Though given the dunce now in office, I would vote for a fig...). What I hear is they should be back in 2011 but the series is bracing and preparing for the worse. If they can keep them onboard for 2012, and pick up some engine mfgrs, that would be good. If not, look for re-worked Dallara's for a few more years.
          • FIVE HUNEDRED
            Hey, remember the "Indy FIVE HUNEDRED" t-shirts IZOD had printed up this year? They're going to be a collectors item soon...I'm running out to my Macy's or BonTon right now.

            SERIOUSLY....how can a for-profit-business sustain the $$$ losses without Return On Investment with LOWEST Indy 500 TV ratings on record, 15 "in the red" years, $644M spent for the IRL in 2010, AVersus 0.30 TV ratings. And you folks think NBC/Comcast wants this? ONLY if they can buy it Lock, Stock and Barrel.

            I know they are BEGGING ovals to take 'em, essentially GIVING AWAY the series to places like NH Loudon and Milwaukee. Strangely, there was NO interest then (when those tracks ran the IRL) and led to the IRL being DUMPED. This deal is going full circle with the IRL's great economics. Pitiful.
          • What really will happen
            I predicted the demise of the IRL awhile back and I still might be right. But what I think will actually turn out to happen is this: In about two to three years, the whole sport changes in a manner that sees a low-cost Indy Car (no DW, Lola, etcetera) in the $150,000 range powered by cheap turocharged 4-bangers on short tracks like Iowa, Phoenix, Milwaukee, with some supers like Fontana, Texas, and of course Indy, for a total of about 10 to 12 races, most at night. There may be one or two roadies but no expensive streetfests and the emphasis will be on on oval car with the roadies much NASCAR-like, a toss-in event. Mid-Ohio will be one of them. Gone will be Izod, Versus, Honda, Dallara (maybe), foreign road races, the Long Beach Grand Prix (turns into a sporty car race), what will turn out to be the infamous "Baltimore fiasco", Toronto, St. Pete, Brian Barnhart, most of the current crop of foreign drivers, Danica, Helio, Dario, and Milka, and anything resembling a major league sport. It will be similar to USAC in the late 70's...some modestly attended races here or there, some well-attended races like Iowa and Texas, and an Indy 500 that keeps on keeping on, but at a track with fewer seats (attendance at about 200,000), still on live TV, maybe NBC, but with no more expectation than a solid 2.5 to 3.0. Big time sponsors will be few and far between with more institutional sponsors involved, and a return to sponsorship deals like the early days of the IRL. There will be a few more American drivers, but still some internationals. The sport will be around but nothing even close to the elitist, sophisticated, F1-like level it has inspired but failed to be.
          • So Truth somehow now becomes knowledgble of the inner workings of the IZOD IRL deal. Something that he never has shown us before.

            Chief seems to think he has insider info that is somehow better than the insider info he has had on here the last few years as to when the IRL will go under.

            And Burl seems to think he knows what the IRL will evolve into.

            Seems like the three amigos have been busy of late. Forgive me if I take your "inside" info with a very large grain of salt.
          • reality
            when will Ropin' Randy figure out that there is more bull in the IRlcar series than there was in bull riding?
          • Let's use 1992 attendance numbers
            I see the IRL is steadfastly using CART attendance numbers to justify OVAL pipe-dreams in New Hampshire.

            What's funny is NH dumped the hapless IRL in '98 after 2 years of FAILURE. Things that make you go hmmmm...WHY don't they use economic impact info from the IRL years?

            Because the IRL SUCKED in '97 and '98 in new Hampshire.

            I got word from NASCAR and RoC modified sources in NorthEast that they are anxious to show up the IRL (AGAIN) on the NH oval. Bring it on.... :D
          • iman is onit
            Since iman enjoyed the last dose of reality,,,here's some more

            Holmatro is seriously reassessing their Indy Car sponsorship after the Texas debacle.

