IndyCar Series faces difficult scheduling decisions

June 27, 2011
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The IndyCar Series race Saturday in Newton, Iowa, was a sellout, and the racing on the track was good. Now IndyCar officials need to figure out if races at small venues like Iowa Speedway pack enough of a financial punch to put the series in the black.

The track in Iowa only seats 30,000, but the fan showing at Saturday night’s race was a lot better than the 13,000 that showed up a week earlier to watch the IndyCar race in Milwaukee.

And IndyCar officials have to be smiling about Marco Andretti’s victory. Nothing against Will Power, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, but series officials have to be excited about a little more competition at the top.

Besides, Andretti is everything the series needs; American, young, good-looking and articulate. Not to mention the weight his last name carries in not just racing circles, but larger sporting circles.

Financially speaking, though, the Iowa race wasn’t a huge win for IndyCar.

Series CEO Randy Bernard said if the race in Milwaukee the week before had sold out and had a title sponsor, the event still would only manage a very small profit. Since Milwaukee has about 8,000 more seats than Iowa, we can deduce that Iowa will never be a big moneymaker for the open-wheel series.

But it’s easy to see the 7/8ths of a mile bull ring at Iowa makes for good television. There are few better race venues to watch for passing and lead changes.

Still, from a financial standpoint, venues like Iowa may give Bernard one of his most troubling dilemmas.

There are a lot of issues Bernard must consider to make this series profitable. Chief among those may be which markets to stay in, which ones to abandon and which new markets to try to penetrate. It’s a small vs. large market challenge familiar to many sports, including NASCAR.

Sources close to the series said it lost $22 million in 2009 and close to $15 million in 2010. The markets the series races in will have everything to do with when and if the series turns a profit. And with the Hulman & Co. board of directors increasingly eager to stop the financial bleeding, Bernard could be looking to make a move.

The overnight TV rating for the Iowa race was up 35 percent from the same race a year earlier. Still, the .35 rating (400,000 households nationwide), must come up if the series is going to make a run at long-term profitability. The markets Bernard decides to pursue could have everything to do with those TV numbers.

The decisions for Bernard won’t be easy as long-time venues may have to be jettisoned for new ones that might be more lucrative. Those new markets are no doubt a gamble. We’re about to see what kind of gambler Bernard is.

It’s looking increasingly like Milwaukee is out. Races in markets such as Sao Paolo, Brazil; Long Beach, Calif.; and Edmonton, Canada, are definitely in since they turn a dependable profit.

Only time will tell on new markets such as Baltimore and Las Vegas.

None of these markets alone will make the series profitable. But a carefully built portfolio of races with action like fans in Iowa enjoyed Saturday should create a growing fan base, and over time build the type of TV audience the open-wheel series must have to start steering out of the red.

  • When's the race?
    I've traditionally been a huge Nascar fan but have been paying more attention to IndyCar lately as I think it becoming more an more compelling. However, I can't tell you how many times I've open the paper's site the next day to see results of a race and think "huh, I didn't know that was on and I would have watched it." I think this is a byproduct of 1) being on a network I never watch (nor scroll by b/c it is so high up on the guide) and 2) not having a race every weekend (or flipping so much between Sat nights and Sundays).

    I don't know what the solution is, but if as a (self described) more than casual race fan I have a hard time following the schedule, your true casual fan has got to be very difficult to catch.
  • Iowa was a great race. Three wide racing, two wide racing at the end for the win and a great crowd that was in to it from the start and standing at the end. Curious to see what issues Chief and his gang will try to create as to why this race sucked.

    If the Indycar keeps a couple of small tracks, and encourages them to add seats and keeps its strong bigger tracks, that would be the best of both worlds.

    Milwaukee was lost when the former promoter screwed the City, IRL and NASCAR out of money. They poisoned the well, and unfortunately one of the oldest tracks will probably be turned into a horse track.

    I will be curious to see how Baltimore comes along. there seems to be a lot of interest from sponsors which should translate into fans.

    TV ratings are rising which is good, but they need to rise faster. The Centenial of Indy gave a bump, and created a lot of interest, now Indycar must capitalize on it and on the new engines and cars for next year. Getting the aero packages introduced correctly will also be critical. Exciting times ahead.
  • Versus
    As a Grand-am road racing fan, I've truly realized my interest in Indy in only the last couple of years. The problem with viewership can be summed up in one word: Versus. If I didn't follow drivers on Twitter and Facebook, I would never know there was a race. Similar to ALMS's decision to pull its race coverage from Speed Network, Indy's viewing status on Versus is causing many to simply not watch. I wasn't even aware my cable package included Versus until this year.

