The 2012 IndyCar schedule is a complete disaster. You have 11 road and street courses and only 4 confirmed ovals! Fans/Writers want a 50-50 split and a diverse schedule. To be honest this is like CART of 2003 but without all the things that made CART successful. CART had great ovals; Pocono, Michigan, Fontana, and Milwaukee. Only one of those ovals are on the 2012 schedule and that is Fontana (which is making a return after a 7 year absence). Michigan was held from 02-07 (fairly successful). Milwaukee has been off and on. Pocono hasn’t been on a open wheel schedule since 1989.
The point I’m trying to make is we need ovals because its the heritage of IndyCar Racing. All of this isn’t Randy Bernard’s fault. Plus, Terry wants street courses. Luckily for us as fans Randy got rid of him and Brian Barnhart. Look at Vegas. He promoted that race like crazy and no crowd or T.V. viewership really. Loudon was a disaster. Milwaukee was a great race but no fan support. Randy wants ovals, we as fans have to do a few things. A. Watch the races and get friends that are sports fans just to turn it on for maybe 5 minutes. If we do that the ratings could go up. B. The next thing is get more than a .7-1.2 rating on the ABC races (even though the announcers are terrible). The ABC races are huge because its a local channel and everybody has local TV. If we do this the series would be a major success. Another argument is that Versus/NBC Sports Network isn’t getting watched enough so that’s why we need ABC’s races to come out big. Even just mute the T.V., it still counts as watching!
Also write to Randy Bernard, he is willing to answer any fan questions. I’ve wrote to him about a good plan for the schedule. He responded by saying “If the sanctioning fees are there, it would work well. That schedule included Sebring, Road America, Michigan, Chicagoland, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen and Portland to name a few. Those tracks provide great races.
Another thing Randy could do is at the ovals run your two practice sessions in the morning, qualify at about noon or one o’clock and race at like 7 or 8 at night. This would work well at Iowa, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee, Richmond, and Phoenix. It would cut down on the sanctioning fees and have racing all day long for the fans. On the road and street events you could have it spread out because there’s a lot of things to do at a street circuit. The concessions are right there at the track (at street circuits). This would be a bang for your buck type of deal. It would help cut some of the money that goes into promoting a race at an oval.
I have no problem with adding new events to schedule but they need to be in North or South America not in Asia. I’m all for Watkins Glen and Phoenix returning but in order for that to happen IndyCar needs to dump Barber, Mid Ohio, and Infineon first plus Belle Isle, and China. No fan is going to want to watch those races because they aren’t entertaining. No passing. Look at Barber, Will Power lead every lap. Snoozing during that race. Mid Ohio isn’t that bad but still hardly any passing and that track is too narrow for open wheel cars. Infineon is like Barber on steroids. Belle Isle was a fail in 07 and 08. Do I have to say anything more about China and Asia? Ask Dylan Tilbury about his feelings about those tracks. He’s from Michigan and would rather see Michigan twice a year than one lap at Belle Isle. As for the rumored Fort Lauderdale race, it could work if its similar to St. Pete or Surfers Paradise but IndyCar’s best option is go to Sebring and St. Pete back to back. Surfer’s Paradise could be an exception to my no races in Asia rule because that race is entertaining especially in 2008. Cleveland, Portland, Road America and Road Atlanta need to be on. Those tracks equal great racing.
Baltimore is a different situation because yes its a street course and we have too many of those but it could work if they figure out their money problems and get rid of the god awful chicane down the front-stretch. I wouldn’t have any problem with this race going off or staying on.
So, how can we bring the success CART had in the 90′s to IndyCar Racing? Well, its simple. Bring back the historic events, promote the races, start the season after the Daytona 500. End the season before Labor Day. Run all races on Friday’s or Saturdays. Run with ALMS, Grand Am and NASCAR. To promote events we need all the engine providers to sponsor at least 3 races.
Another thing we need is more American drivers right now we have Marco Andretti, Charlie Kimball, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Ed Carpenter, and Josef Newgarden. We need more Americans to promote the American races. The loss of Danica is huge in my mind because she did all the commercials. Who will step up?
Here’s my plan. This would be if they ran it in 2013. *=Night Race.