            Izod got a sweet deal...so sweet that they won't even sponsor their driver anymore this year.

            The preeminent team in Indy Car has 2 cars without sponsors. Many others are either without major sponsorship or under sponsored. A large percentage of the grid is there because of ride buyers.

            Their be all that ends all, signature event had 1000's of empty seats and lower TV numbers.

            This does not matter since the biggest race of the year records the lowest ratings ever, down from last year. There were some interesting (read panic) meetings the past few weeks and Izod is not at all pleased. They had expected an increase, of a point or more. That did not happen, and spin mode is in play.

            And that folks, is bad news.


            there was a lot of talk/smoke about key metrics when the Izod deal was inked.....
            I would think a increase in the i500 rating was at the top of the list
            If they believe it ain't working and they have a Legal out they are gone. Those are big "if"s though.
            It all comes down to if they can sell more alligators because of the deal.


            The Iowa Corn Indy 250 drew the smallest crowd of its four-year run at Iowa Speedway on Sunday

            Indy Car had better get their a*s in gear. There is another series that will soon be exploding on the scene on a network that is much better than VS. I have seen the network plan and they have full backing.

            The Indycar races, will not be on NBC unless they buy time. Period, and that is not going to happen any time soon.

            As I have said in the past, the ratings are so low, it is a non discussion; NBC is not interested, unless they get paid to air races. The ratings needed to go up significantly, and that has not been the case. The ABC numbers are down right horrible. Izod, the best supporter the sport has had, is on the verge of making it one and done, since the ratings bump that was promised for the 500, did not occur.


            That is the big rumor going around the paddock. It is just a rumor...but two things happening behind the scenes provide credence to the rumor.

            #1 IZOD's refusal to continue it's sponsorship of their boy RHR.

            #2 ICS talking to other companies about series title sponsorship. I know of 2 companies that have been contacted.
            That can mean one of two things. The IZOD title deal is conditional until another big sponsor with a bigger checkbook comes along or that IZOD is out.


            Comcast got most of the NBC affiliates onboard. Comcast has agreed NOT to shift certain (popular) sports programming to cable, but instead will leave it on free over-air. Can you imagine how they'd react if Comcast tried to force sports programming on them which gets sub 1 ratings, and whose marquee event has been falling in the ratings for 15 years???!!!

            Comcast is in this deal to make money, not to find ways to prop up the IRL and lose money (or make enemies of its affiliates).
          • Further
            IZOD is said to be concerned about the Indy Car racing fan base. The venom spewed on a couple of the forums has them reconsidering from a marketing standpoint. And that is no joke. Nice going, forums fans. Nice going.
          • reality
            It would be fitting after the way the fans of the sport have been treated by the various series' owners and management over the years that their dissatisfaction with the mis-treatment would impact the series owners pockets books again. What goes around comes around.
          • I would like to add....
            Ropin' Randy has been talking out of every side of his mouth....but frankly I don't see any action. I recall him suggesting the Speedway step forward and take responsibility for this mess AOW is in.

            But, all I hear is . You are darn right the fanbase is fractured and upset. And it's going to stay that way until someone does something about it. And, I know some fool will say "good, don't let the door hit you on the way out"....but I used to spend thousands each year on this sport...and I'd bring 3 or four more people with me when going to the races. But I'll NEVER go again, as long as the IRL continues to exist.

          • Chassis Deadline to be MISSED
            Snags have been hit...Chassis decision deadline to NOT be met. REPEAT: Chassis Decision Deadline to be MISSED!