    Indy needs to find a way to reach as many viewers as possible and the best way to do that is to air on an easily accessible network as well as up its marketing.
  • Payday Stats
    I have been a long time open wheel follower and insider. I understand your point about attendance, but what you and Randy Bernard are not listing is the $ from parking and concessions. That is what usually pays the track to open it gates. Still we need NBC to move Versus to regualar cable and satelite packages, and to Promote, Promote, Promote the races at local venues! Just Sayin'
  • NHMS Can Help Save The Small Ovals
    An Interesting test will be Loudon. It's a small track with the potential to put on a good show, but it also has the massive grandstand that Milwaukee and Iowa don't have. If Loudon can promote and get 50,000+, it should help the cause of the small oval.

    By the way, Iowa Speedway may be getting my business next year. That was an awesome race.
  • New Tracks?
    I am reletively new to Indycar but what are some other tracks that would be good? Do fans like road/street courses better than ovals? I know they have issues with ISC so that takes out half of the tracks but what about Pikes Peak Raceway out in Colorado or maybe open up the Disney track in Orlando and sell with vacation packages, plus lots of International flare in Orlando. I know its close to St. Pete but I think that race did pretty good..

    Add Irwindale in California or maybe try a traditional NASCAR track like Charlotte... Is St. Louis still runable?

    The racing is super exciting, unforatuntely no one seems to be watching due to Versus...
  • Keep Iowa
    I have been to all 5 Indycar races at the Iowa Speedway and they get better every year. I am a long time race fan and agree with many of the previous comments. Hopefully the Iowa Speedway will add more seats. Their Nationwide and CW Truck races have been successes. That along with Indycar sellouts should help make the investment easier. I've met lots of novice and Nascar fans at the Iowa Indycar races. Many of them are real impressed by this racing. Please Indycar, renew their contract. I will do my part by buying tickets and spreading the word to everyone I know.
  • Versus & Ovals
    They must find a way to either get out of the Versus contract or have NBC take over the races. Personally I don't have a problem finding it or knowing when a race is but it's obvious the series would pick up many note casual fans if it was more accessible. More importantly I think is to schedule more oval races. I respect the skills needed to do well on road and street courses but they are simply not exciting to watch. Open wheel cars in ovals is the beat type of racing around and Bernard should be working to move toward a schedule which is much heavier on ovals.
  • Anthony, You Keep Writing The Same Thing Over and Over Again
    So Anthony...let me get this straight. Indy Car sells out a small oval venue in the Midwest that has a strong title sponsor who renews every year along with several quality associates; e.g., Pizza Ranch, etc., adds even more corporate hospitality areas than the year before and sells them out, sells more high dollar camping spots this year than last, sees the television ratings rise, offers fantastic racing with multiple American winners, and any part of the weekend outside Newton is BAD news? Your obsessed writing about Indy Car has become downright comical. Would it surprise you to learn that event revenue for the track is derived from more than selling a limited number of aluminum slices?

    Are the 'sources close to the series' who are willing to open that private company's finances to you (the ones who claim 'a $22 million loss in 2009 and close to $15 million in 2010') the same sources who spouted off about $500 million to $750 million losses since 1996? The same sources who, according to Tony George (then the man in charge), ' not know what they are talking about?'

    As someone who actually attended the Iowa race and talked to the people in charge, the impression I got seemed much more, uh, optimistic. Their active, ongoing negotiations with Indy Car seem to ensure a mutually beneficial long term future for the event.

    Randy Bernard himself claims the series could well have been profitable this season but he talked the corporate parents into additional expenditure for promotion related items.

    Would it kill you to strive for more of a balanced point of view from time to time? Your kind has been obsessed with running the same negative tripe by readers since 1995. Most of you who write these days are admittedly too young to fully understand or grasp the scope, history and importance of the role IMS plays in the sport (and for that matter the city of Indianapolis) in a general sense.

    I sort of understand the pathological need your generation seems to have for digging up dirt. That approach, however, has really gotten tired. If the sport got 'unified' in 2008 and then Tony George got swept out after that, why all the thinly disguised agenda mongering that is actually just the same old pointless criticism? Are you not going to be happy unless it crumbles completely?