- Phoenix International Raceway- 1 mile oval- Feb. 23rd, 2013. Sponsor-Chevy *
- St. Petersburg, Florida- 1.8 mile street circuit- Mar. 9, 2013. Sponsor-Honda
- Sebring, Florida- 3.7 mile road course- Mar. 16,2013. Sponsor-Mobil 1. (With ALMS)
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida- TBA mile street course- Mar 23, 2013. Sponsor-Honda.
- Long Beach, California- 2 mile street course- Apr. 6, 2013. Sponsor-Toyota (With ALMS)
- Sao Paulo, Brazil- 2.6 mile street circuit- Apr. 20, 2013. Sponsor-Itaipava.
- Chicago, Illinois- 1.5 mile oval- May 4, 2013. Sponsor-Chevy. *
- Speedway, Indiana- 2.5 mile oval- May 26, 2013. Sponsor-GoDaddy.
- West Allis, Wisconsin- 1 mile oval- June 1, 2013. Sponsor-David Hobbs Honda. *
- Fort Worth, Texas- 1.5 mile oval- June 8, 2013. Sponsor-Firestone. *
- Newton, Iowa- 0.875 mile oval- June 14, 2013. Sponsor- Iowa Corn/Lotus. *
- Brooklyn, Michigan- 2 mile oval- June 22, 2013. Sponsor-Chevy.
- Watkins Glen, New York- 3.3 mile road course- June 29, 2013. Sponsor-Lotus (With ALMS)
- Cleveland, Ohio- 2.36 mile street course- July 6, 2013. Sponsor- Budweiser.
- Long Pond, Pennsylvania- 2.5 mile oval- July 20, 2013. Sponsor-Lotus.
- Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin- 4 mile road course- July 27, 2013. Sponsor-Chevy (With ALMS)
- Toronto, Canada- 1.75 mile street course- Aug. 3, 2013. Sponsor-Honda.
- Edmonton, Canada- 2.25 mile street course- Aug. 10, 2013. Sponsor-Honda.
- Portland, Oregon- 1.96 mile road course- Aug. 17, 2013.
- Loudon, New Hampshire- 1 mile oval- Aug 23, 2013. Sponsor- Move that Block/Lotus *
- Fort Erie, Canada- 1 mile oval- Aug. 30, 2013. Sponsor-Jeff Gordon Foundation
- Braselton, Georgia- 2.5 mile road course- Sep. 14, 2013. Sponsor-Lotus.
- Fontana, California- 2 mile oval- Sep 21, 2013. Sponsor-AAA
- Las Vegas, Nevada- 1.5 mile oval- Sep. 28, 2013. Sponsor- IndyCar World Championships presented by Chevy, Lotus, and Honda.
This is the perfect amount of races for IndyCar-24. With a 50-50 split, I see this as the most diverse schedule that we could possibly come up with. Its up to you fans. Are you going to support the series and these ideas? The benefit is running most of the races on Saturday (except Indy). This is huge because in the beginning of the season you go up against the NBA on ABC, NASCAR, NHL and Golf. In the summer its still NASCAR. And by early September you have the NFL. This will avoid the competition of NASCAR and NFL on Sundays. Plus, the one day weekend package for ovals that saves us a ton of money. The combination races with ALMS (Long Beach, Sebring, Road Atlanta, Road America and Watkins Glen are huge). Say that the ALMS races in the early morning(11am) their race ends at 1:30ish and then BAM another race for fans to see at 2 or 2:15 with the IndyCars. Sebring and Road Atlanta are exceptions because those races are more than 2 hours long. It could still work though if you start those endurance races later than normal and race the open wheel cars in the morning. I could see support races coming into play at all the twisties except Sao Paulo. As for the support races on the ovals I see Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Texas, Loudon, Phoenix, Iowa, Canadian and maybe Fontana and Vegas. This could be huge for IndyLights, Star Mazda and USF2000 because they don’t run that many ovals and it gets them prepared for the IndyCar Series.
Think of what we had in 2008 and 2009. We had unification in 2008 and a halfway decent schedule and a great championship battle. In 2009, same story. 2010 and 2011 are the complete opposite. 2012 looks bleak but hopefully a year and a few days from now we will be looking at a way different story.