• Apr 28, 2010
What, Danica Patrick's inclusion in the sport isn't enough to generate sufficient interest? Guess not. Seemingly in an attempt to generate some additional excitement in the 17-race 2010 IndyCar Series schedule, Randy Bernard, first-year chief executive of the Indy Racing League, has announced that there will be three different winners after the season is done and over with. Why? We'll let Bernard explain:
After my first six weeks, I kept saying to myself we need to be able to deliver a consistent message about our sport that separates us from other forms of auto racing... What hit me is that we have the fastest and most versatile drivers and racecars in the world - and no one can deny that - and now we have to show why we're the fastest and most versatile. We have 17 events, but how do we create better story lines?
Apparently, that "consistent message" necessitates awarding a winner for both oval racing (to attract NASCAR fans?) and road racing (to attract F1 or Le Mans series fans?) in addition to the normal overall series champion.

Does this three-tiered championship earn your interest? If so, you'll be pleased to hear that a contest coming in late May will allow fans to help choose the names for the oval and road racing trophies. So far, it seems that Foyt (oval) and Andretti (road) are the leading candidates.

[Source: The New York Times | Image: Darrell Ingham/Getty]


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  • 25 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I agree that the television coverage leaves something to be desired.

      However, the remaining IndyCar fans can watch each race live through the series' website instead of trying to find/subscribe to Versus.

      Also, this is a technical note, but IndyCar needs to enforce penalties on backmarkers ruining the race for the contenders (i.e. Alex Lloyd taking Justin Wilson out of contention at Long Beach). It's ridiculous when someone who just got lapped is able to slam the door on the P2 car with no ramifications.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about instead of wasting time on this, the IRL gets some other engine and chassis builders to work along side of Honda and Dallara. That might spur interest.....at least my interest again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard off. Indy and cart broke up because one wanted just oval's the other wanted road tracks. Then both companys were being ran like crap. Then they got back together. Now look at this crap. I hope IZOD steps in and says this is stupid don't do it. If this happends they have to make a even number of races so it is fair to both groups then change the name to Izod Indy RC and Izod Indy Oval.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I say why not... Yea its gimmicky and probably alittle excessive but at least it's pertains to racing unlike half of NASCARS gimick bs... Digger!? Are you serious?

      With Indycar moving to a more balanced schedule this year, it has become apparent that there will be more interest from drivers who grew up on the right and left handers in the karts rather than just the oval guys.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds similiar to the Tour De France, where there is a sprint champion, mountain champion etc. I don't have a problem with it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's an interesting idea but probably should have been implemented right after the two series merged back together. Still it might give smaller teams the option to run a lighter schedule and only compete for a single title. Realistically this is only good if it brings new teams into the series instead of current teams just running less races.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If there were more than one manufacturer, - if IndyCar were more than a spec. series like GP2 - there would be two championships and you wouldn't have to fabricate BS in this fashion.

      Now, the piece about the most versatile drivers, hmmm.....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very late for an April Fool's joke. You have to be kidding. 3 seperate champions for a "spec" series? Can someone enlighten me to the definition of a champion?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, there seems to be quite a lot of hostility towards the IRL. And it would seem that it is coming from people that don't even watch it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Spec cars are pretty boring. They eliminate any technical interest. For us car enthusiasts, that's probably the most fun part. I feel the lure of F1 is simply the fact that all the cars run different chassis. Indycars haven't really changed at all in years. Kinda boring to me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you just look at racing from a manufacturer perspective, you're looking at only half the involvement when it comes to racing. I'd rather see drivers duke it out in spec cars as it tends to put races more in the human hands rather than the mechanical hands. A champion is someone who makes the best of his or her equipment and adapts to the uncontrollable elements. Spec racing separates the men from the boys I think.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the kind of silly BS that's ruined this country. Screw it, give everybody a trophy so that we can preserve their self-esteem and make them feel happy about themselves. There's a reason it's called winning, because only ONE (person or team) can be THE winner!

      As for bringing more people to the sport, try making it more interesting and personable. I can't stand NASCAR (40+ rednecks going in circles for 4 hours?) racing but I get a kick out of their publicity stuff and marketing ideas, and I highly respect them. I may not give a rip about the racing or watch them, but I can tell you quite a bit about their drivers, their names, sponsors, the 'off-duty' stuff they're involved in like charity work, and many other aspects of NASCAR because of how they promote it and the drivers promote themselves, it's really personable. I'll listen to driver interviews on non-racing stuff all day long and I really like many of the marketing ideas that NASCAR and many of the individual drivers and teams pull off.

      Danica Patrick is a great example of marketing genius for her and the IRL. They nee to reach folks on a more personal level and build a rapport with the fans, give them things they can relate to. Even F1 seems to have a grasp of this better across the pond when you see how they approach the fans and how drivers are portrayed, the fans are 'super-fans'. While they are driving some of the most exotic, expensive cars in the world and it's a multi-billion dollar business, they make everything relatable and welcoming to the common folks. NASCAR or F1 doesn't come across as elitist or up on some pedestal.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nothing is going to help this series until there's different chassis and engine manufactures or the great Danica wins...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they could get Flavio Briatore to come in and convince all the other drivers to crash so Danica COULD win!
      • 4 Years Ago
      There is pretty much only one thing that would interest me. Remove the regulations on power and development, or open a new unlimited class. Will low-money teams be competitive? Nope. But tons of technology will come out of it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Everybody should care. Eventually it trickles down to regular cars. And if there is a way to tie the racing program to R&D even more, companies would probably more willing to invest.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well who cares how much technology comes out of it if only 6 cars are on the track because the other 20 can't afford the new tech.
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