    These sorts of columns make an otherwise reputable publication look fairly ridiculous. The predictable litany of barely literate hate speech by a handful of youthful enthusiasts that is certain to follow also damage the credibility of this space. Anyone with a brain comprehends that.
  • Delicate Balance
    The other thing that the series needs to keep in mind is the balance of non-US market races. This is a US based motorsport and when you pitch sponsorship proposals to US based companies Brazil, Canada and Japan are usually totally meaningless. This then forces the teams to sell portions of the season to multiple sponsors where international might make sense but now you have really painted yourself in a corner. The IndyCar Series is a tough sell as is; now you have to sell one off races in foreign markets?? Good luck with that one.
  • cart light
    irl done great job push fans away with there foreign racing irl will never see any growth with cart light american racing is only way to go and its american series annoying series does not work
    • Funny math, Anthony
      "The overnight TV rating for the Iowa race was up 35 percent from the same race a year earlier. Still, the .35 rating (400,000 households nationwide), must come up if the series is going to make a run at long-term profitability"

      Last year, the Iowa race pulled a 0.2, the second lowest rating for the .1rl all year.

      So, how does a 35% increase of 0.2 = 0.35?
      I must be dumb or something, because my math skills just can't make those numbers work.

      Anthony, please let us know if those #s are from Nielsen, or some other source.
      Because either Sister Mari Noel was lying to me on how to do simple percentages, or your info is wrong. And I'd hate to think I was lied to by a Nun...

    • show sucks foreign racing not for america allthou road racing number 1 in world
      popular american driver and rating still sucks funny when irl racing was best in the world rating was the worst =history sucks
    • Interesting Phenomenom
      I was watching the NASCAR race from Elkhart Lake on Justin.TV....and as soon as the Indycar race came on about 500 of the 1000 viewers instantly shut off their computers. Fascinating.

      Bob Jenkins is a boob...he starts the broadcast with an apology about the "sellout" because it might not look like a sellout, but galldangit it really is a sellout.

      GET RID OF HIM. If you want the series to be taken seriously, unload Bob IMMEDIATELY. And Brian Barnhart too. They are both bums....did you see how quick CAUTION LIGHTS came on at Milwaukee and IOWA? Why not at Indy?

      Oh...., you realize at this rate of growth it'll be well into Michelle Bachmann's 2nd term as President before IRL will be sniffing 0.5 or higher, right? Party on Garth....
    • Cheers
      Anthony, keep up the great work. The poster that continues to attack you is nothing but a self proclaimed media insider who for over 15 years has "defended" anything appearing to be negative about the IRL, Tony George and IMS* regardless of the overwhelming evidence that the IRL/ICS under the Hulman/George cabal has been an utter failure.This person repeatedly attacks the evidence while bragging that he has acccess to the information but cannot divulge it due to his position "in the industry". This person has been banned from nearly every motorsports forum on the internet for vulgarity, racism and lies and I hope the IBJ soon follows suit and bans this fraud.
      • You should be embarrassed
        Disciple should offer Anthony an apology for the unwarranted attack he just wrote.

        And as far as Anthony repeating the same thing over and over, that is very 'ripe' coming from the guy that has repeated the same crappy arguments over and over for the last 10 years.

        You may consider yourself a race fan. But you have a long way to go to exhibit any sense of class as a human being.

        This is a free country and this is a blog with comments Anthony certainly can write as he chooses.

        Get over yourself. You do nothing to help the series with comments like these.

        You ssir hould be embarrassed, but we all know you are incapable of such.
      • Pikes Peak
        The league, IMS, whatever...seriously ought to consier buying Pikes Peak International Raceway, fix it up to that IMS standard, and run a doubleheader out there in the early Summer, maybe 4th of July timeframe. The racing was very good when they were there. It is a picturesque setting and a tourist destination. And it has heritage in teh Unser history and a state with an Indy 500 winner(Lazier). It is a gorgeous area. The rest of the year they can lease it back to the SCCA and so on for race meets. Minimal investment I would think. Control of a venue out West. Good, short-track racing. The league needs to think in these terms. Look at Iowa. Middle of nowwhere.Indy Cars can resonate in these locations.Pikes Peak in a natural. Buy it. Bring it up to speed. Race there.
      • If Iowa was a sell out
        and there were thousands of empty seats, that means the buyers couldn\'t find anyone to give them to. Humm, where has the IRL seen free tickets with no takers before? Milwaukee maybe
      • Old tracks
        Bring back old tracks and advertise advertise advertise. It'll be a big deal. Chicagoland was always hands down the most amazing race of the year by far. With a new track president, they'll promote the heck out of that race. And how about California Speedway? They've had some thrillers there too. But the big money...BRING BACK THE MICHIGAN 500!! My family went to that race for the first time in the mid 80s and went all the way till the end. Unfortunately, as with Chicagoland, they stopped promoting. You just gotta get the name out there and when you do, magic will happen.
      • Fly over Izod???

