Kanaan, Carpenter pushing IndyCar retail sales to new high

May 24, 2011
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With ticket sales for this year’s Indianapolis 500 at a five-year high, it’s not surprising merchandise sales are up also.

But it is surprising, with all the rain this May, just how much they are up.

According to Dave Moroknek, CEO of MainGate Inc., the locally based firm that handles licensing and retail sales out at the Speedway, merchandise sales has been up more than 10 percent each day over the same day last year.

“We’re seeing some very nice gains,” Moroknek said. “The centennial is definitely bringing people to the track.”

Observers at the track said crowds for Fast Friday and both qualification days were up over last year.

Hot retail items, according to Moroknek, include anything Danica Patrick related, especially autographed items; die cast Hot Wheels cars and somewhat surprisingly, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter items.

“Tony Kanaan is our No. 2 selling driver behind Danica,” Moroknek said. “And Ed Carpenter is at No. 3, which is somewhat unexpected.”

Kanaan and Andretti Autosport parted ways after 2010, and the Brazilian driver landed a last-minute deal in March to drive a third car for KV Racing. Carpenter was left in the lurch after Vision Racing folded last year, but signed a deal to run a partial season this year for the race team owned by the ever-popular Sarah Fisher.

Carpenter items are selling so well, Moroknek said, his firm is making more products for race weekend.

“A lot of people seem to be behind Ed this year,” Moroknek said, “so we think there could be a big run.”

This post will be updated this afternoon with a complete list of the top 10 selling IndyCar drivers in terms of merchandise sales this May.


  • The Indy 500 Remains Great 100 Years Later
    All key metrics are up. The 100th Anniversary is just another example of the prominence the great race has always held. This weekend's race should be a great one.
  • But Anthony, you must be wrong. This can't be. Chief has told us over and over and over and over that no one cares, there is no marketing, no one is going to be there and this is the end of Indy. I mean between your experts and facts and an anonymous blog poster, it is obvious who we should believe.

    • It boggles the mind
      It really does...Happy Days Must be Here again!

      Judging from TV and news reports this is one of the least attended months in Indy history. The numbers do not compute....
    • The End Will Have To Wait. Again.
      Those of us adults who have actually attended every day might beg to differ; there were crowds every day and more corporate groups and school groups than I have seen in many years, even on rainy days. IMS has not seen qualifying crowds like that for many, many years. Carb Day should draw more than 110K as well, and Jeff Belskus indicates that in addition to having all available corporate suites and prime camp sites sold out, individual ticket sales have increased by nearly 10%.

      It appears that we will have to wait for any sort of Indy Car apocalypse.
    • Sarah has helped sell
      Ed is a popular guy out at the Speedway, but his association with Sarah Fisher has no doubt helped. They've made a good team this month.
    • from the news reports, including the press, IBJ and Star and the video media, 6 and 8, crowds have been up over the last few years. Not sure where you are getting your numbers.

      What does not compute is your constant attempts to rip Indy leads you to lie which is easily caught. this is not the first time. But i guess when the month is going so well, you must really be a sad feller.

      So is it time to change your end of world prediction? Even the radio preacher got it wrong. 2013, or should we jump ahead to 2017?
    • Less days, less opportunities to make $$$
      Your overblown passion for your Speedway handlers is allowing you to talk fantasy. Think about it. This is the run up to the sale....promoters never lie. Neither do you guys....hahahhaha.
    • Curious. You said "Judging from TV and news reports this is one of the least attended months in Indy history. The numbers do not compute.... " Yet a persual of news print and video news services seem to counter your statement. So what sources do you base your info on?
    • Chief

      Ok, you think about it. You say run up to a sale. What possible good would that do unless they were to sell to someone else wanting to grow the business as it exists?

      Hmmmmm, sheesh you dufus......
    • DOH!
      It's doofus. I'm not buying it...I made a billion dollars last year...My income has increased 350%. My sales are 10 to 60% higher this year.

    • See how it works?
      YOu can make all the claims and put out all the publicity you want complete with press releases ESPECIALLY when you are a private company and don't have to show your books.

      It's almost a sellout, theses cars don't fly, major activation coming, advertising nationwide, key metrics are up, "I'll probably have to apologize", TV rating right where we want them....any of these gems ring a bell?

      Retail sales to a new high of what? Failure, income, sales, revenue, income, what? Compared to what? 1996, 1969, 1979, 1911, what?

      Yet, 0.03, 0.22, 0.29 tell a different story.
    • ED Carpenter climbs higher
      Here's an update on the merchandise sales numbers from the month of May. Top drivers this month in terms of item sales are as follows: 1. Danica, 2. Tony Kanaan, 3. Ed Carpenter. More on the top 10 after the race.
    • Anthony...what do these numbers mean?
      Does it mean Ed sold 50 last year, and this year he sold 65? See my point? Numbers are meaningless.
    • You want hypocrisy...
      Anthony...I don't know if you ever frequent the main fan forum for Indycar fans, but maybe you should if you want a real lesson on hypocrisy.

      Then again, maybe you have noticed that when you report anything positive about Indycar, you get positive support from both the disciple and Indyman characters.

      But when you report anything negative...well, letâ??s just say these same two characters probably speak very lowly of you as your name usually gets the rolling eye smilie with the majority of the Indycar fans at that forum.

      Now...how is that for some good old fashioned hypocrisy?

      And by the way, it is a well-worn old method of promoters to claim ticket sales are great...as a way to help drive not-so-great ticket sales.

      After all, who wants to attend an event knowing it is less than popular?

      I've been around a good while as a race fan...and I can't remember anyone from Indy ever having to talk about ticket sales up until around the turn of this new century. I have a feeling things were pretty fat in the old days...and they really didn't need to do much because the RACING PRODUCT sold very well.

      What do you suppose happened in the meantime???

      I think I'll just wait to catch some images of the crowd and see what the media reports.

      I have a feeling they will be shooting a lot straighter than disciple ot Indyman.
    • Who was wrong ?
      The 500 was nealy sold out with over 300K fans showing up & the TV viewing was at new height. Indy is here to stay. After 100 years & many more to come.

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