            What could the problem be???? Bwahahhahaha!
          • This is the problem
            The Delta Wing. They badly want to do it but are afraid of the risk. The stench in there must be awful.
          • I have to laugh everytime the haters post that they want an apology. An apology for what? This reinforces my opinion that many haters hate the IRL because they lost their jobs in the split or the suicide of cart/ccws/owrs. Why else would people possess such hatred for a racing league? Why would they spend so much time telling people they do not care about it?

            still love the fact that they do not ask for an apology for the thousands of investors who lost millions when cart took their money in the IPO and then killed itself as Chief would say.
          • I wasn't a stockholder
            It's touching Iman that you lead the crusade for CART IPO stockholder losses....the main benefactors appear to be carpetbaggers PENSKE and GANASSI who took their IPO $$$ and Toyota to the IRL (Idiot Racing League). Which IRL is it that you so staunchly support? Well, that would make you a LYING HYPOCRITE, wouldn't it?

            As evidenced by the LACK OF POPULARITY of the IRL and it's $644 million dollars spent to get this far, it's YOU that should demand an apology for the swindling of the AOW sport propagated by Tony George and the gang of idiot who started the IRL....but you don't.

            IF Mr. Randall Bernard is sincere he will follow through with HIS offering of an apology and elimination of the IRL brand. I didn't write ANY of the articles suggesting he would do apologizing, but, I read them all.

            Or was Mr. Randall Bernard's faux apology nothing but a cheap way to get attention for the condensed TWO WEEKS OF MAY that was so long ago now and did so poorly with TV ratings and attendance and such?

            CART is dead but gets almost the same TV ratings as the IRL zombie which gets 0.30. Keep praying for uphill waters Iman, you reap what you sow.
          • By the way...
            The 0.30 is thought to be a high number. The more realistic hard number is thought to be about .20 to 0.25. 0.30 is generous. Fact.
          • "lying hypocrite"? I must have struck a nerve. No, just telling the truth. The IPO money went to cart the series and cart the series went down the drain. Killed itself to use your terms. Wouldn't that be stock fraud? Anyway, quit trying to pretend your greatest series wasn't the greatest failure. Millions of the common mans money down the drain for a series that killed itself. How sad.

            See the attendance at Louden? Pretty poor. Seems everybody is hurting, even the biggest racing series.
          • YesterHeyDay
            Indyman, aluminum at New Hampshire because big time racing has had its twenty-twenty- five year mega-run. Back to third-tier, niche status. It is just taking NASCAR longer because they are falling from lofter heights. I give the sport, as a whole, another three to five years of relative mainstream existence, fading as time goes by, and then away she goes. Regional, tape-delayed, almost non-existent in the mainstream except for, maybe, a big maybe, the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500 as mainstream attention getters. Maybe. Quite possibly in twenty years this sport no longer exists at all as a professional.
          • CART's dead, quit bringing it up then
            Again you deflect. CART IPO money went to biggest stockholders....IRL carpetbaggers PENSKE and GANASSI were two of them. Who's holding up the chassis decision process? Who's demanding Belle Isle street race is back on IRL calendar?

            Who is really running the IRL? Yup, Iman, the two biggest teams in the IRL are propped up with CART IPO money. They ca$hed out now it's ok to screw the CART IPO investors because it's all IRL now...huh?

            You are a hypocrite for supporting the IRL which is full of CART IPO leeches, yet you cry wolf for all the downtrodden common people who banked on CART et al PENSKE etc. What's wrong with you?

            Also, again pointing out NASCAR attendance to prop up the failing and ailing IRL series TV and attendance doldrums. We know your tricks Iman. Just wait, The Glen is this weekend.
          • Been there, Glen that
            Watkins is a waste. Couple thousand locals from the sporty-crowd set, free tickets for friends and family type thing, maybe a local karting club, and there you have it. Lots of empty space everywhere you look. Yawn, ho hum, and who is gonna skip the 4th festivities out in the park to sit at home and watch RHR tool around in the 103 percenter? Watkins scores an amazing .50 though, but that is because people will tune into ABC thinking they'll see some other sport or a picnic or parade in Washington or something. In the stand at Watkin's though, more bare aluminum than took Cevert's head off.
          • reality
            CART: still more popular than the IRl will ever be
          • Danica Leaving
            Good riddance.

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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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