        Are you sure the current Indycar sponsor Izod would want to make the series the kings of nowhere?

        I'm not putting down Iowa, or the other "nowhere" areas you speak...but is that what Izod or even Versus wants to see?

        I'm get the feeling they would like to hit some major markets. You know density of target markets where actual buyers of Izod reside and large numbers of viewers can be built.

        Think about it. Despite what disciple thinks of "street festivals" maybe it is Izod and Versus helping push Randy B in those directions to get some real return on their investments.

        Disciple may blah, blah, blah on about hitting segment targets, but you can be pretty sure those key market segments are some of those cities that are looking at putting on street events.

        Houston and Fort Lauderdale ring any bells?

        Sure it is easy to blame previous CART teams when you have a defender agenda...but what would even defender/disciple say if Randy told him some of the series directions is coming at the behest of the sponsors and other partners.
      • More ovals
        Whatever IndyCar decides to do, I hope they decide on venues that offer more oval races. That's what IndyCar racing is all about. Besides better racing, it would get them back to their roots of the old USAC days, etc. when the the good ole boys were racing. Nothing against the likes of Franchitti or Powed or Dixon, etc. but who wants to watch a bunch of foreigners racing like follow the leader, much like Formula One?The racing is too boring. Promoting oval track racing would give the younger American race drivers who race every weekend at smaller venues a goal to shoot for. Remember Tony Stewart? Sure he went to the other series but with encouragement and support, I'm sure there are several more Tony Stewarts out there. One or two road courses are okay but let's make the series more oval dominant.
      • What planet are some of you people from?
        The IRL was kicked off ISC ovals because the product couldn't be sold. The product stunk.

        The speedway is in a world of hurt so financing the track rentals like Milwaukee and New Hampshire are break even adventures at the very most. Even Randy hisownself admitted even 30,000 fans at $40 per ticket can't cut the mustard of the IRL's hefty $1.5Million per race sanction fee.

        SO, advertising is out and so is expansion to more oval tracks. And forget the heritage of oval racing altoghether anyway...NO one want s to drive 4 hours to see a race of ugly cars who are on track for 1 hour 45 minutes and 1/3 of that is under caution. Get real, AOW is done.
      • American Drivers = American Sponsors
        Boy am I sick of the "it's all foreigners" comments. If you want American drivers, then American sponsors need to step up, and you need to spend your money at sponsor's stores. It's really that simple.
      • Scott is right... is all about ovals and preferably Americans. Marco Andretti's win the other night was popular and refreshing. But one note: There always has been and always will be room for a few internationals. Jimmy Clark, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Dan Wheldon...for sure Arie Luyendyk and Tony Kannan are/were as popular as the Americans. They fit right in and look what a great race TK had with Marco. So there is room. But the bulk of the race car drivers ideally should be young Americans coming up through the various karting, dirt track, and SCCA-type venues because that is what resonates with the type of fan who enjoys this kind of racing.

        As for Carter's comments: He raises a point. But how good can it be for IZOD to have races in South America and Japan, and talks of China now, when in reality their brand is bought and worn here stateside. At least is think that is so. The glamour, big city, bright lights, F1-style image of IndyCar racing is long gone. It was short-lived and that is not a knock on CART. "Nowhere" is America, Iowa is America, and the evidence is in at least for one race on aa Saturday night in Newton, Iowa. I woudl think all the sponsors involved would be grateful. If the title sponsor doesn't like the Heartland and "Nowhere", which I find hard to believe, then perhaps a different title sponsor is ideal for the future.

        The IndyCar Series should be predominantly ovals with aa couple novelty road courses thrown in. To that end, I think Tandy Bernard is on to something reagrding Road America. I'll add in Mid-Ohio. Two, Midwestern Mardi Gras race track.

        IndyCar needs to get away from the F1-wannabee image. It just does not resonate anymore. People who love this sport and ones the series seeks, want to see hardcore, bad-a, fast on the gas wheel-to-wheel racing between mostly Americans and a few, hotshot foreigners who come here because they want to race at Indy.
      • IZOD doesnt do ovals
        neither does IZOD send its trackside girl to oval races
      • Is THAT what you apology??
        All I\'m looking for is for that family of misfits to get the hell out of motorsports. I don\'t need to see their pitiful faces tell me how sorry they are...they\'re only regretful that they lost all their money trying to wrest the sport back from those who had the utter audacity to take it from them and make it successful.

        The heck with apologies. Wouldn\'t believe anything they would have to say in any case.
      • For Chief to be right about ISC, it would mean when the IRL was at its lowest, ISC would have chucked them. Instead, that is when ISC invited them in. It is when NASCAR started to ebb and IRL/Indycar started to rise that ISC ousted them. Seems more like NASCAR didn't want the competition.
      • DROP Iowa ASAP, replace with a strret race
        The series needs to be in an urban environment where there is money and people.

        Remember...IRL has been tossed out of 22 race tracks in 15 years, almost entirely oval ones.

        How come the answer is ovals and Americans? IRL failed miserably at delivering that, which precipitated the current faux leEgue. How could anything Bob Jenkins is involved in be sexy? FIRE him. Perception needs to change for any progress to be made.
      • IRL was at its lowest
        Financially. So, when they tried to up their sanction fees for a crap product, ISC told them to pound sand. Remember, after Marlboro took at the free tix, and NASCAR took away the tix extortion packs...IRL sunk all on it's own.

        Another prediction that came true....

        Clever try to spin it Iman. See how crafty you are?
      • pay more later
        pikes peak isc deal with the new owners no race over 10,000 fans the double isc first ask about that but because irl did not think about that first it was wrong so 4 years formula greedy indy continue mid ohio is bike track they have to fix it first road track on schedude did not fail it was irl ruin them like every thing formula greedy indy think they can spin fan to watch that garbage people just only watch good entertinment they just spoil that way that just how it is that how entertinment works oval buffer zone allways should be there irl champ must win on oval fix next year they need start season at homestead speedway at new year fireworks opener hype new year hype will get croud miami was doing well before move to final angstadt want it gone beacuse miami bad sport town hype you have to give isc some thing get phoenix real double iowa not like irl new low at texas and do real double at texas all payed race california speedy double one payed race one free race get rid of sonoma and replace with atlanta motor speedway and have the race before 500 leave awful parade alone houston and new brazil race data 13 ovals 8r fans and irl can spin it most oval since 2007 road racing is going down the series look more american oval buffer zone is not good but ok for now its watchable does not feel like you are watching f1 4 years formula greedy indy is too long with so many entertinment in this world the future schedule should be this 25 ovals 5r
      • NASCAR afraid of the big bad .1rl???
        iman has his laughable delusions, and there there's reality:

        Track president: Homestead-Miami Speedway "more profitable" without IndyCar Series

        October 04, 2010|By Sarah Talalay, Sun Sentinel

        Homestead-Miami Speedway gave the IndyCar Series a South Florida-style sendoff on Saturday with fireworks and flyovers, but the crowd was so sparse, it wasn't difficult to see why the track is not on the series 2011 schedule.

        Speedway President Matthew Becherer said he wanted to keep IndyCar, but hosting the series — as the track has for the past decade — costs the speedway. He said when IndyCar chose to raise the sanctioning fee to host the series by 30 percent, the track couldn't justify the expense.

        "Financially, it's an event that doesn't really make a lot of sense for us anyway and when they asked for an increased fee, it made even less sense," Becherer said. "From a business perspective, it's really not any sort of a hit we're going to have to worry about."

        He added: "The impact of losing the IndyCar race is we'll be more profitable."

        I'd link the source, but the spam filter wouldn't let me post it then.

      • And the Truth about the NEW IRLcar engine
        We were told that the new IndyCar engine is really the last of a dying breed - based strictly on decades old technology
      • truth irl does want oval
        1.5 millon sanction fee is for oval they still make more money on street parade they thought they can get away con people get little extra money on the side so they forgot league responceblety to put on a good show like every other league so whine about long split the economy and whine about old merger sanction fee think is a joke because las vegas would have been on schedule years ago bhuton smith would have payed them now the oval boom has crash now is repair time now oval tracks does not want them they can not promote a race when formula indy is going on and it crash every thing miami race croud was awful years ago but was going up every year probly because of danica and it was opener my wikepidia data it made to milwaukee iowa numbers irl lost a track even isc does not care about it was warm weather track in glam city croud size did not matter for opener because everybody know miami was tough sport town every sport has tough time there irl should allways open there its great track irl is all about 1.5mile tracks the new hamsphire thing years ago was tg turn irl into a country club
        • Stop The Presses
          I am not sure about anyone else, but given the contribution above and several others just like it, I believe it would would be a splendid idea to contact the Nobel Prize folks immediately and strongly suggest they hold the awards in at least the 'Economics' and 'Literature' categories just to be on the safe side. The obvious intellect of the contributors and the compelling, literate way in which their cases are stated make such action an absolute necessity.
        • Speedway Apologists Take It Hard
          Twisted, they are...reality is truth. They live in a dream world where failure is success, less is more and Indy is the center of the universe. Arrogant, pompous bloviating is all it's what got AOW into this mess where 30,000 paying fans can't even support the crap series. What happened?
          • D.D.D
            Well little disciple...while all comments might not be in the correct form for your sensitive least they are on topic.

            Unlike your last comment.

            But that is your game. Call everone youthful. Call everyone stuck in the past. Call everyone that disagrees lacking in insider contacts.

            But, no meat on the bones. No offering to further the discussion.

            Typical. Deflect and Deny.

            Now, that is how a true disciple defends the indefensible. Sort of like the news reports out of Indy that try to blow past the real problems the series has. No series.

          • Much Needed Jolt of Reality
            The only tangible difference between Anthony Schoettle and most of those attempting to offer blog commentary is that Anthony has significantly more advanced spelling and grammar skills, and is able to consistently string sentences together with commendable coherence.

            Philosophically, however, there is not much difference.

            As the Indy Car Series continues its consistently upward growth, how many more years are the lot of you going to remain obsessed while portending doom that never quite seems to occur except in your crudely expressed deranged fantasies?

            Seriously, do any of you have any idea how foolish you appear?
          • Everyone's an expert
            I believe the greatest chance for success with this series is oval racing. Most Americans are accustomed to oval racing. Street and road course racing may be appealing to some but Indycar needs to increase its fan base. I believe it's hard to convince oval racing fans to attend a race where they can see a small portion of the track. TV provides great coverage for street and road racing but major networks don't have the current Indycar contract, and there are lots of complaints about Versus' obsecurity. Racing is passing. Ovals (like the Iowa Speedway) provide lots of opportunities for passing. BTW, Iowa has more tracks per capita than any other state. The vast majority of all Iowa Speedway attendees this past weekend were from Iowa. Iowans are race fans. Hopefully, their continued support for Indycar will demonstrate that this and similar venues should be incuded in the future of this series. If larger metro venues are the answer (as some have suggested), what's Milwaukee's excuse? Isn't Chicago just a couple hours south? I'd think millions of households within 2-3 hours should have been enough to fill the stands. I guess Iowans must just be better fans.
          • Smaller ovals
            I think where the series should logically end up is about a 10-12 race season, 8 to 10 ovals, and two natural terrain road courses, Road America and Mid-Ohio come to mind as the best choices.

            I am not suggesting an Iowa clone. But building one or two more similar tracks in the USA would be ideal. If the series had half a dozen such races each season, plus a couple breathtaking, barn-burner speedway spectactular's at Texas and Chicagoland, plus the two annual road adventures, the series would really have something appealing. IndyCars are built for sheer speed and nuts and guts racing. Showcase it.
          • Seriously Dipsicle, do you have any idea how foolish you appear?
            Hey Hooter, Milwaukee was an example of \'consistently upward growth\' right?
          • defender's idea of growth
            is F1's GP of China (broadcast @ 2:00 AM on SPEED) trouncing what was once the Crown Jewel of AOWR, the Long Beach GP (broadcast sometime in the afternoon on vs) in the Nielsen ratings.

          • Richmond!
            Richmond was a great market for the IRL with similar racing and attendance as IowA. The IRL dropped it.

            Here's next year's schedule for ya:

            Iowa x2
            Indy Road Course Double Header
            Mid Ohio
            Season Finale at Iowa, run-what-cha brung day for $5M
          • Formula Greed Indy
            What an illiterate rambling of nonsense. Thowing this mess off in the future would make much sense to those with much sense.
          • Richmond

            Go back and check your facts. The Richmond sponsor, Sun Trust, dropped the race as sponsor. It wasn't dropped by the series.
            • So, the IRL had to cancell it, right?

              The facts as the very well could be.

              Once the track lost the SunTrust sponsorship, the IRL/Indycar had to drop the race.

              I do not think SunTrust was tasked to operate the race. If another sponsor would have stepped forward, Richmond might have kept the race. I don't think SunTrust would have called the track and said drop the race, we no longer will sponsor it. Even if SunTrust was sponsoring the event through an agreement with the track.

              I am pretty sure if the event itself was popular, the track would have contacted other potential sponsors or Randy Bernard and asked if Indycar could help arrange another sponsor. Both did not happen.

              Now for part 2. Ask yourself why SunTrust dropped the sponsorship and why no one else sponsored it?

              Do you think it had to do anything with the popularity of the series and that the bottom line dollars for cost of sponsorship no longer justified the expenditure?

              Then the track could no longer pay the sanction fee, and Indycar could not line up another sponsor. Race is then cancelled and dropped from Indycar schedule.

              Kind of a two-way thing. So Chief is right too in that the market was dropped due to a decision most likely based on lack of real (Keyword) 'paid' attendance. Were there too many SunTrust freebies that never turned into paid attendance and/or a bump in SunTrusts business?

              If there was money to be made, someone would have put that race on the schedule.

              They tell me that is how things work!
            • Bruddas from different muddas
              Disciple and Chief. Got to be genetic connection. Both need to be retired out. They are down to cornered animal. It would be funny if it were nto so sad.

              IndyCar is coming back, slowly but surely. And yet it has nothing to do with their irrelevant, uninformed opining. In their haste to share that stink, they make a silly face.

              That's some gas in the tank, I don't care who you are.
            • Good for a laugh
              Seriously, do any of you have any idea how foolish you appear? I will ask you the same after posting this little gem on Trackforum: 2) The value of the series is enough to attract over 1.2 million fans in person last season and more this year. It is enough to experience trended growth in the ratings of targeted demos. It is enough to attract $80 million of new sponsorship this year over last; a number that will approach $200 million by the end of the year. The current series leadership is able to conclusively show upward trending growth in mission critical areas. $200 million in new sponsorship and no ride for the 2011 Indy 500* winner? Is this all from the increased involvement of Pizza Ranch or does it include Frank's Energy Drink? And feel free to provide any links to actual numbers.
            • Don't wait too long...
              Brett, how long you gonna wait for those actual numbers from the disciple.

              I'm not sure of your age...but I doubt many of have us the time left in our lives!

              But one thing is for certain...the guy owns no mirrors.
            • richmond r.i.p. earl does not want oval
              foreign race will be allright if it was a oval and right time zone what happen to darlington race tg say sanction fee was joke years ago irl was jerk to miss track birthday irl need to show fans that they clean up the act and show that formula indy is dieing no won should be shock what happen at texas it same old irl split years mangerment
              • English Language Fundamentals
                Spelling. Grammar. Punctuation. These are concepts that, when used, place homo sapiens more toward the upright section of the evolutionary chart.
              • nerd
                no its easyer this way that how it is
              • Easy Answer for Milwaukee
                Have the IndyCar switch to Milk as the Official Fuel of IndyCar(TM) and Milwaukee is a guaranteed sellout next year. But Bob Jenkins might have to apologize for the empty seats at the start of the broadcast again.
              • The problem with ovals
                Is the on-going problem you always hear from non-racing fans - "How can you watch cars go around in circles for hours?" Ovals bore the hell out of me because you're essentially flat out and turning in one direction. I originally fell in love with IndyCar and Champ Car, was because it was the ONLY series where drivers had to master ovals, road, and street courses. I didn't care if the drivers were American, because they were the best in the world and versatile.
              • road racing and oval racing are differant sport both are good driver in both sport
                the problem with cart champcar it was not american racing and it was you can not change baseball into football that boring and annoying that why irl champ allways should win on oval and have a oval buffer zone our it not a series and guest you can call indycar popular american racing that what the world knows it for it had strong history of popular american racing if it not like that its fake gold show some american patroitism i am road racing fan too road racing is for f1 sportcar and foreign racing but not for indycar indycar=american popular racing cart champcar was awful show too many street race and road racing road racing fans hate street race there should be only one street race on schedule long beach flat out track you break when battleing and dirty air its not easy as it sound its just real close racing and exciting racing irl best racing yeah formula greedy indy is annoying too and is a awful show too
              • And the final rating is??
                Am dying to know if the overnight to final went stupendously, unbelievably UP like last time?
              • Ratings?
                Ratings don't matter. All that matters is trended growth in the ratings of targeted demos. The current series leadership is able to conclusively show upward trending growth in mission critical areas. Hooter/Defender/Dipsicle got this information from Randy Bernard last week when he was having lunch with him.
              • Hmmmm...
                I'm sure many have seen the reports that Randy Bernard is betting his job on the ratings for the big deal in Las Vegas.

                He stated that if the big $5 million payout to an outsider driver doesn't return better than a .3 rating he will quit on the spot.

                Then he restated that if it didn't do a .8 he would still quit.

                I wonder if he basing that on the Zap2It ratings Mr. Disciple hates so much???

                Or, will that be based on .8 ratings in key market segments???

                I'm sure Disciple and Indyman can clear that all up for us not in the know like those two.

                Can't they?

                And maybe then Mr. Disciple and Indyman can tell us what the real ratings are.

                The facts will finally out!

                I for one cannot wait!
                • formula greedy cart light
                  0.8 rating on network irl never goes higher than that in football season rating are so low trent little higher does not mean anything
                • ratings
                  Ropin' Randy the cowboy is just getting himself ready for a quick exit. I'll bet he can't find that neckcar star he was hoping for and Rubbin' Mealer promised! This is all just too funny for words.
                • re: Brett
                  but Randy also says there's interest from F1 drivers and if only they could find a way for the Korean GP to Vegas they'd be taking part. Then, the same day in a press conference he brags that there's not one F1 driver who DARES drive on an oval.. something about "IndyCar drivers are clearly the bigger adrenaline-junkies".

                  Why believe a word that this joker says?

                  Randy Bernard has about as much credibility as Harold Camping. Both make wild proclamations, both are "surprised" and "shocked" when things don't quite happen as they predicted, and both are happy to make apologies, reset their targets and reassure their faithful that next time is 'it'.
                  • oops
                    Before someone else points it out to me, "could find a way for.." should have been "could find a way FROM.."

                    By the way, best line in the whole article: "Bernard could be looking to make a move".

                    Yes, following the .8 or lower for Vegas.
                  • Down on my knees...
                    I just read RenegadeX's apology for his error in typing his comment and it has brought me to my own "come to disciple" moment.

                    In my last comment I missed a word too.

                    My one line should have read:

                    I wonder if he is basing that on the Zap2It ratings Mr. Disciple hates so much???

                    I'm sure that one missing word causes Mr. Disciple to discount the entire message.

                    It is too bad that we have no way to edit after we realize we fumble-fingered a comment.

                    Of course...Mr. Disciple seems to be big on discounting a lot of things. I've seen where he is reassuring the members of Indycar's popular fan forum that Randy will not be going anywhere.

                    I wonder if we should all remember that should things turn out that Randy does leave due to bad ratings...or whatever may transpire.

                    The lets all split hairs and act like school marms Carter M!
                  • Maybe Randy can get
                    that NASCAR driver that won the $20 million on Memorial Day Sunday
                  • Trix is for KIDS! Randy you got nothin....
                    Mr. Bernard,

                    I hereby challenge you to a bet....

                    LOOK, 0.3 and 0.8 are easily attainable. That bet makes you look like a girlie-man.

                    Let's get right to it....YOU AIN'T a MAN unless you wager 1.5 ratings. So, stop being a baby and wager'd be out of a job quick.

                    See, you ain't that tough bullrider dude, are you?
                  • The Dipsicle of iNdycar caught in another falsehood
                    on the official IRL forum
                    • The Dipsicle of iNdycar caught in another falsehood
                      Got to love Defender's claims about NBC and Versus being run as independents when the Tour de France coverage is being done with the combined NBC and Versus broadcast crews and the NBC network coverage is the evening repackage of the Versus live coverage. NBC and Versus crews are fully integrated and their cycling coverage is the most comprehensive ever seen in the United States.

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                    1. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

                    2. Funny people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

                    3. Good try, Mr. Irwin, but I think we all know the primary motivation for pursuing legal action against the BMV is the HUGE FEES you and your firm expect to receive from the same people you claim to be helping ~ taxpayers! Almost all class action lawsuits end up with the victim receiving a pittance and the lawyers receiving a windfall.

                    4. Fix the home life. We're not paying for your child to color, learn letters, numbers and possible self control. YOU raise your children...figure it out! We did. Then they'll do fine in elementary school. Weed out the idiots in public schools, send them well behaved kids (no one expects perfection) and watch what happens! Oh, and pray. A mom.

                    5. To clarify, the system Cincinnati building is just a streetcar line which is the cheapest option for rail when you consider light rail (Denver, Portland, and Seattle.) The system (streetcar) that Cincy is building is for a downtown, not a city wide thing. With that said, I think the bus plan make sense and something I shouted to the rooftops about. Most cities with low density and low finances will opt for BRT as it makes more financial and logistical sense. If that route grows and finances are in place, then converting the line to a light rail system is easy as you already have the protected lanes in place. I do think however that Indy should build a streetcar system to connect different areas of downtown. This is the same thing that Tucson, Cincy, Kenosha WI, Portland, and Seattle have done. This allows for easy connections to downtown POI, and allows for more dense growth. Connecting the stadiums to the zoo, convention center, future transit center, and the mall would be one streetcar line that makes sense.